Online Articles

The Energy Treaty 2.0 - What Does It Mean For The European Green New Deal

October 13, 2020 by Cullen T. Bryant Energy Natural Resources Renewable Energy

By Volodymyr Ponomarov, Staff Contributor

The European Green New Deal is an environmental plan aimed at making Europe carbon-neutral by 2050.[1] In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the European Union (“EU”) initiated the revision of a number of international agreements. Among one of those agreements is the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”). In July and September, 2020, the European Commission and EU Member States had two rounds of negotiations at the Energy Charter Conference dedicated to the modernization of the ECT.[2] The call for the ECT’s reform was, among other things, prompted by the ECT’s purported “serious threat to Europe’s climate neutrality target and more broadly to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.”[3] 

The ECT’s modernization is important because this is the first targeted attempt to reshape the unique, legally-binding, energy-related multilateral treaty and marks a step towards compliance with the Paris Climate Accord. Additionally, modernization of the ECT provisions is relevant to U.S. companies investing in both the renewable and fossil fuel energy sectors of the ECT Member States. At this point, it is unclear how the two rounds of negotiations went and whether the actual changes are coming in the nearest future. The third round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in December 2020. This post will take a closer look at the ECT’s history, goals, and environmental standards. Furthermore, this post will address novel critiques as to its incompatibility with the Paris Climate Accord.

Don’t Let this Crisis Go to Waste

May 3, 2020 by Camilla Brandfield-Harvey Climate change Energy Natural Resources Renewable Energy

By Robert Patton, Managing Editor

The coronavirus pandemic provides a unique opportunity to address global climate change.

A National Problem with No National Solution

February 26, 2020 by Sara Douki Energy Fossil Fuels Natural Resources Oil and Gas Renewable Energy State and Local Water

Gabriel Dowdell, Staff Contributor
Should the EPA regulate fracking more heavily? Currently, states that benefit financially from fracking regulate the industry.

Silencing Children in the Face of Climate Catastrophe

February 10, 2020 by Trevor Herden Air Climate change Fossil Fuels Natural Resources

By Molly Green, Staff Contributor.

Do children have a right to a government that protects their interest in a sustainable climate? Will Courts give them a chance to voice the urgency of their climate-based claims?

Power to the People: Community Choice Aggregation in California

January 16, 2020 by Dani Brooks Energy Natural Resources Renewable Energy

By Julia Sweitzer, Staff Contributor

California has seen a recent surge in local municipalities establishing Community Choice Aggregation programs to choose their electricity portfolios. But how do these programs work and are they effective?

Forest Fires: A Concern that Warrants More Attention

October 26, 2019 by Sara Douki Air Climate change Endangered Species International Natural Resources Wildlife

By Austin Holtshouser, Staff Contributor
With the consequences of forest fires being felt on both local and global levels, more needs to be done to mitigate these events – domestic government action is essential.

Should Solar Advocates Reconsider Net Metering?

October 21, 2019 by Dani Brooks Energy Fossil Fuels Natural Resources Renewable Energy

By Nick Gill, Staff Contributor

Although net metering has incentivized residential customers to switch from fossil fuel to solar energy, its pricing model confuses customers and shifts costs, making it untenable in the long-term.

China's Green Desert

March 28, 2019 by mjb443 Endangered Species International Natural Resources Public Lands Wildlife

By Timothy Park, staff contributor.

China has been one of the largest contributors to reforestation efforts through its Grain for Green Program. However, have all of their efforts actually helped the environment? One fatal flaw in the program is severely limiting the programs impact on the environment.

Is drilling “essential”?: Oil and gas leasing and permitting in the 2019 shutdown

March 1, 2019 by Rebecca Strauss Energy Fossil Fuels Natural Resources

By Sara Divett, Staff Contributor

The Trump administration issued oil and gas drilling permits during the most recent shutdown without approval or appropriations by Congress and without following procedures for public participation. Can the administration really do this? If not, how do environmentalists prevent this from happening in future shutdowns?