Monthly Archives: April 2017

Eyeing 2048: Antarctic Treaty System’s Mining Ban

By Sean Coburn — Antarctica is one of the last true wildernesses, an area yet unblemished by significant human intervention.  It is considered “the epitome of remoteness and inaccessibility.”  However, Russia, China, India, Iran, and Turkey are all currently building or expanding bases in Antarctica.  This is in addition to a host of operational bases already established by many countries including Finland, Argentina, the United States, Chile, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.  While various reasons, mainly scientific, are put forth for this flurry of activity, Antarctica presents a unique bounty for states—a potential vast reserve of untapped resources.  “The newer players are stepping into what they view as a treasure house of resources,” Anne-Marie Brady, a scholar at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury who specializes in Antarctic politics, told the New York Times.  In the past, Antarctica’s mineral wealth was seen as too distant and expensive to extract, but the […]

Jurisdictional Challenges to New York’s Clean Energy Standard

Zhou Chen – On August 1, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission issued an Order Adopting a Clean Energy Standard, the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy mandate in the state’s history.  The CES Order adopts the goal that fifty percent of New York’s electricity is to be generated by renewable sources by 2030 as part of a strategy to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by forty percent by 2030.  As expected, fossil fuel generation interests mounted challenges to the CES Order, touting concerns over, among other issues, eligibility standards, procedural deficiencies, and jurisdictional competency.  On December 15, 2016, the PSC issued an Order on Petitions for Rehearing that summarily dismissed these concerns.  This Field Report focuses on the challenge to the PSC’s jurisdictional competency in enacting the CES Order in Coalition for Competitive Electricity v. Zibelman.