Philmont

UHLC logo

Tracy Hester
Emerging Technologies &
Environmental Law
LAW 5397
Spring 2011


 

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES &
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW:
WHAT'S NEW

This page will provide changes to class reading assignments or guest speakers.  It will also relay important updates on any legal developments in environmental law that might interest you.

Week of April 25, 2011

1. The Houston Renewable Energy Network, an informal networking group that includes most of the renewable energy developers and counsel in Houston, will have a breakfast meeting on April 28::

Please join Houston Renewable Energy Network (HREN) for our breakfast meeting on Thursday, April 28, 2011

Part 1
Renewable Energy Deployment Around the Globe and in the US - who gets it and why?
Speaker: Mike Hansen with Ignite Solar
Part 2
The Ins and Outs of Houston's Largest Solar Project
Speakers: Rich Haut and Liz Price with HARC and Pete Mathey with Ignite Solar
Time

7:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Presentation
Location
Baker Botts L.L.P.
One Shell Plaza
910 Louisiana
32nd Floor
Conference Room 32 C/D
Houston, Texas 77002

Week of April 8, 2011

1. Houston Bar Association Environmental Luncheon, April 13, at the Petroleum Club. This lunch meeting is one of the best ways to meet in-house and outside environmental and energy attorneys in Houston. Unfortunately, this lunch will conflict with our class - but you can still attend the initial greeting session and first part of lunch before going to class.

TO:                  HBA ENVIRONMENTAL SECTION MEMBERS
FROM:            John Gray, Secretary
RE:                  Section Luncheon Meeting
DATE:           Wednesday, April 13, 2011
TIME:             11:30 am – 1:00 pm
PLACE:           Petroleum Club, 800 Bell Street, 43rd Floor, Houston, Texas

PANELISTS:     Kristie Tice, Snehal Patel, and Robert Claude
                                                          Moderated by James Kean
                            
TOPIC:          Ethical Considerations in Environmental Practice

Please join us for an important discussion of the various ethical considerations that environmental practitioners must face in their daily practices from the in-house, law firm, and governmental perspectives.  This panel will discuss emerging issues in environmental ethics including the Ethics Opinion on 604-1 on interactions with agency officials. 

Panelists Include:

Kristie M. Tice is Counsel with Vinson & Elkins LLP, where she has practiced environmental law since 1997.  She has a broad-based practice and represents clients on environmental issues related to project development, land use, and business transactions and in environmental and toxic tort litigation.  She has been named a “Texas Rising Star” in environmental/land use law by Texas Monthly.  She graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University and received her law degree, with High Honors, from The University of Texas School of Law.  She currently serves as a member of the board of the Environmental Law Section of the Houston Bar Association.

Snehal R. Patel oversees environmental regulatory matters for Harris County and Harris County Flood Control District.  In her over seven years at Harris County Attorney's Office, she rose from assistant county attorney where she focused on civil environmental enforcement to chief of Environmental Regulatory Section where she counsels and coordinates with precincts and various county departments on regulatory compliance and permitting in the areas of water quality/TMDLs, water rights, air quality, industrial, municipal, and hazardous waste, ESA, remediation, and superfund. On behalf of the county, Snehal also focuses on "big picture" projects such as the cleanup of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site in coordination with the EPA and various stakeholders.  Prior to joining the County Attorney’s Office, Ms. Patel was an attorney with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for over 6 years in the practice areas of air quality, water quality/water rights, industrial and hazardous waste, and enforcement.  Snehal has a law degree and a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.

Robert Claude is Associate General Counsel of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. headquartered in Houston, Texas.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary in Virginia and his law degree from the National Law Center of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Claude has been admitted to practice in Texas and the District of Columbia and has been a member of the legal department of CenterPoint and its predecessors for over 24 years specializing in environmental and energy regulation, credit and bankruptcy issues and general corporate practice.  He is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas. In addition, he also serves as a board member of the Environmental Law Section of the Houston Bar Association and is the current president of the Texas Utility Lawyers.

