In ancient times, philosophers identified four elements—earth, water, air and fire—as the fundamental components of the natural world. Although modern science and our understanding of the periodic table of elements have replaced this concept, those four classical elements serve as a useful metaphor to categorize the infrastructure that is essential for economic growth and development.
- Earth—the wise planning, division, and utilization of real estate in the development of property;
- Water—the often overlooked value of our lakes and rivers, and the allocation, pricing, and quality of our drinking water and wastewater treatment resources;
- Air—and more specifically the wireless communications that are transmitted through the air from our personal devices to and from antennas; and
- Fire—energy, from both renewable and conventional sources, that is essential to our modern way of life.
The infrastructure that supports these Elements for Growth is the topic (and name) of this blog, written by the attorneys at Smith Moore Leatherwood. The four inter-locking circles in the blog’s logo represent these four elements and four parts of our law firm’s infrastructure practice—our representation of land owners and developers, of wireless communications providers, of the energy industry, and of water/wastewater facilities and their operators.
Flipping a light switch, lighting a natural gas stove, placing a call, turning on a water faucet—we recognize the operational complexity and legal context behind each of these seemingly simple, everyday acts. So many of us who rely upon these services take for granted that, when we need them, they are available, dependable, and (generally) affordable. That is not true, however, for many others around the world. These services help drive our economy, create jobs, improve efficiency, provide convenience, and maintain our standard of living.
Smith Moore Leatherwood understands the laws that apply to these services, and we regularly practice in the forums where those laws are enacted, interpreted, applied, and enforced and that allow the necessary infrastructure for these services to be constructed and operated. We also understand the larger policy context that can advance the economic development of our region, or hold it back.
This blog will allow us to share with you some of our observations and insights as we keep abreast of trends and news in this ever-changing arena. We hope you find it timely, relevant, and informative, and we welcome your reactions and input.