Wirikuta: Birthplace of the Sun and the Corporate Moral Imperative?

By: James Hudson, Managing Editor Deep within the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range of central western Mexico—an arid region of the vast country’s interior—a ferocious, grass-roots battle to preserve the ancestral home of the Huichol Indians from the illegal silver mining operations of North American companies rages with abandon.[1] The Huichol people have for centuries… Continue reading Wirikuta: Birthplace of the Sun and the Corporate Moral Imperative?

Encouraging Private Sector Participation in the Development of Renewably-Powered Micro-Grids in Eastern Africa

By: Emma Polgar, Associate  The rural electrification rate in Kenya is a mere four percent, and in Tanzania it is only three percent.[1] Increasing energy access for rural regions across Eastern African is thus critical for the region’s much needed economic and social development.[2] The question is how to best supply reliable, affordable power to… Continue reading Encouraging Private Sector Participation in the Development of Renewably-Powered Micro-Grids in Eastern Africa

The Future “Jellification” Of Our Oceans?

By: Patrick Rodefeld, Associate Autumn replaces the warm, long days of summer with gradually cooler, shorter ones. It is worth reflecting upon the summer period we leave behind, remembering the activities available to us during the summer months. Many Americans chose to spend portions of this June, July, and August at or near a beach… Continue reading The Future “Jellification” Of Our Oceans?

Domestic Nuclear Power Plant Licensing and Foreign Ownership and Control: Heating Up Cold War Policies

By: Lindsay Hall, Notes Editor Congress passed the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA) during the Cold War political climate, and it reflects an ideology of American nuclear supremacy and fear of nuclear catastrophe at the hands of foreign entities. In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster,[1] and in light of the tensions over… Continue reading Domestic Nuclear Power Plant Licensing and Foreign Ownership and Control: Heating Up Cold War Policies

The Continuing Delay In Nuclear Power Plant Licensing

By: Peter Glaser, Associate On October 1st, 2013, the government of the United States of America ordered 800,000 “non-essential” federal employees to stay home.[1] Though the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) was able to remain open for a period of time, about a week later it, too, ran out of money.[2] As a consequence of the… Continue reading The Continuing Delay In Nuclear Power Plant Licensing

About Fracking Time: An EPA Report Anticipated in 2014 May Catalyze Federal Legislation

By: Natalie Walet, Associate  The benefits of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, are generally accepted: the drastic increase in supply of natural gas has kept the price of gas low and improved the nation’s energy security.[1] Its costs, on the other hand, particularly on human health and the environment, remain highly contested.[2] It is… Continue reading About Fracking Time: An EPA Report Anticipated in 2014 May Catalyze Federal Legislation

The Real Nuclear Option

By: Barrett Hunter, Editor-in-Chief Until recently, nuclear power was expected to be an increasingly large part of the United States’ energy portfolio. Near-disasters, however, like Three Mile Island and full-scale disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima have shown that there are significant potential costs to nuclear energy that might outweigh its promise of relatively clean, cheap… Continue reading The Real Nuclear Option

Changes in the Regulation of Foreign Ownership of Nuclear Plants

By: Sydney Barron, Associate The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requested comments on their interpretation of foreign ownership, control, or domination given increasing globalization of energy corporations.[1] There is disagreement, however, about what changes the NRC can and should make.[2] Section 103(d) of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) states that “[n]o license may be issued to… Continue reading Changes in the Regulation of Foreign Ownership of Nuclear Plants

NRC’s Newest Proposed WCD: Enough to Survive Challenges like New York v. NRC?

By: Allison In, Associate In 1979, the D.C. Circuit ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) to generically determine whether a permanent offsite disposal solution for spent nuclear fuel (“SNF”) would be available at the expiration of two nuclear reactors’ operating licenses, which had been scheduled for 2007 and 2009, and, if not, whether SNF could… Continue reading NRC’s Newest Proposed WCD: Enough to Survive Challenges like New York v. NRC?

Environmental Valuation: Past Due

By: Ian Kaplan, Associate Two recent events should bring attention to the unsolved problem of environmental valuation—whether, and how, we put a price tag on environmental damage.[1] On October 9, 2013, in Sierra Club v. Bostick, the 10th Circuit denied an injunction to block ongoing construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.[2] The Army Corps of… Continue reading Environmental Valuation: Past Due