Friday, January 25, 2013

2013 Carver Colloquium: Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Development

The Carver Colloquium is an annual event hosted by the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and presented in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The event took place at DU Law last night (Thursday, January 24th).

The Carver Colloquium focuses on presenting alternative viewpoints on cutting-edge issues in land use, environmental and natural resources law fields.

The 2013 Carver Colloquium debated the issues involved with Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Production. Professor Jan Laitos, the John A. Carver, Jr. Chair and host introduced the event with the question: “Who should have authority over oil and gas development on private land?”

UCLA Professor Robert Freilich and Dan Domenico were featured as event speakers. Professor Freilich is considered to be one of the nation’s leading experts on planning, development, zoning and land use. He argued in favor of local regulation of oil and gas development. Dan Domenico is the Colorado Solicitor General, former Department of Interior employee and adjunct professor. Dan Domenico spoke for state regulation through authorities such as the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He made sure to note that he was not speaking on behalf of any entity or person.

The debate focused on issues of preemption and then spent time discussing the associated benefits and difficulties with each level of regulation. Professor Freilich spoke about the ability of local government to take a more holistic approach to regulating oil and gas development. He cited infrastructure issues such as extreme wear and tear on the roads, schools, health and police services created by oil and gas development. He pointed to North Dakota as an example of that fact. Dan Domenico focused on the ease of operations associated with state regulation. He expressed concern that the oil and gas industry would move their businesses elsewhere if confronted with a patchwork system of regulation.

It is clear from the debate that there are valid arguments on both sides of the issue and that it is far from being decided. Stay tuned for information about the next Carver Colloquium!

Angelica Oman
Gradutate Program Assistant

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

President Obama Prioritizes Climate Change for Second Term

In President Barack Obama's inaugural speech on Monday, January 21st, he outlined priorities for his second term. Most notable of President Obama’s policy pledges, was his commitment to climate change and sustainable energy:
“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
This commitment to clean energy will certainly encourage students and graduates of our Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy program and reaffirm their career paths.

Our program has a tradition of preparing students for future careers in sustainability and renewable energy.  In fact, we are one of the few programs in the nation to offer a class on Global Climate Change. Additionally, students can enroll in a variety of courses on Renewable Energy, Energy, and Sustainable Development of Natural Resources.

DU Law has also partnered with the National Renewable Energy Lab to promote learning and education. The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute also works toward this end and has created this quick guide to climate change. 

If you are interested in pursuing a career in this area, contact us about our degree options!