Monday, August 25, 2014

Denver Law LLM Graduate Father Alphonsus Ihuoma Earns SJD from the University of Kansas School of Law

Alphonsus Ihuoma, a 2011 Denver Law LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy graduate, has earned his Doctor of Judicial Science degree (SJD) from the University of Kansas.  His dissertation was entitled, "The Holy See, Social Justice, and International Trade Law: Assessing the Social Mission of the Church in the GATT-WTO System."

Also a Catholic priest, Father Alphonsus is a Nigerian licensed lawyer.  During his studies at Denver Law, Father Alphonsus was parish priest in La Junta, Colorado.

Don Smith, Director of the ENRL program, said, "Father Alphonsus Ihuoma is one of the most capable and brightest persons I have ever met.  As a student, he brought his wealth of experience and knowledge to his classes.  His participation benefited all of us, no matter our backgrounds or our own experiences in life.  Father Alphonsus is destined to make great contributions wherever he is and in whatever he is involved in.  It is a thrill to now refer to my good friend as Dr. Ihuoma."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Denver Law Environmental & Natural Resources Law "Team" Awarded Grant to Study the International Use of Hydraulic Fracturing

A team of Denver Law Environmental & Natural Resources Law-affiliated individuals has won a grant from the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation to produce a new report, "Hydraulic Fracturing Around the World: A Comparative Analysis of Development, Regulation, and Deployment."

The report, which will be a "first of its kind," is scheduled for publication in the summer of 2015.  It will provide an accessible, authoritative, and comparative examination of what is taking place in terms of hydraulic fracturing around the world.  The team will study a number of countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. It will also analyze developments in the European Union and in particular several specific member states including France, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

Team members are:
  • Karina Condra, JD, Masters of Library Science; Comparative, Foreign and International Law Librarian.  Ms. Condra is an expert in researching foreign legal systems and is expected to consult Denver Law’s substantial collection of legal and regulatory databases.   She is also familiar with the oil and gas industry, having practiced law in this field several years ago.
  • Jessica M. Richards, JD, Masters of Resource Law Studies; Leases & Supervisor, Land Administration, Jonah Energy LLC. She also teaches two courses as an Adjunct Professor at Denver Law: “Oil & Gas Agreements” and “Contemporary Issues in Oil & Gas Development.”
  • Don C. Smith, JD, LLM in European Union Law, Director of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Program.  Professor Smith, who teaches full-time at Denver Law, oversees the Environmental & Natural Resources Program, which includes JD, LLM, and Master’s students, and has written extensively about environmental and energy issues. 
  • RJ Colwell, JD candidate 2015, research assistant to Don Smith.  He was awarded a 2014 scholarship by the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators to attend its spring 2014 conference.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nadia B. Ahmad, Denver Law LLM in Environmental & Natural Resources Law Graduate, Named Visiting Assistant Professor at Pace Law School B. Ahmad, Denver Law Environmental & Natural Resources Law LLM graduate, will assume a Visiting Assistant Professor position at Pace Law School beginning in August.  Professor Ahmad's research explores the intersections of energy law and the environment and draws on international investment law, energy justice, corporate best practices and corporate social responsibility. 

Don Smith, Director of Denver Law's Environmental & Natural Resources Law program, said, "Professor Ahmad is one of the most exceptional individuals I have ever met.  She is passionate about her work and committed to exploring new ways to improve our world.  Her background as a practitioner, an employee at one of the country's most prominent oil and gas companies, and a keen observer of the world are the perfect foundation for what will be an exceptional career in teaching about the law."

Professor Jason Czarnezki, Executive Director of Environmental Law Programs at Pace, said, "We're very excited to bring Nadia to our team."

Professor Ahmad said, "I was able to place and publish every paper I wrote as a student at DU, which speaks to the strength of the program, professors, and my peers. Denver is a remarkable place to learn and study about the new energy frontier."

