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Catching the Wave

April 04, 2008

Ocean wave technology could eventually power as much as 10 percent of the world’s electrical demand, but it is an alternative energy source that comes with little-understood legal, economic, and environmental impacts.

In early October, Lewis & Clark Law School hosted a free symposium featuring national legal experts on wave technology. The event was timed to occur the day before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s public hearing on licensing pilot projects along Oregon’s coast. It was designed to provide accessible information to reporters and others without a legal background.

Speakers included Phil Moeller, commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Thomas Jensen J.D. ‘83 of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, a Washington, D.C., law firm; Oregon congressional leaders (via videoconference); and Allen Alley, deputy chief of staff for Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski.

“This is an important source of renewable power,” says Janet Neuman, professor of law and codirector of the law school’s Natural Resources Law Institute. “We hope our program will contribute to the development of a sensible legal and policy framework for ocean wave energy.”

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