Saturday, March 28, 2009

LLM Degree Candidate Named to Key California Bar Environmental Committee

David Southworth, a California-licensed attorney and candidate for an LLM degree in May 2009, has been named to the State Bar of California Environmental Section's Legislation Committee.

The Legislation Committee tracks environmental and energy legislation pending in the California General Assembly, and prepares technical comments on bills that the Committee determines are appropriate for, and signicant enough, to warrant comment. Mr. Southworth will take the lead regarding oil and gas industry legislation.

"The California legislature has been quite active in regulating the oil industry in the past," Mr. Southworth said. "Last year alone, five new bills passed in response to the Cosco Busan spill in San Francisco Bay. This key sector fits well with my own experience as in the past I have prepared oil spill plans for marine transportation companies and onshore and offshore oil field service companies under both the Texas Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1991 and the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990."
For more information on Mr. Southworth's role with the Legislation Commitee, click here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lack of Water Presses Coal-fired Plants in West

The lack of dependable (and adequate) sources of water is beginning to weigh heavily on coal- and gas-fired power generators in the American west. These types of facilities require enormous amounts of water, and in many parts of the American west water is in short supply.

An article in The Wall Street Journal ("Water worries shape local energy decisions," March 26, 2009, page A3) says, "Advocates for alternative energy are discovering that water issues may prove to be as important a selling point for the industry as reducing carbon dioxide emissions."

The story called attention to a recent U.S. Energy Department report that indicated a megawatt of energy generated by a gas-fired plant requires between 200 and 600 gallons of water. A megawatt generated by a wind turbine? Zero.

Putting this issue in a national perspective is the observation by U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) that the relationship between energy generation and water has become more important "in [power plant] permitting decisions across the country."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Key Newsletters

Over the course of a month we receive many newsletters. Some of them are really quite good and they may (depending on your area of interest) be useful to you. We will try to call the good ones to your attention on a regular basis.

If you are interested in international mining news, be sure to check out Behre Dolbear's weekly newsletter (which you can subscribe to for free). The most recent newsletter, published March 23, 2009, notes that while "mining megadeals will continue to slow...niche deals will increase." This is a great resource for those interested in the mining sector.

On the other hand, a quickly growing area of specialization involves accounting and sustainability. The ACCA Accounting and Sustainability newsletter is also freely available for e-mail subscribers. The most recent issue includes coverage of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and socially responsible investing news. ACCA, the Association for Chartered Certified Accountants, is a London-based professional accrediting and education body for accountants. ACCA also publishes high quality research on the accounting-related aspects of sustainability. As is typical with many European professional organizations, ACCA is aggressive in its efforts to tie its profession more closely into the entire environmental and sustainability movement. They see "sustainability" as an important concept and one that will increasingly open up opportunities for accountants.

Finally, if renewables is your specialty then be sure to check out FOREcast: Funding Opportunities for Renewable Energy, edited by John Herrick, former chief counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy in Golden, Co., and one of America's top experts on renewable energy project finance. The March 23, 2009 issue includes stories on "Stimulus Package Expands Upon and Improves DOE Loan Guarantees," a summary of relevant tax and energy funding opportunities in the Economic Recovery Act, and an analysis of the Obama Administration's top energy appointees. (Mr. Herrick also teaches the leading law school course in America dealing with renewable energy financing.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chinese Climate Change Conference Accepts Paper Authored by DU Graduate Student

A paper about climate change written by Elizabeth DiNello, a May 2009 LLM degree candidate in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program, has been accepted for an international conference to be held in Hong Kong.

Ms. DiNello will present “Climbing the Great Wall: How the Interplay Between China and the United States Will Affect Mitigation in a Kyoto Successor Treaty” at the conference “China and Global Climate Change: Reconciling International Fairness and Protection of the Atmospheric Commons” on June 18-19.