Among her publications include:






Friday, August 8, 2014

Denver Law Graduates Feature Prominently in Major Public Policy Debate About Oil & Gas Development in Colorado

Two Denver Law graduates have been featured prominently in recent news coverage about the formation of a "blue ribbon" committee to be established by Gov. John Hickenlooper to address issues involving oil and gas development and Colorado communities.

Gov. Hickenlooper and Congressman Jarrod Polis have taken differing positions with regard to whether oil and gas development should be primarily regulated by state or local authorities.  Denver Law graduates Ryan Call, Colorado Republican Party Chair, and Pete Maysmith, Conservation Colorado Executive Director, have been quoted widely in the wake of an agreement between the governor, the congressman, and several state legislators that will remove four initiatives from the November ballot. 

According to Mr. Call, "Literally the only thing we know for that Gov. Hickenlooper, Congressman Jarrod Polis and Colorado Democrats want even more control over Colorado's already heavily regulated energy industry.  These additional regulations will cost the state thousands of jobs and million of dollars."

On the other hand, Mr. Maysmith said that Gov. Hickenlooper and Congressman Polis should be thanked for their efforts "to cease ballot initative efforts and work together towards long term solutions around issue of local control and oil and gas development."

Don Smith, director of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Program at Denver Law, said that the attention associated with Mr. Call and Mr. Maysmith's comments was a clear indication about the important public policy roles in which Denver Law graduates are involved.  "There are obviously differences of opinion on what direction the state should take. But something on which everyone can agree is the continuing important contributions of our graduates in what is one of the most important public policy debates in this state in a very long time."

Friday, June 20, 2014

Felicitaciones (Congratulations) to Denver Law LLM and JD students awarded prestigious Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) scholarships

The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), the most prominent natural resources-focused organization of legal practitioners and academics in the Western Hemisphere, has awarded four of its prestigious scholarships to Denver Law students. Three of the students will begin their LLM studies at Denver Law in August. The fourth winner is a third year JD student. 

Don C. Smith, Director of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law program, said, "It is indeed a great day for the Denver Law students who have been awarded these impressive RMMLF scholarships. Students who have earned similar scholarships in the past have told me that this award was one of their proudest moments as a student. Moreover, the scholarships recognize the high quality of students who study at Denver Law."

Scholarship selections are based on the interest of students studying natural resources law and their potential to make significant contributions to the field.  To date, 380 scholarships totaling nearly $2 million have been awarded.

Three of the scholarships were awarded to LLM students who will begin their studies in August.  Notably, each of these students is from South America, a continent where Denver Law has a long history of recruiting the best and brightest students.  The South American students are:
  • Renato De Vettori, a Peruvian lawyer, graduated with a law degree from the Universidad San Martin de Porres. 
  • Nancy Garcia Yi, a Peruvian lawyer as well, graduated with a law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
  • Rodrigo Galleguillos, an attorney from Chile, obtained his law degree from the Universidad de Chile.
Lucy Daberkow, Assistant Director of the ENRL Graduate Program, said, "A continuing objective of our program is to be the most diverse environmental and natural resources law program in the Western Hemisphere.  Renato, Rodrigo, and Nancy's recognition by the RMMLF underscores the strength of these individuals and reflects positively on our on-going efforts to recruit the best students from South America.  The diversity of our program's students is a real point of differentiation in our recruiting efforts and we are thrilled they will join us."

The JD student is David Rueschhoff, who also earned a Joe Rudd Scholarship from the RMMLF.  Mr. Rudd was a prominent Alaska natural resources attorney.

In making the announcement of winners, Stevia Walther, Executive Director of the RMMLF said more than 100 scholarship applications were received.  Ultimately 34 students were chosen for scholarships.  "The selection process was not easy for the Committee, given the large number of well-qualified applicants," Ms. Walther said.

Ms. Daberkow, looking ahead to the beginning of the new academic year in August, said, "The incoming 2014-2015 will certainly be one of our most diverse and impressive classes. We look forward to meeting these students who will undoubtedly make outstanding contributions to our program and their professions in the natural resources and environmental industries."

In recognition of the diversity of the four award winners Ms. Daberkow said in Spanish, "Enhorabuena a nuestros estudiantes por este reconocimiento!" and in English, "Congratulations to our students for this honor!"

