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Alexandra B. Klass

Professor of Law

Alexandra Klass

448 Mondale Hall
229–19th Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55455




University of Michigan, B.A.
University of Wisconsin, J.D.

Professor Alexandra B. Klass teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, environmental law, natural resources law, tort law, and property law. Her recent scholarly work, published in many of the nation's leading law journals, addresses regulatory challenges to integrating more renewable energy into the nation's electric transmission grid, oil and gas transportation infrastructure, federal financial support for renewable energy development, eminent domain issues surrounding interstate electric transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines, and the legal issues associated with using carbon capture and sequestration technology to limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. She is a co-author of The Practice and Policy of Environmental Law (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2014) and a co-author of Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing 2015). Professor Klass was named the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year for 2009-2010, and she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2010-2012. She will be a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in Fall 2015.

Prior to her teaching career, Professor Klass was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis, where she specialized in environmental law, natural resources, and land use cases. During her years in private practice from 1993-2004, she handled cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts involving contaminated property, wetlands, environmental review, mining, environmental rights, zoning, eminent domain, and environmental torts. She continues to represent clients pro bono in cases involving environmental, natural resources, and energy law matters. She clerked for the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin from 1992-1993.

Professor Klass has served in leadership positions in state and national bar organizations. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. She was a member of the Governing Council of the Environmental and Natural Resources Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association from 2005-2013, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association from 2001-2011, and served as co-chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Hennepin County Bar Association from 2000-2006. She is a Member Scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform, and a Resident Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment.

For further information on Professor Klass, please see her curriculum vitae.





  • Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing, 2015) (with Lincoln L. Davies, Hari Osofsky, Joseph P. Tomain & Elizabeth Wilson)

  • The Practice and Policy of Environmental Law (Foundation Press, 3d ed., 2014) (with J.B. Ruhl, John Copeland Nagle & James Salzman)

Book Chapters

  • State and Municipal Energy Efficiency Laws, in The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables (Michael B. Gerrard, ed., American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2011) (with John K. Harting)

  • The Growing Influence of Tort and Property Law on Natural Resources Law: Case Studies of Coalbed Methane Development and Geologic Carbon Sequestration, in The Evolution of Natural Resources Law and Policy (Lawrence J. MacDonnell & Sarah F. Bates, eds., Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, American Bar Association, 2009)

Journal Articles

  • Revitalizing Dormant Commerce Clause Review for Interstate Coordination, Minnesota Law Review (forthcoming 2015) (with Jim Rossi)

  • The Electric Grid at a Crossroads: A Regional Approach to Siting Transmission Lines, 48 UC Davis Law Review (forthcoming 2015)

  • Transporting Oil and Gas: U.S. Infrastructure Challenges, 100 Iowa Law Review 947 (2015) (with Danielle Meinhardt)

  • A Response to the IPCC Fifth Assessment, 45 Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 10027 (Jan. 2015) (with Sarah J. Adams-Schoen, Deepa Badrinarayana, Cinnamon Carlarne, Robin Kundis Craig, John C. Dernbach, Keith H. Hirokawa, Katrina Fischer Kuh, Stephen R. Miller, Jessica Owley, Shannon Roesler, Jonathan Rosenbloom, Inara Scott & David Takacs)

  • Fracking and the Public Trust Doctrine: A Response to Spence, 93 Texas Law Review See Also 47 (2015) (invited response essay)

  • Energy Policy, Extraterritoriality, and the Dormant Commerce Clause, 5 San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law 127 (2013-2014) (with Elizabeth Henley)

  • Response Essay: The Personhood Rationale and its Impact on the Durability of Private Claims to Public Property, 103 Georgetown Law Journal Online 41 (2014) (invited response essay)

  • Takings and Transmission, 91 North Carolina Law Review 1079 (2013)

  • Climate Change and the Convergence of Environmental and Energy Law, 24 Fordham Environmental Law Review 180 (2013) (symposium essay)

  • Tax Benefits, Property Rights, and Mandates: Considering the Future of Government Support for Renewable Energy, 20 Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law 19 (2013) (symposium essay)

  • Renewable Energy and the Public Trust Doctrine, 45 UC Davis Law Review 1021 (2012)

  • CERCLA, State Law, and Federalism in the 21st Century, 41 Southwestern Law Review 679 (2012) (symposium essay)

  • Energy and Animals: A History of Conflict, 3 San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law 159 (2012) (symposium essay)

  • Interstate Transmission Challenges for Renewable Energy: A Federalism Mismatch, 65 Vanderbilt Law Review 1801 (2012) (with Elizabeth Wilson)

  • Property Rights on the New Frontier: Climate Change, Natural Resource Development, and Renewable Energy, 38 Ecology Law Quarterly 63 (2011)

  • Climate Change, Carbon Sequestration, and Property Rights, 2010 University of Illinois Law Review 363 (2010) (with Elizabeth Wilson)

  • State Standards for Nationwide Products Revisited: Federalism, Green Building Codes, and Appliance Efficiency Standards, 34 Harvard Environmental Law Review 335 (2010)

  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Identifying and Managing Risks, 8:3 (Balancing the Risks: Managing Technology and Dangerous Climate Change) Issues in Legal Scholarship Article 1 (2009) (symposium essay) (with Elizabeth Wilson)

  • Climate Change and Reassessing the "Right" Level of Government: A Response to Bronin, 93 Minnesota Law Review Headnotes 15 (2009) (invited response essay)

  • Punitive Damages after Exxon Shipping Company v. Baker: The Quest for Predictability and the Role of Juries, 7 University of St. Thomas Law Journal 182 (2009) (symposium essay)

  • Tort Experiments in the Laboratories of Democracy, 50 William & Mary Law Review 1501 (2009)

  • Carbon Sequestration and Sustainability, 44 Tulsa Law Review 237 (2008) (invited symposium) (with Sara E. Bergan)

  • Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration: Assessing a Liability Regime for the Long-term Storage of Carbon Dioxide, 58 Emory Law Journal 103 (2008) (with Elizabeth Wilson)

  • State Innovation and Preemption: Lessons from State Climate Change Efforts, 41 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 1653 (2008) (symposium essay)

  • The Frontier of Eminent Domain, 79 University of Colorado Law Review 651 (2008)

  • Common Law and Federalism in the Age of the Regulatory State, 92 Iowa Law Review 545 (2007)

  • Punitive Damages and Valuing Harm, 92 Minnesota Law Review 83 (2007)

  • Adverse Possession and Conservation: Expanding Traditional Notions of Use and Possession, 77 University of Colorado Law Review 283 (2006) (lead article)

  • Modern Public Trust Principles: Recognizing Rights and Integrating Standards, 82 Notre Dame Law Review 699 (2006)

  • Bees, Trees, Preemption, and Nuisance: A New Path to Resolving Pesticide Land Use Disputes, 32 Ecology Law Quarterly 763 (2005)

  • Pesticides, Children's Health Policy, and Common Law Tort Claims, 7 Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology 89 (2005)

  • From Reservoirs to Remediation: The Impact of CERCLA on Common Law Strict Liability Environmental Claims, 39 Wake Forest Law Review 903 (2004)

  • The Expansion of Punitive Damages in Minnesota: Environmental Litigation after Jensen v. Walsh, 30 William Mitchell Law Review 177 (2003)

Other Publications

  • Restoring the Trust: Water Resources and the Public Trust Doctrine, A Manual for Advocates (Center for Progressive Reform, White Paper #908, Sept. 2009) (with Ling Yee Huang)