Notes and Case Comments

Moving at a Glacial Pace: What Can State Attorneys General Do About SEC Inattention to Nondisclosure of Financially Material Risks Arising from Climate Change?

By: Nina Hart In recent years, two certainties have created a mass of uncertainty for public companies. First, companies must disclose material financial information in their annual statements, known as 10-K reports, to the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Second, climate change poses financial risks to the way many companies operate. Together, these principles have generated significant uncertainty within the regulatory and law enforcement arenas. Specifically, companies and law enforcement officials are uncertain about what risks stemming from climate change must be disclosed in 10-K reports, and how that information should be presented. The actor primarily responsible for clarifying disclosure requirements is the SEC. This Note will argue that the SEC’s most recent attempt to address this uncertainty-a 2010 interpretive release-is inadequate, and that the SEC should issue additional guidance. As the SEC has not been active on this issue in the past four years despite promising further action on […]

Smart Sprawl? Green Aspirations and the Lowdown on High-Density Suburbia

By: Paige Pavone Reading Woods, an expensive condominium development north of Boston, is a quintessential example of suburban sprawl. Built in 2011, Reading Woods comprises 408 units, with unlimited parking for each. From Reading Woods, residents cannot walk to a public library, a bank, or a grocery store; they often opt to drive to the nearby strip mall instead. If they really wanted to, residents could walk to a chain restaurant, but they would have to risk crossing I-95 first. I-95 is familiar to them-a backyard of sorts-rushing past 100 feet away. Given these facts, it is perplexing that a Smart Growth Overlay District enabled the development of Reading Woods. Many hail high-density development as the smart growth solution to sprawl. While mixed-use high-density and urban residential high-density may be valid solutions, exclusively residential high-density suburban development is anything but smart. Ironically, developers build these High-Density Islands, as I will […]