Denver Law is widely-regarded as having one of the premier natural resources, environmental, and energy programs in the United States.  In recent years, Denver Law has introduced new courses in many areas of study including Sustainable Development, Renewable Energy, and Oil & Gas. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kristy Disney, DU Law JD and LLM alumn, joins us as an adjunct professor

Kristy Disney, a 2011 JD and LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources graduate, will join our graduate program as an adjunct professor this fall. Prof. Disney will be teaching the class "Sustainable Development and International Trade," which provides an introduction to the interrelations among trade, environment, development issues, laws and policies. The class looks to explore how globalization can be compatible with sustainable development and focuses on environmental and social concerns as well as human rights, gender issues and governance.

Lucy Daberkow,  Associate Administrative Director, commented: "We have known Prof. Disney since she began our program as a graduate student and couldn't be more proud of her accomplishments as a Sustainable Development expert who is sharing her expertise with students  eager to learn about sustainability and globalization issues."

Prof. Disney is the current Interim Executive Director and Director of International Programs at the Sustainable Development Strategies Group (SDSG) and has been instrumental in negotiating and implementing natural resources legislation and policies in countries around the world.

Friday, June 6, 2014

European Policy Expert Who has Participated in Denver Law Courses Covers European Parliament Elections for Sweden's TV4

Marcus Oscarsson.
Marcus Oscarsson, an expert on European Union law and policy and a frequent contributor to various Denver Law environmental law courses, was recently a member of Sweden's TV4 political team that covered the elections to the European Parliament

Mr. Oscarsson said, "The EU elections are the second biggest election in the world, next only to India's election. Some 400 million voters from Spain in the south to Sweden in the north, from Ireland in the west to Romania in the east, elected the 751 members of the European Parliament (EP).  Because of the European Parliament's increasing power, the elections are particularly important in the context of big EU-issues such as environmental protection and energy policy.

"Many people have said that the most important environmental policy-related parliamentary body in the world is the European Parliament Environment Committee.  When the new Parliament assembles this summer, all of us will be watching with interest what direction this Committee takes."

Inside the European Parliament.
Don Smith, Director of Denver Law's Environmental & Natural Resources Law program said, "Marcus Oscarsson is a respected observer of EU policies and trends.  His involvement in a number of our courses -- either through video sessions or on-line discussion boards -- has been instrumental in helping our students prepare for a future where they will need to know not only about American environmental policy, but also happenings in the European Union."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 2014 Denver Law Environmental & Natural Resources Graduate Program Graduation: Eight Countries Represented

It's difficult to believe, but another graduation has taken place.  This year was another stellar one for Denver Law's Environmental & Natural Resources Graduate Program, with graduates coming from all around the world.  More specifically, the graduating class included individuals from:

Saudi Arabia
United States

In addition, two students who graduated with the top grade point average in their degree programs were recognized:

Master of Laws: Andrea Liniger
Master of Resource Law Studies: Amanda Nichols

Don Smith and Lucy Daberkow, who direct the graduate program, said, "For all of our graduates, graduation day marked an end and a beginning.  While we will miss seeing them, we will look forward to all the great things they will accomplish in their careers. It's also exciting to see our graduates form friendships that will last a lifetime."

Here are some of the happy graduates, their families and friends at the graduation ceremony and also at the graduation brunch hosted by Prof. Smith:

Don Smith, left, with Andrea Liniger, 2014 LLM graduate of Zurich, Switzerland,
 and her parents.

Don Smith, left, with Atheer Abdulaziz Al Jarboa, 2014 LLM
graduate of Saudi Arabia

Don Smith, left, with Khulan Amarsanaa,
2014 LLM graduate and originally from Mongolia,
and her father.

Lucy Daberkow, left, with Kristi Disney, 2011 JD and LLM
graduate, Andy Liniger and Sarah Smith, 2014 MRLS graduate.

