The Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant located just thirty-four miles from New York City in Buchanan, New York, has recently been the subject of intense debate. On March 1, 2012, the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School hosted a forum on the future of Indian Point. Paul Gallay of Hudson Riverkeeper and Ashok Gupta of Natural Resources Defense Council spoke in opposition to Indian Point. Arthur "Jerry" Kremer of the Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York) and John Kelly, the former Director of Licensing at Indian Point, spoke in support of relicensing the plant. Michael Gerrard, the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, moderated the panel discussion at the forum. This Report reviews and analyzes the claims made during the forum, highlighting the conclusion that Indian Point presents serious risks that must be addressed before the plant is relicensed.
October 25, 2011, the Ninth Circuit handed down the latest decision in the Sarei litigation. The British and Australian governments jointly submitted an Amicus Brief, which focuses
on whether local remedies in the state in which the alleged wrongs occurred
must be exhausted before a U.S. court can exercise jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Statute. This report argues that
the position of the British and Australian governments has significant merit as
a matter of international law and as a question of policy.
Natural gas leaseholders and industry have sued at least two municipalities,
challenging recently enacted zoning ordinances that remove natural gas
extraction as a permissible land use-in effect banning fracking within
municipal borders. State courts are now poised to decide whether
localities in New York have the power to ban fracking locally, or if ordinances
banning fracking are preempted by state law. The question presented is whether the Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Law (OGSM) preempts a
generally applicable zoning ordinance that bans natural gas extraction.
This Field Report discusses the factual and legal context in which this
question arises, and argues that the OGSM does not preempt a general zoning ban
on natural gas extraction.
The world continues to step into space, but the rise of a commercial space tourism industry threatens our planet's
climate. The most recent research
suggests that even a conservative estimate of the number of rocket launches
possible in the coming years and decades will drastically affect the earth's
climate. Neither space law nor current environmental law
respond sufficiently to the environmental threat posed by the nacent space tourism industry. This Field Report discusses the threat and the United States' opportunity
to problem-solve at the industry's birth, before the damage is done.