NYU Law launches new center to support state attorneys general in environmental litigation

NYU School of Law announced today the creation of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center (State Impact Center) dedicated to helping state attorneys general fight against regulatory roll-backs and other actions that undermine key clean energy, climate change, and environmental values and protections.

The non-partisan State Impact Center will support state attorneys general on clean energy, climate, and environmental initiatives of regional or national importance in a number of ways, including providing legal, analytic, and communications support, as well as facilitating coordination across multiple offices of state attorneys general. 

“Environmental law issues are critical for many states and will continue to grow in importance,” said Dean Trevor Morrison. “As an institution with a strong tradition of training lawyers for public interest and government service, the Law School is proud to establish the State Impact Center.”

David J. Hayes, former deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Department of the Interior for Presidents Clinton and Obama, will serve as executive director for the State Impact Center. “State attorneys general have a unique role in defending the citizens of their states from environmentally destructive actions and advancing the clean energy, climate change, and environmental interests of their constituents,” said Hayes. “We look forward to working in close cooperation with state attorneys general around the country to support their efforts to address complex energy and environmental matters.” 

A primary goal of the State Impact Center is to enable interested state attorneys general to expand their capacity to take on important clean energy, climate, and environmental matters by recruiting and hiring NYU fellows to serve as special assistant attorneys general.

“It is exciting to bring additional resources to state attorneys general who already have stepped up to protect shared environmental values,” said Richard Revesz, Lawrence King Professor of Law and dean emeritus, who chairs an advisory council that will help guide this process. Council members include, in addition to Hayes and Revesz, Daniel Firger of the environment program at Bloomberg Philanthropies; Anne Milgram, former attorney general for New Jersey and now professor of practice and distinguished scholar in residence; and Bruce Babbitt, former attorney general and governor of Arizona and secretary of the Interior during the Clinton Administration.

The State Impact Center will also provide public-facing information and communications support for legal initiatives that protect and advance clean energy, climate change, and environmental interests.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has provided initial support for the State Impact Center.

Posted August 17, 2017