Environmental policymakers face a dilemma, for the construction and operation of renewable energy facilities mitigates ecologically destructive climate change in the long term but often adversely affects species in the short term. This paper provides empirical, legal, and normative resources for analyzing what I call “species clash.” In most cases, renewable energy is much more helpful than harmful when it comes to preventing species extinctions, but the Endangered Species Act paradoxically poses a barrier to such species-preserving projects. Framing the benefits of renewable energy in terms of species conservation may not only help secure speedy and cost-efficient compliance with the Act, but also foster a more rational conservationism fit for an era of climate change.
Chase Hamilton, Note: Modernizing Conservationism: Renewable Energy’s Species-Preserving Effect and the Endangered Species Act, 31 Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum 379-426 (2021)
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/delpf/vol31/iss2/4