This year’s J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Conference finished strong at GW Law on Thursday with a lively concluding dialogue. Centered on a big picture discussion of where we are headed in the realm of sustainable energy development, this event was a culmination of the conference’s eight previous panels. Over the course of two days,… Continue reading Closing Thoughts from the 2013 Shapiro Conference: The Way Forward to a Sustainable Energy Future
Environmental issues are not just environmental issues anymore. Increasingly, the human population has come to recognize that working to protect the world from global climate change is not important merely because we think that that two-degree-Celsius change might make it a little more necessary to don a pair of shorts and show off legs we… Continue reading Protecting the Environment: It’s Not Just about Saving the Whales
North Carolina has become the central front in a national offensive aimed at rolling back renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), the state laws that require utilities to obtain a certain percentage of the electricity they distribute from technologies that use renewable fuel sources like our rivers, woods, and wind. While RPS adversaries argue that these standards… Continue reading Repealing Renewable Portfolio Standards: A Raw Deal for North Carolina
On May 16, 2012, a twenty-year old tuna-dolphin dispute culminated with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body (AB) ruling that the U.S’s dolphin safe labeling program discriminates against Mexican tuna imports, violating the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). As a threshold matter, Mexico claimed that the labeling regime was a mandatory… Continue reading The 2012 WTO’s Appellate Body Tuna-Dolphin Decision: The End of a Saga, the Beginning of a Stronger Dolphin-Safe Label Regime?
The University of Texas (“UT”) Energy Institute (“Energy Institute”) released a report in February 2012 purporting to have found no definitive link between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and groundwater contamination. Instead, the report blamed supposed instances of contamination on faulty well construction or potential surface spills of wastewater produced during shale gas drilling. Such a report… Continue reading Frackademia? Does Industry Have a Role to Play in University Studies of Hydraulic Fracturing?
Nuclear power has been a controversial topic that has both fascinated and scared us at the same time. While nuclear energy is a significant source of power in this country and it is more efficient and “clean” than fossil fuels, it also poses substantial drawbacks. In addition to issues surrounding nuclear waste, the potentially devastating… Continue reading The Second Circuit Upholds Public Process in Nuclear Plant Safety
In May 2012, the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior (DOI) to stop the development of a large wind farm on public land in California. The tribe expressed their concerns to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the months leading up to the… Continue reading Indian Tribes Sue Department of Interior For Lack of Proper Consultation for Wind Farm Project
Unlike other natural resources, such as fossil fuels or crops, there is no substitute for water. Despite this crucial fact, the world’s water supply remains under assault from overuse and pollution. Even as environmental topics such as climate change remain mired in political struggle, water scarcity issues are absent from American political dialogue in many… Continue reading Forever Unclean? Wastewater is a Viable Solution to Water Quality and Quantity Issues in the US
On Aug. 21, 2012, a D.C. Circuit panel decided EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, which vacated the EPA’s 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“CSAPR”). The rule, formulated after a 2008 D.C. Circuit decision remanded a prior incarnation of the rule, sought to reduce pollution emitted from upwind states that impairs air quality in… Continue reading D.C. Circuit Vacates Cross State Air Pollution Rule: Will En Banc Review Restore Judicial Restraint as Well as Life-Saving Rule?
In May of 2012, the World Trade Organization (WTO) dealt a blow to consumer choice in the United States: it declared that the “dolphin-safe tuna” labels lining the shelves of grocery stores across the country are illegal because they unfairly restrict trade. The WTO appellate decision was in response to a complaint by Mexico that… Continue reading Dolphin-Safe Tuna Isn’t Safe Anymore: WTO Rules That US Labeling Regulations for Dolphin-Safe Tuna Are Illegal