Friday, February 12, 2010

Economists Launch Blog on Triple Crises in Finance, Development, and Environment

Recently, economists from nine countries launched a new website that focuses on finance, development, and the environment. The TripleCrisis blog is being written by experts from the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, India's Economic Research Foundation, and the Heinrich Boell Foundation-U.S. Kevin P. Gallagher of Tufts and Jayati Ghosh of the Economic Research Foundation are chairing the effort.

An introductory post gives a sense of what the bloggers will cover:
Crises are not new to the world economy, nor to developing countries. Indeed, our current predicament is a convergence of at least three crises: in global finance, development, and environment. These areas are seemingly disparate but actually interact with each other in forceful ways to reflect major structural imbalances between finance and the real economy; between the higher income and developing economies; between the human economic system and the earth's ecosystems. This blog seeks to contribute to a more open and global dialogue around these three crises, about how they interact, and how they can collectively be solved.
Although it is still early days in so far as TripleCrisis blog is concerned, it is still well worth a look.

(Muchas gracias a Sergio Stone de la universidad Stanford facultad de derecho.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Leading International Mining Lawyer and DU Adjunct Prof. Paul Schlauch to Headline Mining Seminar in Argentina

Adjunct Prof. Paul Schlauch, who teaches International and Comparative Mining Law and is a partner in the Denver-based office of Holland & Hart, will conduct a seminar on "International Mining Agreements" at Marval O'Farrell & Mairal in Buenos Aires on March 25 and 26, 2010.

According to the firm, "The seminar is addressed to professionals and people related to the mining industry, with the goal of providing useful tools for the analysis, drafting, and negotiation of agreements frequently encountered in the mining industry." More information about the seminar can be obtained by clicking here.

Mr. Schlauch is one of the world's foremost experts on mining law. He was recently involved in a major mining agreement in the Dominican Republic (click here for details), and in the summer of 2009 he was recognized as "Mining Lawyer of the Year" by Who's Who in Legal Awards.

Mr. Schlauch's visit to Marval will allow him to re-connect with two Marval lawyers who studied under Mr. Schlauch and earned LL.M. degrees at DU: Leonardo Rodriguez and Marina Marti (both 2008 graduates).

"International and Comparative Mining Law" is taught by Profs. Schlauch and Bob Bassett, a fellow lawyer at Holland & Hart in Denver and another well-known international mining lawyer. Students who study under Profs. Schlauch and Bassett frequently remark that this course is one of the best and enriching courses they took in the graduate program curriculum.

There is no substitute for learning from the best, and Profs. Schlauch and Bassett are definitely among the best.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Help! New Name Ideas Being Solicited for Environment21

In March of last year, I began writing a blog about the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program.

I am delighted to report that nearly one year on, there has been substantial interest in the blog (in the form of thousands of hits from all over the globe) and plenty to write about in terms of the program's successful graduates, our current students, our professors, the "second to none" curriculum at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, activities at the law school, current trends in the environmental and natural resources areas, and the multitude of projects associated with the greater ENRGP community (that is to say adjuncts, interested individuals, companies and so on).

When I first thought about the blog, I came up with the name "Environment21" for lack of anything else. But now, as we near the blog's first birthday, I would like to ask all of you to submit suggestions for a new name (or whether we should simply carry on with the current name). Here are several thoughts that have crossed my mind about why a new name might be useful:
  • The blog is not simply about environmental issues; many natural resources and energy issues are also covered.
  • The blog covers developments from all over the world; should that be reflected in the name?
  • The blog attempts to cover key activities and events that involve each of us as individuals as well as all of us collectively.
As an incentive for you to give us your ideas, we have established a "prize" for the winning suggestion. Lucy and I have picked out some DU-related merchandise that the winner will receive.

Finally, I have one other request for everyone. This involves asking you for your ideas for content for the blog. If you have done something that you want others to know about, are involved in a project that would be of interest to the entire community, or simply have written something (or presented on a topic) that you think should be made available to a larger audience, please send it to me. One of my goals for the second year of the blog is to include more information that comes from all of you. In that regard, you will now be seeing from time-to-time opinion pieces written by members of the community. When posting these pieces, I will make sure that readers know who is writing it and how to reach you.

We are extremely fortunate to be members of a vibrant and special community, and I want to make sure that we are plugged in to the important work and activities that tie us together as a community.

