Friday, August 16, 2013

Denver Considers Plastic Bag Fee and Meets Resistance

Plastic bag caught in a tree.
Photo Courtesy of Kate Ter Haar
On Tuesday, Denver city councilwoman, Debbie Ortega, proposed a plan to charge a 5-cent plastic bag fee. Her goal to shift behavior toward more sustainable practices met firm resistance from the grocery store industry.

The grocery store industry claims that the fee would put an undue cost burden on Denver stores. A few went on to argue that the fee was essentially a tax and should be places on the ballot per Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).

Every year, an estimated 130 million single-use bags are used within Denver. Households use on average of 7.6 bags per week, most of which end up littering the streets, or adding to landfill waste or worse, clogging waterways. To read more statistics about plastic bag consumption, visit Ortega's draft bill here.

The council committee will discuss the proposal next week and determine whether or not it should be presented to the whole council for vote. Boulder and Aspen have already implemented plastic bag fees and have not seen any harmful side effects.

Angelica Oman
Graduate Program Assistant

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Welcome to the Fall 2013 Class!

Denver Law has welcomed its incoming Fall 2013 class into the Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program. This year's incoming class represent over seven countries and each has impressed us with their backgrounds and interests.

The new students participated in an orientation program which featured Director Don Smith and Administrative Director Lucy Daberkow. Students were also introduced to Rosemary Dillon of the Academic Achievement Program as well as Ann Vessels, director of the Legal Externship Program.

Smith shared, "We strive to have a diverse group of students, both in terms of the U.S. and internationally, and I am delighted by this year's students. I have no doubt that they will excel in their academic careers."

The Denver Law ENRL LLM and Masters degree program is among the most diverse programs of its kind in the world, a point of particular interest for most students who apply to the Denver Law program.

Daberkow said, "Environmental, natural resources, and energy law in the 21st century raise issues and challenges within individual countries as well as across the world. Our wide curriculum of U.S.-focused and internationally-focused courses allows students to learn about a wide array of practices and helps prepare them for their future careers."
Welcome to Denver Law!