Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Morning in Colorado: The View From Our Window at the Sturm College of Law

Many mornings in America's Rocky Mountain West are incredibly beautiful. This happens to be one, and we wanted to share it with you.

Every person who comes to Denver is impressed with the majesty of the mountains, which are located just west of the city. In the winter, it is the snow that catches our attention. In the spring and summer is it the green of the pine trees and the red color of the foothills. In the autumn, aspens turn from green to golden. Every season brings new views.

Denver...Colorado...the entire Rocky Mountain Range... A great place to visit, study, and live. If you are thinking about coming to Denver, make plans to visit the law school. We always enjoy telling people about our award winning Environmental and Natural Resources Law program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law as well as promoting Denver as a great place to live.

(Editor's note: the building in the foreground is the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education.)

Don C. Smith
Environmental and Natural Resources Law

Jonathan Lash, President of the Washington, D.C.-based World Resources Institute, Comments on Environmental and Energy Stories to Watch for in 2011

Jonathan Lash, the President of the Washington, D.C.-based think-tank World Resources Institute, recently offered his observations about the key environmental and energy stories in the coming year. Mr. Lash was interviewed on the E&E TV network. To see the interview, please click here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mark Safty, Adjunct Professor of "Renewable Energy Project Development Law," Heads Legal Team That Completes $547 Million Windy Point Project

Mark Safty, who will teach Renewable Energy Project Development Law in the spring 2011 semester at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, headed a legal team from Holland & Hart that recently closed a major wind project development on behalf of the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA).

The $547 million deal, pictured above, is a pre-paid power purchase agreement for power generated at the Goldendale, Washington, Windy Point/Windy Flats Project. This windfarm is one of the largest wind energy projects in the U.S. "The 90 square-mile wind farm spans 26 miles along the Columbia River ridgeline and affords a very high availability of year-around wind energy," according to the SCPPA.

The Windy Point/Windy Flats Project financing is one of the most significant pre-pay power purchase agreement transactions in the U.S.

Mr. Safty, a partner at Holland & Hart, directs the firm's Energy & Infrastructure Group.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Colorado Water Case of the Century" to be Argued at University of Denver Sturm College of Law January 20, 2011

A case that some experts have described as the "Colorado water case of the century" will be argued at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law on January 20, 2011, from 8.30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Burlington Ditch Reservoir & Land Company and Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company case (also known as the FRICO case) will be heard by the Colorado Supreme Court meeting in room 165 at the College of Law. The water rights case involves a determination of the historic consumptive use of the 1885 Burlington direct flow and storage water rights.

Don C. Smith, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law program said, "The setting of oral arguments in this important case at the College of Law will provide DU students, faculty, and friends an excellent opportunity to hear this historic case. In one measure of the importance of the case, the Supreme Court has provided for a 90 minute argument rather than its more typical 30 or 45 minutes."

Associate Dean and Professor Fred Cheever said the College of Law was "honored to be hosting the Supreme Court." Dean Cheever noted that most of the state's prominent water lawyers will be at the College of Law to observe the oral arguments.

A second case on the Court's docket is a matter involving legislative intent.

Anyone wishing more information about the Court's session at the College of Law should contact Stefanie Carroll by clicking here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Video Interview With Dr. Caroline Jackson, Chair of the European Parliament Environment Committee From 1999-2004

In December I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Caroline Jackson, a member of the European Parliament from the United Kingdom from 1984-2009 and chair of the Parliament's Environment Committee from 1999-2004.

Some environmental policy experts have suggested that Dr. Jackson was perhaps the most powerful environment-related legislator in the world during her time as chair. Dr. Jackson was particularly interested in European Union waste legislation as well as the "gap" between legislative enactment and on-the-ground implementation and enforcement of EU legislation.

A member of the U.K. Conservative Party, Dr. Jackson has continued her involvement in environmental issues as a member of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) board of directors.

In the interview, Dr. Jackson discusses the evolution of the European Union, its environmental policy making process and priorities, and current challenges faced by the EU.

Those interested in the European Union will find the interview quite interesting. Moreover, anyone interested in environmental issues -- and the leadership role the EU has taken on issues such as climate change -- should without question watch the interview.

The video can be accessed by clicking here.

Don C. Smith
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program