Amelie Daberkow, left, with Lucy Daberkow, Emma Daberkow,
Katherine Beatty, current MRLS student from Perth,
Australia, Kristi Disney, Khulan Amarsanaa, and
Andy Liniger.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Denver Law Well Represented at IBA's Energy & Environment Meeting in Berlin

Denver Law was well represented at the recent International Bar Association (IBA) Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Law conference in Berlin, Germany.  The Denver Law group included faculty members and graduates of the LLM program.

"It was delightful to see a great contingent of Denver Law-affiliated individuals in Berlin, a gathering that reaffirmed our program's prominence and reach around the world.  When anyone speaks about energy and natural resources development, Colorado and the US Rocky Mountain West are often mentioned," Don C. Smith, Environmental & Natural Resources Law (ENRL) Director, said.

"Similarly, when the most prominent energy and natural resources lawyers from around the world gather, you can almost be assured that someone with a Denver Law affiliation will be there," he said.

The Denver Law-affiliated attendees included:
  • Scott Anderson, partner at Hogan Lovells in Denver; he has taught "US Mining Law" at DU.  Mr. Anderson spoke on a panel focusing on fracking in oil and gas projects.
  • Robert Bassett, partner at Holland & Hart in Denver; he teaches "International Mining Law" at DU.
  • Florencia Heredia, partner at HOLT Abogados in Buenos Aires; she has taught "Latin American Mining Law" at DU.  Ms. Heredia co-chaired a panel entitled, "Mining Near Cities."
  • Diego Parravicini, mining law attorney at Beccar Varela in Buenos Aires, and 2010 LLM graduate from DU.
  • Miguel Rivero, partner specializing in oil and gas at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque in Caracas, Venezuela and 2005 LLM graduate.
  • Luis Carlos Rodrigo, managing partner at Estudio Rodrigo, Elias & Medrano in Lima, Peru; he has taught "Latin American Mining Law" at DU.
  • Mark Safty, partner at Holland & Hart in Denver; he teaches "Renewable Energy Project Finance" and is a member of the organizing committee for the Denver Law Annual Renewable Energy Summit.
"When students come to the Denver Law ENRL program, whether to pursue a JD, LLM or Master's degree, they learn from the world's leaders in the fields of environmental, energy, and natural resources law," Mr. Smith said.  "As this list suggests, we are committed to continuing our long tradition of recruiting the world's best students and best practitioners and academics to teach in our program."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Comparative Environmental Law" students learn from experts from around the globe

The just finished "Comparative Environmental Law" course, taught in the January-April 2014 semester, was a "big success" in terms of diversity of coverage and speakers according to Professor Don Smith.

"The aim of the course is to acquaint students with a range of issues that drive environmental law and policy in a wide variety of countries," he said.  The countries covered included Argentina, Chile, China, India, Nigeria, the US, and the European Union.

"While I take the lead in most course sessions, it is also important for students to learn from others who are experts in their fields," Professor Smith said.  "This provides students a more robust and enriching experience than any one person could ever deliver."

The speakers this semester were:
  • Camila AstorgaMaria Paz Cerda, and Blanca Oddo, all of the Santiago, Chile-based firm Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana, who spoke on the intersection of Chilean environmental and natural resources law.
  • Alan Harrison, Vice President Drilling for WPX Energy, who spoke about the engineering and environmental aspects of horizontal drilling and gas and oil well fracking. 
  • Tonye Oki, a Denver energy executive and Denver Law LLM graduate; he spoke about Nigeria. 
  • Diego Parravicini, a Denver Law LLM graduate who practices with the firm of Beccar Varela in Buenos Aires, Argentina; he spoke about the relationship between natural resources development and environmental protection in Argentina.
  • James Tarpey, former member of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, who talked about the extent to which utility regulators take into account environmental issues when making rate decisions. 
"The students and I benefited a great deal from each of these speakers," Professor Smith said.  "We all owe a great debt of gratitude to these experts who ably and thoroughly spoke about their various areas of expertise."

