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Melissa Powers

Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law

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Melissa Powers is an Associate Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School. She teaches energy law, climate change law, the Clean Air Act, torts, and administrative law. Her research interests include energy law (with a specific focus on laws designed to promote renewable energy), domestic policies aimed at mitigating climate change, and U.S. pollution control laws. She is also interested in comparative law study in each of these areas.

Melissa Powers is a co-chair of the Research Committee of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, an international organization dedicated to increasing collaboration between environmental law scholars around the globe and in expanding the capacity of environmental law teaching and research in developing countries. Melissa has also taught as a visiting professor at several schools, including the University of Trento, Italy, in 2008, 2011 and 2012, the University of Navarra, Spain, in 2011, and the University of Maine School of Law in 2007.

Melissa began her legal career as an attorney at public interest environmental law firms doing pollution control litigation. From 2003-2008, Melissa was a Clinical Professor at the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (PEAC), the environmental law clinic at Lewis & Clark.

Specialty Areas & Course Descriptions

Academic Credentials

  • J.D., magna cum laude, 2001, Lewis & Clark Law School
  • B.A., 1992, University of California, Berkeley



  • Johnston & Powers, Concise Hornbook Series: Principles of Environmental Law (2015).
  • Wold, Hunter & Powers, Climate Change and the Law (2009).

Book Chapters

  • United States Municipal Climate Plans: What Role Will Cities Play in Climate Change Mitigation?, in Local Climate Change Law: Environmental Regulation in Cities and other Localities (The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series) (ed. Richardson)(2012).
  • Land Use Regulation versus Property Rights: What Oregon = s Recent Battles Could Mean for Sustainable Governance, in Governance for Sustainability: Issues, Challenges and Successes (eds. Bosselman, Engel, & Taylor) (2008).
  • Crimes Against the Environment, 2004 Update (authored Chapters 4 and 5; Susan Mandiberg authored the remaining chapters) (2004).


  • Quick Fixes or Real Remedies? The Benefits and Limitations of Climate and Energy Fast Policy, 8 San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law 67 (2017)
  • Facilitating The U.S. Renewable Transition: From Ad Hoc Integration to Comprehensive Reform, 6 IUCN Academy of Environmental Law e-Journal 22 (2015)
  • Sustainable Energy Subsidies, 43 Envtl. L. 211 (2013)
  • Small is (Still) Beautiful: Designing U.S. Energy Policies to Increase Localized Renewable Energy Generation, 30 Wis. Int’l L. J (forthcoming 2012).
  • Country Report: USA, Climate Change in the Supreme Court, 1 IUCN Academy of Environmental Law e-Journal 245 (2012).
  • King Corn: Will the Renewable Fuel Standard Eventually End Corn Ethanol = s Reign?, 11 Vt. J. Envtl. L. 667 (2010).
  • The Cost of Coal: Climate Change and the End of Coal as a Source of “Cheap” Electricity, U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 407 (2010).
  • Integrating the Clean Air Act with Cap-and-Trade, 37 Rutgers L. Rec. 150 (2010).
  • The New U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard: Slow Movements Towards Sustainability, IUCN Academy of Environmental Law E-Journal (2010).
  • United States Country Report: Developments in Climate Change Law, IUCN Academy of Environmental Law E-Journal (2010).
  • Avoiding Dam Breaching Through Offsite Mitigation: NMFS = s 2000 Biological Opinion on the Columbia Basin Hydroelectric Operations, 32 Envtl. L. 241 (2002) (with Michael C. Blumm).
  • The Spirit of the Salmon: How the Tribal Restoration Plan Could Restore Columbia Basin Salmon, 30 Envtl. L. 867 (2000).
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Melissa Powers’s office is located in room 342 of Legal Research Center.


voice 503-768-6727

Melissa Powers Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law

Lewis & Clark Law School 10015 S.W. Terwilliger Boulevard MSC 51 Portland OR 97219 USA

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