Jonathan B. Wilson

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Jonathan Wilson is an Atlanta attorney with more than 19 years of experience guiding growing private and public companies.  He currently serves as the outside general counsel of several companies and is the former general counsel of (NASDAQ: WWWW) and EasyLink Services (NASDAQ: ESIC).  He is also the founding chair of the Renewable Energy Committee of the American Bar Association's Public Utility Section.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

NSF Releases Report on Sustainable Energy
The National Science Foundation has released its report, Building a Sustainable Energy Future (April 10, 200) and is seeking comments by May 2009 here

Perhaps not surprisingly, the report says that sustainability will be driven by the need for energy independence, reductions in carbon emissions and innovation in green technologies and new energy sources. 
9:17 am edt 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Power from Space
San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric has petitioned the California Public Utility Commission for approval of a long-term power purchase agreement with Solaren, a start-up solary power company that plans to generate electricity in space.

Solaren's plans, which will require substantial regulatory reviews and approvals, involve positioning solar panels in space and then beaming the power back to earth.

PG&E's power purchase agreement commits PG&E to purchase electricity at the same wholesale rates paid to other alternative energy producers.  PG&E did not commit any funds to the development of the project.
8:29 am edt 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Algae Power
The City of Venice is planning a new biomass power station that will run on algae.  The facility will cost $264 million and take two years to construct. 
8:30 pm edt 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Can Wind Power Replace Coal?
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was recently quoted to say that wind power has the capacity to replace the U.S. consumption of coal.  He said:

"The idea that wind energy has the potential to replace most of our coal-burning power today is a very real possibility. . . It is not technology that is pie-in-the sky; it is here and now."

In 2006 U.S. production of energy via wind power increased 27% and the U.S.'s production of wind power accounted for roughly 16% of all wind power produced worldwide, according to a 2007 report by the U.S. Department of Energy.  A 2008 report by the DOE showed a 46% increase from 2007 to 2008, and yet, by March of 2009, wind in combination with other renewable energy sources (solar, biomass and geothermal) accounts for only 3% of U.S. energy production. 

While the American Relief and Recovery Act of 2009 provides expanded and extended tax incentives to renewable energy (including a production tax credit of $0.021/kWh for qualified wind energy facilities) the wind has a long way to go before it can overtake coal.
8:41 am edt 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Georgia Legislature Adopts Automatic Stay of Discovery Rule
The Georgia legislature recently adopted a bill (H.B. 29) that, in addition to allowing for electronic service of pleadings via email, imposes an automatic stay of discovery in civil suits where the defendant files a motion to dismiss at or before the time when an answer must be filed. 

Governor Perdue has already commented favorably on the bill, so its passage seems likely. 

The logic of the bill is that it allows the defendant to avoid (or at least delay) the expense of discovery until the court has the opportunity to rule on the preliminary motion.  The rationale is that defendants who expect to be dismissed at the preliminary motion stage should be entitled to avoid the expense of discovery.

The reform would not, however, do anything to reduce the expense of litigation for those cases where the plaintiff's pleadings are logically valid but ultimately non-merit-worthy.  A preliminary motion does not address the ultimate merits of the case, but merely asks whether the plaintiff's complaint "states a claim on which relief may be granted." 

While nearly half of all complaints are dismissed through motions for summary judgment, very few are dismissed on a motion to dismiss of the kind contemplated in H.B. 29. 
8:29 am edt 

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Jonathan B. Wilson is an Atlanta attorney at the law firm of Taylor English Duma LLP.  Jonathan B. Wilson provides legal advice to investors, companies and business executives involving corporate law, securities law, SEC matters, intellectual property, website and Internet legal issues, start-ups, limited liability companies, partnerships, 1934 Act matters, outsourcing, strategic alliance agreements, contracts, and other matters of importance to growing private and publicly-traded companies.