RESEARCH ASSISTANCE – WIND ENERGY LAW & POLICY I am looking for a law student with strong legal research skills to prepare background memoranda with supporting case-law, statutes and peer-reviewed articles on topics related to the development of wind energy in the United States. This research will provide background information for a book that I am writing on wind energy’s emergence as a major transformational force in meeting U.S. energy needs. The book, to be published by Beacon Press, will be targeted at general readers but it will touch upon key law and policy issues in a few of its chapters. The research assistant will focus on three primary areas: (1) Case-law and statutes addressing noise, flicker effect, and visual aesthetics of wind turbines. Key questions to be addressed: What legal theories are used to support claims brought by individual and/or organizational plaintiffs regarding the impacts of wind farms? To what degree have these claims been validated by judicial rulings to date, and what legal analysis is available to shed light on likely future outcomes of litigation in these areas? (2) Laws and regulations governing the siting and permitting of wind farms in selected states (Kansas, Wyoming, Massachusetts, possibly others). This analysis will explore the growing tension between state and county/local authorities in regulating wind energy development. Here in Massachusetts, the Patrick Administration’s Wind Siting Reform Act will be a focus for analysis, and clear, concise analysis of the steps in the ongoing battle over siting and permitting the Cape Wind project will be sought. In Wyoming, attention will be given to the current and possibly expanded scope of authority of the Industrial Siting Council and the Public Service Commission. In Kansas, the possible role of state law in setting minimum guidelines for zoned and unzoned counties will be explored, and background documentation on key cases (e.g. Zimmerman v. Wabaunsee County Commissioners) will be collected. (3) Case-law and statutes addressing the challenge of increasing regional and inter- regional connectivity in electric power transmission. This analysis will look at notable decisions, including the Fourth Circuit’s ruling (Feb. 2009) in Piedmont Environmental Council v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, recently ruled on by the 4th Circuit in Feb. 2009. Also to be examined is the current scope of FERC oversight over transmission development as well as proposals in pending federal energy legislation that address the need to move transmission policy significantly beyond the realm of state- by-state rulemaking. Estimated time: 10 hours a week over 8 weeks, at $12.50 per hour. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to Philip Warburg at email@example.com.
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