--Don C. Smith

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Animal, Vegetable, Mineral -- Wind? The Severed Wind Power Rights Conundrum:" New Law Journal Article by Prof. K.K. DuVivier

K.K. DuVivier, professor of energy and environmental law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, has written a ground-breaking article about wind power and how wind rights are categorized. An abstract of the article, "Animal, Vegetable Mineral -- Wind? The Severed Wind Power Rights Conundrum" that appears in Volume 49, Number 1 of the Washburn Law Journal (fall 2009), follows:
U.S. wind power capacity increased 50 percent in 2008, making wind one of the fastest growing energy sources. Wind has several advantages over conventional energy fuels: it is renewable, does not emit pollutants, and does not require scarce water resources to process the raw product or to generate electricity.

Yet wind power’s rapid growth is creating its own crisis. Thousands of landowners across the country have severed their “wind rights,” splitting wind ownership apart from surface ownership. However, wind power development requires extensive, and perpetual, surface disturbance. As surface owners are the parties most impacted, taking them out of the equation seriously complicates surface access and damage negotiations.

Furthermore, when landowners retain control over both the mineral and wind rights, those landowners can serve important roles as mediators in disputes between competing developer interests. Landowners who receive royalties from both mineral and wind development have an incentive to see both enterprises coexist. This incentive is eliminated when mineral and wind rights are severed and the owners of these separate estates seek only to maximize their own distinct interests.

Commentators have applied the mineral severance concept to the wind context to recognize the practice severing wind. But are these commentators asking the right question? Yes, wind probably can be severed. The more important issue is whether policy makers seeking to promote mineral development and to protect farmers and ranchers should allow it to be severed.

Only a handful of states have examined wind ownership issues, and few have chosen to prohibit wind severance completely. The only two courts that have yet addressed the issue of wind severance have done so obliquely. A 1997 California court allowed wind severance in a condemnation context by likening wind to oil; in a 2009 partition case, the federal district court in New Mexico likened wind to a different mineral— water.

How a wind right is categorized will have significant impacts on relationships between wind-rights owners and surface owners for centuries to come.
Prof. DuVivier’s article, the full text of which can be accessed by clicking here, explores the two cases on record relating to wind severance and the evolution of severed mineral rights. Her analysis illustrates that we should be exploring alternative models because the historical and policy rationales concomitant for mineral severance do not apply in the wind context. All those interested in the state of the art when it comes to wind power issues should carefully read Prof. DuVivier's piece.

In addition, those who attend the graduate program will have the opportunity to learn firsthand from Prof. DuVivier, one of the foremost experts on U.S. wind power issues.

Monday, February 8, 2010

LLM Graduates Begin Year in Rio!

Making new friends in the graduate program is definitely a fulfilling aspect of studying at DU. But whether the new found friends can spend time in Rio is another matter entirely!

Marina Marti, left (LLM Graduate 2008), and Katia Castillo, right (LLM graduate 2008), are seen a few weeks ago near Rio de Janeiro. Ms. Marti, who works for Marval, O'Farrell and Mairal in Buenos Aires and Ms. Castillo, who works for Barrick Gold in Lima, became friends while they studied in Denver between August 2007 and May 2008.

They appear to be having a great time, with not a law or statute book anywhere to be seen! !Feliz Año Nuevo a Katia y Marina! (Happy new year to Katia and Marina!)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Adjunct Prof. Luke Danielson Elected to the Prestigious Mining & Metallurgical Society of America

University of Denver Sturm College of Law Adjunct Prof. Luke Danielson has been elected a member of the Mining & Metallurgical Society of America. The Society is a professional organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and understanding about mining and why mined materials are essential to modern society and human well being.

Prof. Danielson attended the Society's "invitation only" Feb. 4 symposium entitled "Minerals for a Green Society," which focused on the challenges in finding and producing the minerals that will be needed for a transition to wind, solar, and other renewable energy technologies as well as potential geopolitical issues created by economic competition for access to the commodities required for green technologies.

At the symposium, Prof. Danielson chaired the Society's round table discussion on strategic minerals and vulnerability, mineral needs for the future, long term planning, and policy issues in developing material basis for the renewable energy transition.

Prof. Danielson, a Gunnison, Colorado attorney, and Cecilia Dalupan, Associate Director of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, are the lead professors in a cutting-edge series of courses that have just be launched by the College of Law. The "Sustainable Natural Resources Development Series" is made up of three one-week short courses. The next course, which is open to all law students as well as graduate students and professionals of all backgrounds, will be held June 2-5. More information about the series can be obtained by clicking here.