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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

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Approved CLE Pending


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?

Panel: Climate change threatens energy infrastructure – law and policy

Victor Flatt UHLC (moderator); Hannah Wiseman [remote appearance] (Penn State Law School and Distinguished Visitor, UHLC), Pablo Pinto (UH Hobby School of Public Affairs)

11:30 – 11:45 AM

Break and lunch set up

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

Lunch and Keynote, Kristin 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?

Panel – Where are we now with privacy and cybersecurity

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 – 3:30 PM

Deans General Counsel Panel

Dean Leonard Baynes (moderator)

Gregory Brown, General Counsel, Evolution Well Services

David Cooke, General Counsel, Arm Energy Holdings

Andrew Kosta, General Counsel, Atlantic Methanol

Deonne Cunningham Nauls, General Counsel, GlidePath Power Solutions

Paula Narcise, General Counsel, Surface Production Systems Counsel, Cameron, a Schlumberger Company

Linda Primrose, General Counsel, Mitsui Corporation

Bo Shi, General Counsel, Crescent Energy (contingent)

3:30 – 3:45 PM


3:45 – 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.

Panel: Changes in law and the supply chain

Elizabeth Trujillo (UHLC), Moving Supply Chains from China to Mexico

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