Friday, November 1, 2013

BLM Auctions First Solar Rights on Public Lands

The San Luis Valley in Colorado.
Photo Courtesy of Pam
For the first time, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is auctioning rights to develop solar power on public lands. Preliminary applications had suggested that five companies were interested in obtaining permits in the San Luis Valley and there were another 27 inquiries interested in more information about the parcels. Based on that data, the BLM scheduled an auction for 3,700 acres of land in the valley.

However, no one showed up to the first auction last week. BLM officials see this as the continued impact of uncertainties within the federal regulatory system as well as within the solar market. They are still confident in the viability of solar development on BLM lands.

The BLM created 19 solar zones in six western states that are targeted for fast-track development. The decision to designate the areas for fast-track development was based on the geographical context. In these areas, access to transmission currently exists and they are not in environmentally sensitive areas.

BLM officials will move forward with the parcel auctions. It is hoped that once the uncertainties of government regulation and market factors are more predictable, interest and demand for solar development in these areas will increase.

For more information, visit the BLM website.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cindy Jennings, ENRGP Alum to Teach Corporate Responsibility Course

Cindy Jennings, President of Volition Strategies, a sustainability strategy consulting firm, will be teaching a course for ENRGP in the 2014 spring semester. In her work, Cindy has assisted with numerous food and beverage ingredient companies to develop leaner, more responsible supply chains and operations. In addition, Cindy is well-connected to the local sustainability and corporate responsibility community. She serves on the boards and committees of Colorado Cleantech Industry Association Policy Committee, Cleantech Open Sustainability Chair, Women in Sustainable Energy Board among other nonprofit and trade associations in which she participates.

Cindy graduated from ENRGP with her Master of Resources Law Studies degree. We are more than happy to welcome her back to the program as an Adjunct Professor for the spring 2014 semester! Cindy will teach Strategic Corporate Responsibility Reporting. The course will cover the structure of one of the leading reporting frameworks, the Global Reporting Initiative, but more importantly, the thought processes and procedures involved in creating a material, relevant report that is meaningful to internal and external stakeholders of an organization.

The class provides an exciting opportunity to gain real experience by partnering with a local energy company interested in determining their sustainability strategy and performance indicators. Students will be able to participate in a 'live lab' during class. Company representatives will be available both in class and between the weekend classes to provide a rich learning experience. The objective is to prepare students to be able to lead the process themselves within their own organization or for client organizations.

The course will also consist of legal discussion blended with business discussion as the class looks at the impacts of the Clean Water, Clean Air, Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd Frank Acts (among others) on today's organizations. Students will identify the risks, opportunities and complexities that these laws create for industry as well as within the live lab company.

Cindy shared the following about her course: "A corporate responsibility (CR) report, if done well, is the end result of strategic thinking and commitment to improving an organization's operations, community and industry position, and management transparency."

Please consider adding Cindy's Strategic Corporate Responsibility Reporting course to your spring schedule!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Don Smith, Editor of the Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, Presents Annual Editorial Report to International Bar Association

Don Smith, Director of Denver Law's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, met recently with the officers of the International Bar Association's Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL).

Mr. Smith, who is editor of SEERIL's flagship peer-reviewed publication the Journal of Energy &Natural Resources Law (JERL), presented his Annual Editorial Report to the SEERIL officers. The meeting took place at  the IBA's Annual Meeting in Boston.

Among his comments to the officers were:
  • During 2012, JERL was published in March, June, August, and December
  • Twenty articles and five book reviews were published
  • Authors from every corner of the world were published
  • A special section was commissioned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of JERL, which was launched in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s
JERL continues to be one of the most prestigious publications of its kind with 2,500 subscribers from around the world. Its international perspective allows authors and readers to better understand the key issues related to energy and natural resources and the intersection of these two topics.

For more information about the journal please click here.