The University of Houston Law Center's Environment Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center, in collaboration with the University of Houston's Graduate Certificate in Global Energy, Development, and Sustainability (GEDS) and the University of the West Indies, are co-sponsoring a conference on Caribbean Energy Policy, Societies, and Law. The conference will be held in Trinidad and Tobago on October 4, 2018. Abstracts are due August 15, 2018. To see the full call for abstracts and details about submitting a paper, click here.
After several workshops and research areas, the University of Houston Law Center's Environment Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center and the University of North Carolina School of Law's Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics (CE3) Center have released two white papers discussing federal limitations on state pricing of distributed energy and also current state distributed energy pricing policies. To download the papers, click here.
On June 16, 2018 Professor Victor Flatt presented his paper: "Environmental Markets: Modeling Commodification" at the Society for Environmental Law and Economics (SELE), which took place in Chicago, IL, and was hosted by the Notre Dame Law School. This paper, written with Professor Michael Pappas of the University of Maryland Law School, examines specific costs associated with trying to create markets in goods that traditionally are not commodified. In particular, the paper focuses on costs previously under-examined, the costs (potentially irreversible ones) that come from a market trying to reach equilibrium. The paper builds on Professor Flatt's work in environmental markets, which he teaches at the UH Law Center and the UH Bauer Business School.
Professor Hudson's talk, "Land Development: The Most Wicked Environmental Problem of Our Time," presented on June 19, can be viewed here: (https://livestream.com/vermontlawschool/hottopics2018/videos/176540863).
Listen to Professor Warren's interview here
On May 4, energy and environment experts from academia, business and politics examined potential problems and solutions to present and future energy and environmental issues at the Second North American Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Conference at Partnership Tower in downtown Houston.
Co-sponsors for the two-day titled, "North American Energy and Environmental Policy in Transition" included Blank Rome, LLP, and the University of Calgary Faculty of Law.
"From NAFTA, to climate policy, pipelines to LNG, the electric grid to Mexican energy privatization, there has never been a more exciting and yet precipitous time in the energy integration of North America, and the continuing need for a healthy and climate-stabilized environment," said Professor Victor Flatt, faculty director of the Law Center's Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center. Read more about the conference here.
On April 13, 2018 Professor Blake Hudson presented his research, "The Most Wicked Environmental Problem: Land Development," at Texas A&M University School of Law's Dispute Resolution Conference: "National Disasters, Stakeholder Engagement, and Dispute Resolution." Hudson discussed how land development is a more "wicked" problem (that is, a problem whose solution is tremendously complex) than many other environmental issues that tend to receive more attention. Hudson highlighted Houston's approval of new development in currently undeveloped floodplains even after hurricane Harvey as an example of the difficulty in tackling environmental problems through land use planning (read more on that issue here). Hudson is currently working on an article on the topic.
LLM student Natalie Nowiski has published her article, "Rising Above the Storm: Climate Risk Disclosure and Its Current and Future Relevance to the Energy Sector," in Volume 39 of the Energy Bar Association's Energy Law Journal. In the article, Nowiski analyses the increased pressure that energy companies will face to provide "enhanced climate risk disclosure in their financial reporting." She recommends strategies energy companies can utilize to respond to these pressures and argues that it is in the long-term interest of energy companies to "participate in the formulation of fair, realistic and viable industry standards for climate risk disclosure."
You can download and read her article here
Professor Gina S. Warren presented her research on the negative environmental and social impacts of large sporting events (ranging on a spectrum from events like the Boston Marathon to the World Cup and summer Olympics) at the International Conference on Sustainable Cities, hosted by Fordham, Columbia, and NYU. Watch for Professor Warren's forthcoming article on the topic, entitled, "Big Sports Events Have Big Environmental and Social Consequences."
Energy industry professionals throughout North America will gather in Houston Thursday and Friday for the Second Annual North American Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Conference, titled "North American Energy and Environmental Policy in Transition."
