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Environmental Law Program

Independent Student Environmental Law Scholarship

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Joshua D. Kelly, Analyzing the Army Corps of Engineers' Regulation of Surface Mining: Has Congressional Intent (and the CWA) been Violated?

Art von Lehe, Climate Change and South Carolina’s Economy
The scientific community at large has reached an overwhelming consensus: climate change is real and has human causes. Climate change poses a series of profoundly serious economic threats. In the United States, South Carolina is a state particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The low-lying coastal areas make the state particularly susceptible to negative economic impacts. Climate change is expected to bring increased temperatures, rising seas, and potential increases in storm activity affecting coastal areas vital to the state’s tourism industry. In the near term, the state will see extensive property damage from coastal flooding and extreme weather events which will raise risk and require increasing investment to protect property. Sea level rise and other predicted changes in climate are expected to drastically alter the coastal landscape requiring massive investment in infrastructure and shoreline protection or retreat. Insurance rates in South Carolina have already begun to substantially increase. Higher temperatures and wetter conditions may cause outbreaks of infectious disease and increase heat related illness and death. Climate change may seriously impact fisheries by degrading habitat. Agriculture could suffer a loss of competitive advantage to northern areas. There is still time to mitigate against the worst impacts of climate change through measures including appropriate land use and transportation policies; energy efficiency; and renewable energy sources such as wind power generation.