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ELI Announces Winner of Fifth Annual "Endangered Environmental Laws" Student Writing Competition

May 6, 2010

(Washington, DC) — Nathan Howe, a second-year student at Washington and Lee University School of Law, was named the winner of the fifth annual ELI-ABA-NAELS “Endangered Environmental Laws” Student Writing Competition. Mr. Howe will receive a $2000 cash award and publication in the Environmental Law Reporter (ELR), ELI’s flagship journal and the most often cited law review covering environmental and natural resource issues.

Endangered Environmental Laws 2010 Writing Competition Winner Nathan HoweMr. Howe’s winning entry, “The Political Question Doctrine’s Role in Climate Change Nuisance Litigation: Are Power Utilities the First of Many Casualties?,” explores the current state of “political question” jurisprudence through the cases of Connecticut v. American Electric Power, Inc. and Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, including its implications for the energy sector.

“This article takes a close look at AEP and Comer, while examining the role of litigation generally in addressing climate change,” said ELI Senior Attorney Jay Austin. “Mr. Howe’s submission, along with those of the other students who participated, reflect how tomorrow?s environmental lawyers are examining the constitutional framework that shapes and influences environmental protection.”

The annual competition—co-sponsored by ELI’s Endangered Environmental Laws Program, the Constitutional Law Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the National Association of Environmental Law Societies—invites law students to analyze issues at the intersection of constitutional and environmental law. All entries received during the 2009-10 academic year were subject to a rigorous evaluation process overseen by judges from ELI, ABA, and NAELS. Howe’s winning article will not be available to the public until its fall 2010 publication in the ELR® News & Analysis.

ELI’s Endangered Environmental Laws Program seeks to defend U.S. environmental law by advancing principles such as broad citizen access to federal courts, uniform minimum federal environmental standards, and leeway for state innovation in environmental protection. For more information, see http://www.endangeredlaws.org.