Friday, April 30, 2010

Professor Mike Harris, Director of DU's Environmental Law Clinic, is Contributing to High Country News "Green Justice Report"

Professor Mike Harris, Director of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Environmental Law Clinic, is now writing a regular column for High Country News Green Justice Report.

A recent contribution was entitled "Tackling Environmental Justice on the Front Range." Prof. Harris has also written about "Open Space Justice." High Country News is considered one of the American west's leading publications in terms of covering environmental and natural resources issues.

Prof. Harris' career has focused exclusively on the practice of environmental law, much of it working directly on litigation to protect public health and natural resources. He has published and spoken widely on legal issues associated with environmental litigation.

Click here to see a listing of all of Prof. Harris' columns.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

DU is Number One in Green Energy in the Sun Belt Conference; About One-Third of DU's Energy is Generated by Green Sources

The University of Denver is one of the top universities in the country in terms of using green power. In fact, DU ranked first among all of its rival universities in the Sun Belt Conference.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which administers a program that calculates universities' green energy usage, has estimated that DU's purchase of nearly 16 million kWh of green power was equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the electricity used by more than 1,000 average American homes each year or about 2,000 passenger cars. DU's amount of green energy was equal to nearly one-third of its entire energy consumption.

The EPA ranks U.S. collegiate athletic conferences by the total amount of green power used by their member schools. To be eligible, each school in the conference has to qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner and each conference has to collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power.

Not to brag, but our nearby friendly rival the University of Colorado purchased just over 11 million kWh of green power, which put CU first among its rivals in the Big 12 Conference, but well behind DU. CU's purchase of green power was equal to about nine percent of its entire energy consumption.

As DU environmental law Prof. Rock Pring once so cleverly put it, "We practice what we teach at DU."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Environmental and Natural Resources Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law: "Spring '10 Newsletter" Highlights Program Developments

A multitude of activities and events have been taking place in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

The Spring '10 newsletter captures the energy and excitement that is the foundation of the DU program, which has often been recognized as one of the nation's premier program. Please click here to read the latest newsletter.

You will find articles about the successful Rocky Mountain Law Use Institute 19th Annual Land Use Conference, the Water Law Review Symposium, Distinguished Natural Resources Practitioner in Residence Howard Kenison, and what the program's faculty have been writing and speaking about.

Our program is strong and vibrant and continues to grow and excel. Check out the newsletter. We think you will agree.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Law Professor Emeritus John A. Carver Jr. Speaks About the Evolution of U.S. Public Land Law

John A. Carver Jr., University of Denver Sturm College of Law professor emeritus, spoke recently at DU about the evolution of U.S. public land law as well as his own career where he held several key natural resources-related federal positions.

Prof. Carver is particularly well positioned to address these issues since he has served in the federal legislative, executive, and administrative (which he refers to as the "4th branch of government") branches. From 1957-1961 he was administrative assistant to former Idaho Senator Frank Church. From 1961-1965 he was Assistant Secretary of the Interior where he was responsible for, among other things, the National Park Service. From 1965-1966 he served as Undersecretary of the Interior. In late 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to a seat on the Federal Power Commission, where he served until he took up his teaching responsibilities at the College of Law in 1972.

Prof. Carver began by noting the tension that often may exist between creating a "desirable environmental situation" and "the exploitation of natural resources." He also pointed out the dual-sovereignty nature of the U.S. federal system where the federal government has some responsibilities and jurisdiction while state governments have other responsibilities and jurisdiction.

Looking back, he pointed to the significant influence that former President Theodore Roosevelt had on the way nature was considered. "Teddy Roosevelt believed strongly in the importance of the natural environment," Prof. Carver said. From the "Progressive Movement" under Roosevelt, the U.S. then entered an era where conservation began to be the key element. Conservation "morphed into" a movement that included providing recreational opportunities on public land, he said. During this period, the federal government built roads and infrastructure so Americans could actually visit their national parks, something that had not been easy in earlier years.

In the 1950s what is now known as the "environmental movement" began to take shape as a result of the prominent intellectuals thinking, writing, and speaking about the importance of the environment. During this early period, the concept of "planning" was paramount in the minds of many, he said. This took on even more importance in late 1969 when President Richard M. Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act. Thus was set the foundation for how society and the government look at environmental and natural resources issues, he explained.

Prof. Carver, it should be noted, has been an active and energetic member of the College of Law environmental and natural resources teaching team for many years. Despite the fact that he officially retired in 1988, he has until very recently continued to teach and even today he speaks to classes about the evolution of American law. His life and career have been featured in a seven-part "oral history" that can be accessed by clicking here. He also recently wrote about his long friendship with former U.S. Interior Secretary Stuart Udall, under whom he served from 1961-1966. Please click here to see that remembrance.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Adjunct Professor Luis Carlos Rodrigo Prado Participates in Roundtable Discussion About South American Law Practice for LatinLawyer Magazine

Luis Carlos Rodrigo Prado, partner at the law firm of Rodrigo, ElĂ­as & Medrano Abogados in Lima, Peru, recently participated in a round table discussion organized by LatinLawyer Magazine about the legal business in Peru. The participants in the round table talked about business trends in the legal profession in South America.

What Mr. Rodrigo had to say in the article reporting on the round table, "Pastures New" (December 2009 issue), was of particular interest not only because he is one of the world's leading mining lawyers but also because he has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

In August 2009, Mr. Rodrigo teamed up with South American colleague Florencia Heredia, a well-known Argentine mining lawyer and a partner in HOLT Abogados in Buenos Aires, to teach "Comparative Latin American Mining Law." (The course, which was offered in a one-week "intensive" format, was exceptionally well received by students who benefited from learning from these two leading mining law practitioners. Click here to see a posting about the 2009 course.)

One of Mr. Rodrigo's observations was about the growing globalization of the mining business in South America generally and Peru in particular:
"[Our firm has] a lot of Chinese and Korean clients but for the first time we are seeing a flow of Indian clients. We kept hearing India was growing fast like China and looking at Latin America and we now are seeing that this year."
Students desiring to take "Comparative Latin American Mining Law" should be looking towards the summer 2011 schedule when Ms. Heredia and Mr. Rodrigo are very likely to be back in Denver to do a reprise of their timely and important course. There are a multitude of reasons to take the course including the fact that there are substantial investment opportunities in the natural resources sector all across South America, a topic that Ms. Heredia and Mr. Rodrigo will explain in greater context.

For more information about this course, please e-mail Don Smith or Lucy Daberkow.