A Chasm in Solar Energy?

Competition is heating up in the solar industry.  On October 19, 2011, a group of companies forming the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) filed petitions in the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), asking the government to impose duties on cheap solar cells imported from China.[1]  Within weeks, a… Continue reading A Chasm in Solar Energy?

E-Waste Regulation Under the RCRA

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), of the 370 million units of TVs, cell phones, and computer products that became ready for end-of-life management in 2007,  only eighteen percent was collected for recycling, while the rest was disposed of primarily in landfills.[1]  Although electronic waste (e-waste) currently accounts for less than ten percent of… Continue reading E-Waste Regulation Under the RCRA

One Fund to Rule Them All – Consolidating Adaptation Finance in the Cancun Green Climate Fund

In August 2010, floodwaters swamped one fifth of Pakistan.[1]  Twenty million people fled their homes[2] to escape rivers swollen by torrential monsoon rains.[3]  Pakistan’s lead climate negotiator speculated that this perfect storm, which produced twelve feet of rainfall within one week (compared to a norm of three feet per year), demonstrated the devastating effects of… Continue reading One Fund to Rule Them All – Consolidating Adaptation Finance in the Cancun Green Climate Fund

Reconciling Protection of Wildlife with Wind Energy Development

December 8, 2011 marks the two-year anniversary of the Federal District Court in the District of Maryland’s decision to put a $300 million wind energy project on hold due to the possible presence of Indiana bats, a rare bat species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).[1] The court’s order halted construction on… Continue reading Reconciling Protection of Wildlife with Wind Energy Development

The President, a Pipeline, and a Tainted Environmental Impact Statement

In 2008, TransCanada, a Canadian fossil-fuel-based energy provider,[1] sought permission from the U.S. Department of State to build and operate a 1,700 mile crude oil pipeline stretching from Alberta, Canada, to Oklahoma and Texas.[2]  This pipeline, the Keystone XL Project (“the Project”), will transport an estimated 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day when completed.[3] … Continue reading The President, a Pipeline, and a Tainted Environmental Impact Statement

Smart Grid Challenges

Enabling smart grid technology has been touted as an important step to improving the United States’ energy grid. “Smart grid” systems use computer-based remote control and automation to improve energy efficiency for both utilities and customers.[1] Smart grid technology allows consumers to view the cost of energy throughout the day, and use energy when prices… Continue reading Smart Grid Challenges

The International Climate Change Tribunal: A Property Rights Framework, per U.S. Law

This Note outlines an international regime to compensate landowners for property damage due to the impacts of climate change, loosely modeled on U.S. Takings Clause jurisprudence.  As no appropriate forum currently exists, this Note proposes the creation of an International Climate Change Tribunal (ICCT), a judicial organ to be established by the U.N. Security Council. … Continue reading The International Climate Change Tribunal: A Property Rights Framework, per U.S. Law

The Battle Between Zoning Laws and Green Buildings

When Former Vice President Al Gore wanted to install solar panels on the roof of his home in Belle Meade, Tennessee, a local zoning ordinance frustrated his plan. The ordinance prohibited the placement of energy-generating equipment above ground-level.[1] This, of course, prevented the installation of solar panels on homeowners’ roofs[2]. New ordinances allowing solar panels… Continue reading The Battle Between Zoning Laws and Green Buildings

Fukushima, Yucca Mountain, and the Budget Crisis

The same nuclear waste disposal systems that failed at Fukushima, spent-fuel pools, currently hold over eighty-five percent of America’s nuclear waste.  In addition to being vulnerable to natural disasters, this storage system is also an easy target for terrorists. While others have cited Fukushima and the dangers of these nuclear waste pools as a reason… Continue reading Fukushima, Yucca Mountain, and the Budget Crisis

The Case for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicles are becoming a common sight in many parts of the country.  More exciting, though less discussed, is the emergence of the hybrid vehicle’s cousin: the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (“PHEV”).  PHEVs are similar to traditional hybrids in that they combine an electric motor with a gasoline engine, but they also feature a… Continue reading The Case for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles