Friday, March 15, 2013

Environmental Law Clinic Reaches Settlement with Xcel Energy

Mike Harris,
Director of the Environmental Law Clinic
DU College of Law's Environmental Law Clinic announced a settlement last week with Xcel Energy. Mike Harris and students have worked with WildEarth Guardians on a citizen suit enforcement action under the Clean Air Act over the past four years.

This translates into a tremendous experience for four generations of clinic students. Students assisted in shepherding the case from initial filing through discovery, briefing, oral arguments and trial preparation. The case was settled two weeks away from the trial date.

The settlement will result in benefits for the most impacted communities. Xcel Energy will provide $447,000 to Groundwork Denver, a third-party nonprofit organization which will initiate a sustained improvement of the physical environment through community-based partnerships and action.

Jeremy Nichols, of WildEarth Guardians said, “This is a victory for clean air, for the community, and for Colorado’s clean energy future, as we power past coal, it’s critical that we lay the groundwork for solar and energy efficiency to take root. That’s exactly what this settlement does.”

Angelica Oman
Graduate Program Assistant 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ENRGP Students Attend Vail Global Energy Forum

Photo Courtesy of Zach Mahone
The DU ENRGP Program sponsored six students to attended the Vail Global Energy Forum. The VGEF featured energy professionals speaking about energy trends and developments. Students were sponsored to attend from all over the country (see photo above). Prof. KK DuVivier and associate administrative director Lucy Daberkow represented DU College of Law. ENRGP students included:  Khulan Amarsanaa, Jason Gould, Caleb Harrison, Brad Neagos, Chris Simmons and Annie Oman. The event took place at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on March 2nd and 3rd.

Governor Hickenlooper delivered the opening address setting the stage for panelists to discuss energy efficiency and energy innovation. The second day focused entirely on natural gas. Jim Brown, President of the Western Hemisphere at Halliburton, gave an overview of unconventional energy development (hydraulic fracturing). Mark Zoback, a Professor in the Department of Geophysics at the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, shared scientific studies linking ground injections to increased seismic activity and the risks of water contamination.

The event was educational and relevant. The students enjoyed their visit to the Rocky Mountains, and the opportunity to hear about energy developments and trends from experts. Attendee Chris Simmons shared, "The Vail Global Energy Forum was an incredible opportunity to bring my personal environmentalism, academic passion, and work experiences into fruition through a two day forum of top-notch academics and industry leading professionals. The forum afforded me an opportunity to network with a wide variety attendees, and to increase my knowledge of global energy concerns and solutions."

Angelica Oman
Graduate Program Assistant