Journal Editor, Don C Smith outlines the unexpected turn in US climate change policy as a group of leading American Republicans call for the establishment of a tax on carbon emissions. Smith considers the ‘carbon dividends plan’ and the political and media reactions to it. He goes on to review public attitudes to climate change and the data that suggests the public is beginning to take climate change very seriously.
This article focuses on how hydraulic fracturing activities have generated, and are still generating, a spectrum of regulatory responses. Stewart considers these regulatory inconsistencies as due to many variables. In Part I, the authors provide an overview of the emerging science on the connections between hydraulic fracturing, wastewater injection and induced seismicity. Part II maps the responses of state-level regulators in the US to this issue. Part III outlines environmental governance theories that help with risks energy systems create, and Part IV evaluates US state-level responses to theories and practises.
This article examines law and policy initiatives to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in an international context. The authors consider the efforts of several jurisdictions and conclude that price support is essential as long as electric vehicles are more expensive than internal combustion vehicles. They also examine how the impact of fuel efficiency standards is greater than is sometimes appreciated, alongside other measures. They conclude that electric vehicle policy may diverge at key points from transport and climate change policy, and that care is needed to design laws and measures that will be effective from those different policy points of view, while simultaneously promoting social equity.
This article analyses Alberta’s royalty debate and its myopic approach to the royalty system. The paper appraises the Alberta royalty review from a socio-legal standpoint, and claims that the review reveals the contexts and lessons that could displace the myopia of the debate. This in turn might leads to a holistic understanding of the economic interests of the government and private sector. The author considers how resource development works, the nature of royalty and the changing landscape of the resource sector, and puts forward considerations for guiding the royalty system. Overall, the paper presents broader lessons useful to resource economies.
The need for a ‘social licence’ is now frequently asserted by opponents of mineral resource development as an inviolable principle, which many people think has its roots within civil society. In fact, the concept originated within the mining industry in the late 1990s, as companies came to better understand their challenges in managing the political and social risks around their projects. In his commentary, Jim Cooney describes when and why he introduced the concept of ‘social licence’ into the discourse around mining and communities and a World Bank conference in March 1997.
This commentary seeks to stimulate discussions on understanding how the interactions between property rights and human rights in natural resources development affect, and are affected by, concerns for the host communities, the environment and the world at large. The commentary concludes that the concept of ‘social licence to operate’ will, in the near future, usher in a property rights regime in NRD in which the host community will be the ultimate determinant of who does what, where and how.
Sergey S Seliverstov, a partner in Sokolov, Maslov and Partners, considers Russian electricity and energy investment law by Anatole Boute ‘the best treatise on Russian electricity law published so far – either in Russian or in foreign language’, and that its research methodology can ‘be used for the purposes of new research with respect to electricity sector regulation in other jurisdictions’.