Denver Law's Comparative Environmental Law course, taught every year for more than 10 years, has established a well-regarded teaching model where students learn from experts from all around the world.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Environmental and Natural Resources Graduate Program Names 2013-2014 Outstanding Students

Andrea "Andy" Liniger                            Amanda "Penny" Nichols

The Environmental and Natural Resources Graduate Program has selected the 2013-2014 Outstanding Students. This recognition is given to the students who have achieved the highest GPA's during their studies. The following are the recipients of this honor:

Andrea "Andy" Liniger is the LLM Outstanding Student. Andy, who is originally from Switzerland, received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Lucerne and a Master of Laws from the University of Bern.  Andy has worked as a legal librarian for Vischer Attorneys at Law and has interned for the Federal Office for the Environment in Switzerland.  Andy also worked as a research assistant at the law faculty of  the University of Zurich.

Andy commented that "coming to Denver for my LLM has been a great and rewarding experience, but it was also hard work, so the award means a lot to me! The effort was certainly worthwhile, and I feel very honored and grateful to receive this award. I owe many thanks to Prof. Don Smith and Assistant Director Lucy Daberkow for their great work on the Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy program-without their continuous support, this would certainly not have been possible. Thank you!"

Amanda "Penny" Nichols is the MRLS Outstanding Student. Penny received her B.A. in Environmental Policy from Colorado College.  She has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda and as a researcher for the Sustainable Development Studies Group with a focus on sustainable practices in mining. Her plans for the future include finding employment as a mining consultant specializing in sustainability. She had this to say about her experience in the program:

"The MRLS program has been an invaluable experience for me and what I have learned from most was the diverse and experienced adjunct professionals that matched my interest in natural resource use & extraction, human rights, environmental conservation and sustainable development. As a Masters student, I have been able to build a foundation in natural resource law, learn from my fellow law students and follow my passion by specializing in mining law." 

Andy and Penny exemplify the stellar students we strive to have in our program. We are extremely proud of their dedication, hard work, and academic excellence.  Congratulations to both! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lucy Daberkow, Assistant Director, leads sustainability presentations during Earth Day Celebrations

Amelie Daberkow with an upcycled art creation

From left to right: Emma, Lucy, and Amelie Daberkow at Peabody Elementary

Lucy Daberkow, Assistant Director of Graduate Programs in Environmental and Natural Resources, led sustainability presentations during Peabody Elementary Earth Day celebrations.

The school, located in the Littleton Public District in Centennial, Colorado, sponsored a day-long celebration that encouraged the participants to celebrate Earth Day and green practices. Activities included planting new trees, removing trash from the school grounds (using biodegradable bags for the first time), getting the garden ready for planting season, and sustainability presentations. These presentations highlighted green practices and the school's partnership with TerraCycle. This company, founded in 2001, recycles hard to recycle products and turns them into new products; their motto is "Eliminating the Idea of Waste."

Students, teachers, and staff attended Mrs. Daberkow's presentations and learned practical and original ways to green up their school and reduce the amount of trash they produce. In addition, they learned the value of recycling with TerraCycle since the school receives money for every item they recycle through this company.

Leading up to the event, students participated in an Upcycle Art contest where they were challenged to create art pieces using found or recycled objects. The school has also been participating in a month's long contest encouraging students to recycle. Mrs. Daberkow commented: "Encouraging students to live sustainably and to do their part to take care of the planet is one of my passions. It is crucial that we start educating students about green practices at a young age; the students at Peabody Elementary are definitely leading by example."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

David Gorlin, Denver Law LLM student, represents program at Institute for Energy Law's conference

LLM student David Gorlin represented our program at the Center for American and International Law's Institute for Energy Law’s recent conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The conference—“Career Paths for Young Attorneys in the Energy Sector”—gave law students the opportunity to tour Entergy Gulf States, Inc.’s River Bend nuclear power plant in St. Francisville, Louisiana.  The conference also included a full day of lectures and panel discussions on career opportunities and trends in the energy sector.  Dave said the following of his experience:

 My experience at the River Bend plant was illuminating.  We were provided with a lecture on the basics of nuclear power, which successfully addressed a lot of public misinformation and misperceptions about the industry.  We were also given a comprehensive tour of the plant, which included a visit to portions of the containment facility.  I admit this caused some initial apprehension, particularly given the requirement that we wear radiation contamination monitors.  However, after touring River Bend and observing the professionalism and expertise of its employees and the extensive safety precautions that are taken, there was no basis for any anxiety.  The visit to the plant was enlightening for all involved, and I commend Entergy Gulf States, Inc. for its transparency and public outreach efforts.

