Skip to main content


Van Nostrand provides insight on EPA Clean Power Plan rules

UPDATE: WV could meet EPA proposed Clean Power Plan standards (PDF)

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA— A West Virginia University law professor says that the proposed Environmental Protection Agency’s rules to regulate power plant emissions will have a disproportionate impact on coal-dependent regions of the country, such as West Virginia, but do provide some flexibility.

The proposed Clean Power Plan rules, issued by the EPA this summer, would regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

“Using the authority granted under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is not an ideal solution,” said James Van Nostrand, director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at the WVU College of Law. “A legislative solution would likely have included measures to provide some relief to regions of the country that are hit particularly hard by the rules. EPA lacks the resources and authority to provide that relief.”

Professors have ties to new film about mountaintop removal

moving mountains

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Two West Virginia University College of Law professors have connections to “Moving Mountains,” a new independent film about the impact of mountaintop removal coal mining. 

The film is based on the true story of Patricia Bragg, who struggled in the 1990s to save her small town of Pie, West Virginia, from the ecological impacts of mountaintop removal, including the filling of valleys and streams with earth and broken rock. 

Patrick McGinley, the Charles H. Haden II Professor of Law, and Suzanne Weise, visiting associate professor of law, were both counsel for the plaintiffs in the groundbreaking legal case that stemmed from Bragg’s efforts, Bragg v. Roberston. It was the first successful lawsuit to temporarily stop mountaintop removal mining. McGinley plays himself in “Moving Mountains.” 

Filmed with assistance from the West Virginia Film Industry Investment Act, “Moving Mountains” recently premiered at the Capitol Center Theater in Charleston, West Virginia. It stars Theresa Russell, who has appeared in nearly 50 films, and West Virginia actors Michael Meredith, Greg Harpold, and Scott Carpenter. 

The film was directed by Jeanie M. Clark and written by investigative reporter Penny Loeb, author of “Moving Mountains: How One Woman and Her Community Won Justice from Big Coal” (University of Kentucky Press, 2007).

For more information on “Moving Mountains,” visit

WVU College of Law hosting an open house October 3

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—The West Virginia University College of Law is hosting an open house for prospective students from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 3.

Registration for “Experience WVU Law Day” is free and includes lunch. It is open to anyone interested in earning a law degree, including high school students, college students, and second-career adults.

Ribbon cutting to celebrate new addition

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—The West Virginia University College of Law is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, September 19, at 3:30 p.m. to celebrate the opening of its new 30,000 square foot addition. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Guest speakers include E. Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University, Joyce E. McConnell, provost and vice president for academic affairs and former dean of the College of Law, and Gregory Bowman, interim dean of the College of Law.

WVU LAW Facebook WVU LAW Twitter WVU LAW Instagram WVU LAW LinkedIn WVU LAW Youtube Channel