Students tackle green law issues
George Murr, a lawyer and partner of Murr Yanochik liability company, said that e-discovery, energy and environment — the “three E’s,” as he called it — are “hot issues in the courts today.”
Murr spoke to a group of law students at the Bates Law Building during the Energy and Environmental Law Society’s first meeting of the semester this Tuesday. He discussed the issues of petroleum and natural gas drilling and its effect on the environment.
In his presentation, he said the US is in the middle of a 21st century gold rush motivated by the discovery of gas found deep underground. Murr touched on the topic of hydraulic fracturing, a form of drilling in which creating fractures in the ground releases subterranean petroleum and natural gas.
“Hydraulic fracturing is beginning to change the landscape of the energy industry,” Murr said.
However, fracturing has been causing conflict in the environmental arena. Recently, municipalities have engaged in efforts to ban drilling. The municipalities’ and Environmental Protection Agency’s concern is contamination in the air and ground water. Toxins from drilling operations include arsenic, copper and vanadium, which can potentially lead to kidney failure, fertility problems and cancer.
The meeting was the first attempt EELS made to engage law students in the issues of environmental and energy law. EELS officers also discuss professional opportunities and members take part in community service through research and environmental cleanup activities.