Author Archive

Fans of Wind Energy: Legislating a Better Aesthetic Siting Regime to Encourage Clean Energy Growth

Patrick Leary

The energy sector accounts for 35% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helping to drive the warming of Earth’s atmosphere.[1] This percentage will be reduced in the future as society embraces plentiful renewable energy sources.[2] This Note is based on the premise that increasing the ease of wind project development provides a global good by reducing GHG emissions.[3] However, one of the major barriers to installing wind capacity is concern over aesthetics.[4] Wind farms have a wider aesthetic footprint than traditional fuel-based power sources, being typically installed in senic areas.[5] Thus, opposition and challenges to siting decisions for wind energy are frequent and often based on aesthetic grounds.[6]

Dairy I Ask How to Improve the American Milk Industry by Breaking it Up Through the Antitrust Law

Serena Tang

The green grass, the happy cows, and the rolling hills of the classic American dairy farm are no longer a reality. The idyllic rural farm of the American dream is gone. In its place is the twentieth century consolidated American dairy industry.[1] Big dairy industry players like Dean Foods Co. (Dean) and The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) are accused of creating this reality by pricing out smaller farms to make their empires.[2] These two giants are turning the American dairy industry into their personal monopolies and monopsonies.[3]

Seismic Testing to Expand Offshore Drilling and its Effect on Marine Mammals

Dayna Spero

Noise pollution is a serious threat to marine mammals and has become increasingly prevalent with modern technology.[1] Some of the lead causes of noise pollution in the oceans include: commercial shipping, sonar, and air guns.[2] President Donald Trump has proposed allowing five companies to use air guns in seismic testing as a method to expand drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.[3] These five companies filed requests with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to authorize the incidental take of marine mammals that may occur as a result of these seismic surveys.[4]

Strategies for Sustainable Management of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Simonne Valcour

Living along the bottom of the seabed under immense pressure, with volatile temperatures, toxic minerals, and devoid of sunlight, is the ecosystem of deep-sea hydrothermal vents.[1] These vents exist where tectonic plates spread apart and magma rises.[2] They are created when seawater circulates through figures in the ocean’s crust and becomes super-heated by magma.[3] After the mineral-rich waters reemerge, the minerals solidify to form vents.[4] These vents are the homes of biodiverse ecosystems and valuable mineral deposits.[5] Thus, it is a target for scientific research, the biotechnology industry, and mining companies.[6]

Pleas Use Voluntariness “Magic Words” Test—The Vermont Decision that Misinterpreted Criminal Rule 11

Kaelyn Barbour

Imagine a case where a defendant is charged with crimes spanning three different counties—involving 16 counts of burglary, 9 counts of grand larceny, and 8 counts of petit larceny.[1] The defendant agrees to plead guilty and, because of this, the prosecutor drops the nine counts of grand larceny and eight counts of petit larceny—both the prosecution and the defendant feel this effect.[2] At the plea hearing, the defendant signs a waiver of his rights and gives a full and complete confession to police.[3] Later, after serving five years of his sentence, the defendant successfully challenges the sufficiency of the plea colloquy.[4] The court withdraws the guilty plea, but the prosecutor dropped the original charges based on the defendant’s plea of guilty.[5] That is the precise case at issue here.

The Reverse Side of the Coin: Looking at Bank Markazi v. Peterson through the Lens of Checks and Balances

Joseph Strain

Early in the morning of Sunday, October 23, 1983, two vehicles moved undetected through the streets of Beirut, Lebanon.[1] At 6:22 a.m., one of these vehicles, a yellow Mercedes truck brimming with 12,000 pounds of explosives, crashed into a barrack filled with sleeping United States Marine Corps peace keepers.[2] When the truck reached the center of the barrack, the driver detonated the vehicle.[3] The explosion that resulted was the largest non-nuclear explosion on the face of the Earth up until that point.[4] The devastating blast killed 241 United States Military personnel.[5] Minutes later, the second vehicle exploded, damaging the headquarters of the French peacekeeping contingent, killing 58.[6] The first explosion was the deadliest terror attack against United States citizens prior to September 11, 2001.[7] Few observers could have predicted that the victims and their families’ search for compensation would begin a ripple effect, leading some legal theorists to question the fundamental doctrines of the United States Constitution.[8]

Modifications to the America COMPETES Act Can Improve the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy’s Ability to Fuel Cleantech Innovation and Secure Funding

Suraya Williams

In 2007, Congress and the Bush Administration authorized an agency within the Department of Energy under the America COMPETES Act.[1] The bipartisan goal of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA–E) was to “encourage American innovation” through research and development within the energy sector.[2] Forming ARPA-E was a strong push for “cleaner, more secure, [and] more affordable energy”.[3] In 2009, the Obama Administration provided ARPA-E with its first major funding through stimulus legislation.[4] The next year, the Obama Administration put billions of dollars into research at the Department of Energy, ARPA-E, and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.[5] The number of clean energy innovations was at a steady incline for about five years since the Obama Administration’s substantial funding .[6]

Don’t Drop the Bomb: The Argument for a Stringent Approach to Nuclear Plant Liability Transfers

Angela Sicker

Governmental interest in cleaning up a polluted site is not a new topic. Congress, in implementing statutes like the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), “makes the polluter pay” while encouraging quick and cost-effective cleanups.[1] There are many benefits to remediating a contaminated site.[2] The redevelopment of brownfield sites provides a great example. Studies show that brownfield remediation can lead to increases in tax revenue for local governments due to the increase in property value near cleanup sites.[3] Environmental liability transfers (ELCs) provide a mechanism for private industries to clean up hundreds of contaminated sites and have done so for the past two decades.[4] An environmental liability transfer is “a transaction in which certain environmental liabilities and the risks of certain contingent environmental liabilities are transferred from one party to another.”[5]

Permitting CAFOS: Challenges the CAFO Permitting Scheme Will Face in Light of Climate Change

Amy Stevens

What impact does our food have on water? As the United States’ food and agriculture systems progress, farmers are shifting towards factory farming.[1] These factory farms, officially labeled Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), often pollute water with nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, pathogens, and sediments.[2] Nutrient pollution is harmful to local ecosystems.[3] Nutrients are necessary for plant and animal growth, but in high concentrations, they can have the opposite effect.[4] Nitrogen and phosphorus are the most notorious nutrients, and they are found in animal waste.[5] But waste is not always manure. Poultry CAFO waste is called poultry litter, and it is a mix of manure, bedding, feathers, and waste feed.[6] Excess nutrient levels in streams can cause algae blooms, reducing the dissolved oxygen in the water (which fish need to survive), leading to less wildlife and more dead zones.[7] Nitrogen can also cause human health problems if it gets into drinking water, including several types of cancer[8] and blue baby syndrome (a deadly condition where blood cannot effectively transport oxygen through the body causing blue around the hands, mouth, and feet).[9]

Ocean Acidification and the Law: Protecting Natural Resources from the Bottom Up

Jaime Neary

The interactions between Earth’s oceans and land bodies make up one of the oldest natural cycles on the planet.[1] Unfortunately, events on land have had a disproportionately negative effect on the oceans since the evolution of humans.[2] One example that demonstrates this interaction is ocean acidification. Over the last 200 years alone, there has been a 30% increase in ocean acidity.[3] This is the greatest increase in acidity since the Early Eocene Epoch,[4] a time best known for high carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, no ice, and surface temperatures 9–14°C higher than today.[5]

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