 The conference also featured a full day of discussions by law firm and in-house professionals from a variety of backgrounds and geographic locations, including Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Mexico.  The lecturers and panelists displayed an impressive breadth of experience and offered valuable perspectives on a variety of subjects pertaining to the oil and gas industry, including land administration, international transactions, and regulatory compliance. 

David would like to thank the IEL for funding his attendance at this year’s conference and also employees at River Bend for the opportunity to better understand the important work they are doing in the American energy industry.  He is also thankful to the Sturm College of Law for sponsoring his attendance.
The Denver Law Environmental and Natural Resources program strives to fund learning and advancement opportunities for our students. Keeping current on energy trends certainly helps students in their academic and employment pursuits.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

RJ Colwell, DU Law student, participates in panel discussing energy efficiency in the military

RJ Colwell, a J.D. candidate pursuing his Environmental and Natural Resources Law certificate, presented as a panelist at the University of Colorado Denver's April Sustainability Series discussion "Greening the Military."  RJ and his fellow panelists discussed the push towards energy efficiency and renewable energy by the world's largest energy consumer, the U.S. military. Under the National Defense Authorization Act, the military is required to meet at least 25% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2025.  RJ presented his findings in the context of the approaches adopted by various States' Army National Guard organizations in terms of renewable energy project development.  RJ's presentation stemmed from research conducted in support of the 'Renewable Energy: Project Development and Regulation' course offered through the Sturm College of Law's Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program.  

RJ enjoyed learning about the role energy efficiency plays as a necessary precursor for effective renewable energy from his fellow panelist, Brett Jackson, and the tremendous work on energy efficiency undertaken by the Colorado Army National Guard at its installations.
The Environmental and Natural Resources program applauds RJ's efforts towards bringing attention to the importance of renewables in the military and sharing his research with a wider audience.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Andrea Loguidice, LLM alumna, joins New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Originally from Island Park, New York, Ms. Andrea Loguidice received her bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in 2001 and her Juris Doctor from the Maurice A. Dean School of Law, Hofstra University in 2005.  In 2007, Andrea started her own law firm where she practiced corporate law, environmental compliance and transportation law.  She received an Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy LLM from DU Law in 2010.  Following graduation she secured a contract attorney position at a prominent natural resources law firm in Denver.  In 2011, Andrea returned to her law firm in Island Park, New York where she would continue a general practice until obtaining the job of her dreams.     

Last November, she joined the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Office of General Counsel in Albany as a Senior Attorney.  She is currently responsible for assisting in the development, pursuit, and negotiation of Natural Resource Damage (NRD) matters, cost recovery matters, and other enforcement matters for the Bureau of Remediation and Revitalization.  Andrea is the DEC attorney on several large NRD matters in New York State, including assessments at Newtown Creek, New Cassel Industrial Area, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Gowanus Canal.  

We are proud to see Andrea putting her LLM to great use. Congratulations on this fantastic job opportunity, Andrea!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Amy Wilson, Master of Resources Law student, receives sponsorship to attend Vail Global Energy Forum


Amy Wilson had the opportunity to represent our graduate program at the recent Vail Global Energy Forum held in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Amy had the following to say about her experience:

The speakers at the Forum included some of the top leaders in energy like the Governor of Colorado, professors from some of the most prestigious universities in the country and industry professionals. As in the classroom, it was interesting to be challenged and encouraged to look at natural resource and energy development from multiple perspectives. 

My favorite of the speakers, former Secretary of Labor George P. Shultz, provided insight on the need for leadership in the natural resources and energy arena. His thoughtful and genuine presentation made it clear what a special time it is to be a student and a practitioner. To be a part of a shift in culture and social thought is huge. People around the globe are truly recognizing the need for clean and alternative energy; they are beginning to recognize the latent effects of our actions on the world. Being a part of the DU Environmental and Natural Resource Law and Policy Program, I feel my peers and I will contribute to these issues in a meaningful and impactful way, we will be apart of the change.

 I truly value the experience and the opportunity to attend one of the premier energy events of the year. It is exciting to see so many great minds coming together to discuss our energy problems, and future and potential solutions.

I extend my thanks to the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law and the Sponsors and Donors of the Vail Global Energy Forum for funding and supporting my attendance.

For more information about the Forum, visit their page here.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Broomfield Fracking Ban Upheld in Court

Header from Our Broomfield website.
An active environmental movement, Our Broomfield, pushed for a five year ban to provide experts with the opportunity to study the effects of fracking. In November, Broomfield passed the fracking ban by a margin of 20 votes.

The issue was recently brought to court due to some confusion regarding new voter residency requirements. The legal challenge was brought by pro-fracking group, Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition, and It's Our Broomfield, Too.

Judge Chris Melonakis said the five year ban on fracking stands, even though the handling of some ballots were "sloppy." In his decision, he described that Broomfield acted in good faith when conducting the election, and that the results should not be tossed out.

Officials from Broomfield released a statement that they will be revisiting their election processes and updating them as needed. Broomfield City and County Manager Charles Ozaki said that Broomfield will now move forward with hiring a "qualified, independent consultant to perform a comprehensive third-party assessment of its election procedures."

The Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition has stated that it intends to pursue other means of preserving constitutional rights in Broomfield.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Professor Rock Pring Interviewed Regarding Environmental Courts in Hawaii

Professor Rock Pring
Hawaii is considering the benefits of establishing an environmental court. Advocates of the environmental court system feel that environmental crimes, such as pumping pool water into the ocean or dumping trash on the roadside, etc. would be better prosecuted in an environmental court.

"Nearly 500 jurisdictions around the world, including dozens of U.S. cities, maintain environmental courts and tribunals," said George Pring, a professor emeritus at Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver and the co-author with his wife, Kitty Pring, of "Greening Justice," a study of environmental courts.

Hawaii Senate Bill 632, which recently survived committee and will head to the senate floor, would create an environmental court within the state's circuit courts. If the bill passes, it would make Hawaii the second state to create a court specifically for dealing with environmental matters (the other state being Vermont).

Professor Pring stated, "We have a real proliferation of environmental courts around the world, and it's not just the rich countries doing it, by any measure. We watched them in Bangladesh, for heaven's sakes. Such courts work better in some jurisdictions than in others. When they do work, the special courts save money and get complex cases through the system faster."

For more information about the benefits and call for an environmental court in Hawaii, visit the following Associated Press article: Hawaii Considers Establishing an Environmental Court

Friday, February 21, 2014

Obama Administration Pushes for More Efficient Delivery Trucks

Safeway Delivery Truck
Photo Courtesy Paul Sullivan 
President Barack Obama spoke on Tuesday regarding climate change and linked it to a need for reduced fuel consumption. He stated that his administration intends to create stronger fuel-efficiency standards in March of 2016 for delivery trucks.

Heavy-duty, delivery trucks currently comprise just 4% of the vehicles on the nation's roadways, yet are responsible fore about 20% of the climate changing gases created by the transportation sector. President Obama sees this as an opportunity to enact meaningful climate change.

He outlined three powerful benefits/incentives for the reduced emission standards during his speach on Tuesday: 1) The U.S. will become less dependent on imported oil. 2) The reduced shipping costs will translate into savings for consumers. 3) The reduced emissions will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, which is blamed for global warming.

Safeway has set itself as a leader on the issue; spending money on cleaner, more efficient trucks.The company has also improved truck aerodynamics and is using better tires and trailers. Safeway has long been committed to operating its business in the most environmentally responsible and fuel efficient manner.

The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency are currently developing new standards for the 2018 vehicle model year. The new, March 2016 emission standards would exist in addition to the yearly model standards.