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7th Annual
North American Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Conference,

Increasing Risks to Energy Security:
Taking on political, climatic, and criminal risks to North American Energy Supply

John M. O’Quinn Law Building, University of Houston Law Center, April 27, 2023

Signing up to this event/webinar provides consent to receive emails from the UHLC Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (EENR) Center and event co-sponsors.

Approved for 6.5 hours of Texas MCLE

Keynote Speaker

"Resilience in a World of Multifaceted Threats"

Kristen Eichensehr

Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law
Director, National Security Law Center
University of Virginia Law School


CLE Materials


8:45 – 9:15 AM

Registration and light breakfast

9:15 – 9:30 AM

Susan Bickley (Blank Rome)
Victor B. Flatt (UHLC EENR Center)

9:30 – 10:45 AM

Geo-political risks

From Russia to Iran to Venezuela to Iraq, we are seeing political decisions, war, and violence impact the ability to secure energy supplies. Germany planned its future energy transition around the ability to get cheap Russian Natural gas as baseload bridge fuel, curtailing both coal and nuclear based upon this expectation.

In Mexico, Brazil, and other energy producing countries, complex decisions involving sovereignty, protectionism, and local politics have impacted the investment environment for securing energy supplies and even stalled the energy transition to renewables.

And around the world countries are facing increasing litigation risks to the provision and transport of fossil fuels, and for past impacts.

What is the right path to take to navigate these increasing geopolitical risks? Our panel will explore risk mitigation strategies and options?

Gina Warren (UHLC) moderator (remote)

Julian Cardenas (UHLC) – geo-political energy risks in Latin America and the global south

Anthony Rapa, Blank Rome

Kristin Van de Biezenbos, University of Calgary Faculty of Laws – geo-political issues in the US/Canada energy relationship.

Miranda Leppla, Director, Case Western Reserve University School of Law Burke Center Environmental Law Clinic – The First Energy Scandal and geo-political spillover risks form state corruption to electricity markets

10:45 – 11:30 AM

Impacts of the Changing Climate on Electricity and other energy supplies

From wildfires to weather, the changing climate is impacting how and where electricity can be generated and transmitted. Our thermal power plants were designed to be able to operate with water of a certain volume and temperature and those parameters are being exceeded more frequently. Similarly, unusual weather will affect equipment (including for renewables) that were designed for a more static climate. And climate exceedances limit how power can be transmitted to avoid sparking disasters. Winter Storm Uri forces us to examine proper energy delivery and design law and policy to mitigate these impacts. What are some of those policies and what are the pluses and drawbacks of these policy changes?

Tracy Hester. UHLC (moderator);

Hannah Wiseman [remote appearance] (Penn State Law School and Distinguished Visitor, UHLC)

Pablo Pinto (UH Hobby School of Public Affairs)

Victor Flatt (UHLC discussant)

11:30 – 11:45 AM

Break and lunch set up

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

Resilience in a World of Multifaceted Threats

Lunch and Keynote, Kristen Eichensehr, [remote appearance]
University of Virginia Law School, Head of National Security Law Center (

12:45 – 2:15 PM

Privacy and Cyber-Security Risks

Our grid, major private energy producers, and government regulators have been subject to intensifying cyber-attacks which can disrupt energy supply and hold governments, companies, and the public hostage.  Confidential Consumer information is also at risk.  What can be done to successfully prepare for and battle these assaults?

Nikolas Guggenberger UHLC, moderator and panel

Tiffany Li, University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law

Alan Rozenshtein, University of Minnesota Law School [remote appearance]

Andrew Wills, Chief of Staff and senior advisor. Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response U.S. Department of Energy, CESER Leadership | Department of Energy

Alex Nisenbaum, Blank Rome

2:15 – 3:45 PM

Deans General Counsel Panel

Dean Leonard Baynes (moderator)

Gregory Brown, General Counsel, Evolution Well Services

David Cooke, General Counsel, Arm Energy Holdings

Andrew Costa, General Counsel, Atlantic Methanol

Deonne Cunningham Nauls, General Counsel, GlidePath Power Solutions, LLC

Paula M. Narcisse, General Counsel, Worldwide Oilfield Machine

Linda D. Primrose, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Legal Department, Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.)

3:45 – 4:00 PM


4:00 – 5:00 PM

Risks from supply chain disruptions

From the Trump trade disputes with China, through the disruptions caused by COVID and now the war in Ukraine, it is clear that being able to rely on a frictionless supply chain with complete free trade is a myth.  How is this to be mitigated?  Must supply chains relocate to “friendlier” and “safer” countries?  Should we abandon the “just in time” theory for the older “supplies on hand?”  What would be the costs of making these changes?  What other impacts, both positive and negative, could such a change have?  What if supply chain protection looks like old fashioned protectionism, as the EU has complained about the Inflation Reduction Act.

Elizabeth Trujillo (UHLC) presenter and moderator, Moving Supply Chains from Asia to North America

Keith LeTourneau, Blank Rome

5:00 – 5:15 PM

Wrap-up and closing



Co-Sponsored By:


The Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center
The UH Law Center’s Initiative on Global Law and Policy for the Americas
UH Energy
The UH Hobby School of Public Policy
The Gutierrez Energy Management Institute (GEMI) at the UH Bauer College of Business


Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law