Hot Topics 2016

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​​Hot Topics Videos 2016


Hot Topics:​ Utility 2.0: Making the Transition to a Sustainable and Distributed Energy Future

Thursday, June 2, 2016
Steve Letendre, Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Green Mountain College


The electric power industry is in the midst of revolutionary change being driven by disruptive technologies and the policy imperative to address climate change. Drawing from two decades of experience in the energy sector, Dr. Steven​ Letendre will explore the technology and policy trends that are shaping the future of the electric power industry. The presentation will also address the regulatory changes that are needed to promote a more sustainable and distributed electric power system that maximizes the benefits to all stakeholders.


Hot Topics: State of the Vermont Transmission Grid with High Levels of Renewable Resources

Tuesday, June 7, 2016​
Chris Root, Chief Operating Officer, Vermont Electric Power Company


This talk discusses the changes taking place on the transmission grid as the level of renewables increases and the use of storage devices is being explored. Conventional power grid thinking is changing and some evolving changes are highlighted.


Hot Topics: Restoring Power to Hawai'i: (Missed) Opportunities for Energy Justice on the Road to 100% Renewable Energy

Thursday, June 9, 2016
Shalanda Baker, Environmental Law Program Faculty Advisor, Associate Professor of Law, University of Hawai'i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law


Hawai'i's abundant renewable energy resources and its aggressive 100% renewable portfolio standard make the state ground zero for the renewable energy transition. The world is watching. Will the Aloha State lead the way to a just energy future, or replicate systemic vulnerability? This lecture explores this question and examines the key regulatory and policy issues facing Hawai'i's electricity sector: net energy metering, the transition to public power, and community solar.


​Hot Topics: From Science to Law - Transboundary Ground Water Resources and Emerging International Law

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Gabriel Eckstein, Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law; Director, International Water Law Project


The number of international agreements addressing transboundary aquifers around the world can be counted on one hand. Yet, scientific research now suggests that billions of people rely on these shared ground water resources, many of whom have no other source of water available. International law for transboundary aquifers is in a nascent evolutionary stage. Using the Mexico-US boarder as a case study, this presentation will discuss how international legal norms are being developed in response to emerging scientific knowledge.


Hot Topics: Disaggregating Preemption in Energy Law

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Hannah Wiseman, Attorneys' Title Professor, Florida State University College of Law


This talk addresses the growing tendency of states to preempt local control over the regulation of oil and gas and renewable energy development. It argues that legislatures and judges considering energy preemption questions should recognize that there are numerous components of a broad regulatory area such as oil and gas regulation, including land use, technical and operational, and financial regulations, among others, and that different levels of government might best control these different regulatory components.​


Hot Topics: Climate Change and Indian Media

Thursday, June 30, 2016
​Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times


Developing economies​ such as India are paying a heavy price for the rapid urbanization witnessed in the past three decades. With little awareness on the possible implications of climate change on human life, the issue is rarely a point of discussion among the parliamentarians as well as the media. Though the media plays a vital role in forming public opinion, it has failed when it comes to environmental degradation. The corporate nature of media outlets has only made it difficult for reporters to write on gross environmental violations which are being done in the name of development. Does changing the course of a river for the sake of a resort mean development?

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