The event is sponsored by the Law Center's Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center, Blank Rome LLP, and the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. The two-day event will be held at the Greater Houston Partnership's Partnership Tower at 701 Avenida de las Americas, Suite 900.
The conference is designed to address the energy, environmental, natural resources legal issues that span Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The conference will address issues surrounding NAFTA renegotiation or abandonment, diverging climate change policies, the acceleration of renewables on the North American grids, the privatization of Mexico's energy sector and what these changes mean for the energy business, the economy generally, and the environment in each of these countries.
Find more information on the schedule here
Student Sarah Luther has placed her article, "From Un-Coordinated to Efficient: A Proposal for Regulating GE Products in a Way That Meets the Needs of Consumers, Producers, and Innovators," in the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. The article assesses the efficacy of the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, established under President Reagan and meant to be a comprehensive federal regulatory policy for ensuring the safety of biotechnology research and products. Luther argues that the implementation of the framework has not kept up with evolving technologies, and that the Food and Drug Administration dominates its implementation, with little input from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. This, Luther argues, creates administrative inefficiencies, unwarranted costs on the regulated community, and potential deterrence for innovation. The article will be published in the fall issue of VJEL.
An article written by EENR Professor Blake Hudson on the failure of critics of federal environmental regulation to offer alternative solutions has been cited as one of the top environmental law and policy articles of the year.
Hudson presented his article, "Relative Administrability, Conservatives, and Environmental Regulatory Reform," March 12 as part of a joint symposium hosted by Vanderbilt Law School and the Environmental Law Institute of Washington, D.C.
Originally published in the "Florida Law Review" in 2016, the article was one of five selected for publication in Vanderbilt's "Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review" after law students reviewed more than 800 articles printed in 2016-2017 and received feedback from ELPAR's advisory board. Read more about Hudson's article here.
EENR, the Duke Energy Institute, the UH Energy Institute, and the Duke University Nicholas Institute hosted a 2 day workshop on the Federal Pricing of Carbon, focusing (in part) on whether a cap-and-trade or a taxation approach is preferable. The workshop featured a keynote by Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, and a presentation of the Climate Leadership Council tax proposal by Pam Giblin, CLC Senior Policy Advisor. The workshop also featured a roundtable discussion with academics and policy makers analyzing carbon pricing options.
Catherine McKenna, Canada's minister of environment and climate change, toured the Lone Star State last week, and met at the University of Houston with representatives from the UH Energy Initiative, the Hurricane Resilience Consortium leaders, and the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (EENR) Center. Minister McKenna is the Canadian environment and climate representative on the NAFTA re-negotiation team.
Minister McKenna discussed methods to finance climate change adaptation with Professor and EENR Director Victor B. Flatt.
Pictured: Nicole Nowisky, Canadian EENR LLM student. Minister McKenna, Professor Victor Flatt, and Professor Julian Cardenas
EENR's Sarah Morath was recently elected to the Board of the Citizens' Environmental Coalition, based out of Houston. The CEC's mission is to "foster dialogue, education, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston/Gulf Coast region." You can learn more about the CEC here.
On Wednesday, December 6, the EENR Center will host a workshop on the Mexico Energy Regulatory Commission. Speakers will discuss permitting and related issues regarding LPG, electricity, refined products, natural gas, and more. Read more about the Houston workshop here. Register here.
On Tuesday, November 14, EENR Faculty Director Victor B. Flatt, EENR Fellow Julian Cardenas, and three UHLC law students met energy secretaries from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, who were in Houston to discuss energy trade related issues. Before they toured the UH Energy's superconductivity research lab, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell discussed UH programs with a select group of faculty and students. The ministers were keenly interested in UHLC and the University of Calgary's joint law degree, and the connections between UHLC and the environmental and energy reforms in Mexico.
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— Cʜɪ.-Kᴇɴᴛ L. Rᴇᴠ. (@ChiKentLRev) November 8, 2017