Tom & Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, and Director, Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources (CLEAR), Univ. of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law
Prof. Flatt is the Tom & Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor in Environmental Law, and the Director of the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources (CLEAR). He also has an appointment as a Distinguished Scholar in Carbon Markets and Carbon Trading at the Global Energy Management Institute at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business, and is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform. Prof. Flatt teaches courses in environmental law, natural resources, interagency environmental cooperation, international environmental law, climate change, and the practice of carbon trading. In the summer, he regularly co-teaches the Alaska Natives and Environmental Law course in Anchorage, Alaska, which focuses on the intersection of Alaska Native Law, Resource Extraction Law, the Endangered Species Act, and Environmental Law.
His scholarship has focused on the administration and enforcement of environmental and resource statutes, particularly the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and NEPA. Recently, he has focused on the legislative and regulatory mechanisms needed to address climate change in the United States. In particular, he has written about and advised policy makers on offsets, and the impact of offsets on a carbon market; and the emergence of climate change adaptation policy. He has published articles in many notable journals, including the Notre Dame Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, Washington Law Review, and Ecology Law Quarterly. Six of his articles have been finalists or selected as one of the best environmental law articles in of the year in the compendium the Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law; and one article "Environmental Enforcement in Dire Straits," was re-presented with commentary to policy makers by the Environmental Law Institute and Vanderbilt University in the 2011 Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review. Flatt has also published numerous op-eds on environmental, energy, and resource issues, and does a regular blog regarding climate change issues and energy for the Houston Chronicle. He represented then U.S. Senators Clinton, Boxer, Leahy, Jeffords, and Kerry, in their challenge to the Bush Administration’s New Source Review rules; and participated as amicus in the state of North Carolina's common law challenge to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Before coming to Chapel Hill, Prof. Flatt served as the first A.L. O'Quinn Chair in Environmental Law at the University of Houston Law Center, where he was also director of the Center for Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Law. He has visited at the University of Washington, Seattle University, the University of Georgia, and Roger Williams University. He received his B.A. in Chemistry and Mathematics, magna cum laude, from Vanderbilt University, where he was a Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Scholar. He received his J.D., cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was a John Henry Wigmore Scholar. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Danny J. Boggs of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, before beginning practice in environmental compliance at Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson in Seattle, Washington. Prof. Flatt began his teaching career at the University of Washington's Graduate School of Public Affairs in 1993, and became an associate professor at Georgia State University College of law in 1995.
Prof. Flatt is a former national board member of Lambda Legal and Build Clean.