The meeting will be held at the Petroleum Club, 800 Bell Street.  Networking and registration is from 11:30 am to 12:00.  Lunch will begin promptly at noon and the presentation starting at 12:15 p.m.  Valet parking is available at a cost of $7.00.

The cost for this CLE program is as follows:

Advance Registration (please RSVP as soon as possible but no later than noon on Tuesday, April 12):

$30.00             HBA Environmental Section Members
$35.00             Non-Members and Guests
$20.00             Government, Non-Profit and Academic Employees
$15.00             Law Students

Note:  Those who register in advance and do not show will be invoiced for the walk-in price (below) if payment was not received in advance.

Late Registration (after 12:00 noon Tuesday, April 12), Walk-Ins and No-Shows:

$40.00             Members (all categories) and Non-Members

Please RSVP to Stephanie Morris, smorris@lockelord.com (or call 713-226-1146) and send a check payable to the HBA to Stephanie Morris, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, 2800 Chase Tower, 600 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002.

Nearest MetroRail Station: Bell

2. ABA Renewable Energy Committee luncheon, April 20 at Fulbright & Jaworski. This month's luncheon topic is Wave Energy, which certainly fits in with our current discussion of advanced energy technologies.

cid:853355216@17112009-37F7

cid:853355216@17112009-37FE

Wave Energy: Devices, Deployment, Project Finance, and Policies Tied to an Emerging Domestic Industry

cid:853355216@17112009-3805

cid:853355216@17112009-380C

Join Us Live for
the ABA/ACORE
Renewable Energy 
 Web Seminar and  Teleconference
  
REGISTER HERE
To participate at our Houston location, register online with host firm discount code TX1011HF.
To participate via web seminar, register online with the general registration code TX1011GR.
Hosted By:
 Paul Sarahan, Counsel 
 Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
  1301 McKinney
Houston, TX 77010-3095

Questions: 
Bianca Bourgeois  
bbourgeois@fulbright.com 
  713-651-5264  
cid:853355216@17112009-3813

Fulbright & Jaworski is proud to be the host firm in Houston and pleased to offer complimentary registration to our clients and friends  who join us in our Houston location for the web seminar and complimentary lunch. To participate from any location via web seminar, there is a $40 participation fee.  
Registration instructions are provided below. Note that the seminar will start promptly at 11:00 a.m.
April 20th Program Description 
Wave energy, though in its infancy in the U.S. as an industry, is one of the largest and most broadly accessible marine resources, with the potential to supply enough power for the entire world.  This installment of the 2010-2011 ABA-ACORE Webinar Series will explore basic technologies being used for wave energy devices, as well as current experimental developments in the wave industry today.  It will also examine how new federal initiatives, such as the Smart from the Start program, together with the newly-reorganized Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, may facilitate and assist in overcoming the domestic deployment challenges this alternative energy currently faces.

A number of technological, environmental, regulatory, and funding issues are all associated with wave energy projects.  For this reason, our panelists will provide a “wave energy 101” which will focus on these matters, discuss where wave energy technology tends to be focused in the U.S. presently, and address adaptive management issues, coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) issues, and policies impacting the wave energy landscape today.  Our panelists will also focus on project finance issues, including the types of studies, reports, and the like that need to be in place before equity and bank financing may be obtained.  

This program is designed for experts and beginners in the wave energy industry.  We hope you will join us for this informative session.

Q&A Submission:
Q&A both on the teleconference and live at the host firm sites will follow the speakers’ presentations.  Please e-mail questions to abaquesitons@acore.org.

Call Times:
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Central

Teleconference Co-Chairs:
Robert F. Riley, Partner, Williams Mullen PC, Washington, D.C.
Michael W. Wise, McDonald Hopkins, LLC

Moderators:
Kimberly E. Diamond, Lowenstein Sandler PC
Michael W. Wise, McDonald Hopkins, LLC

Speakers:
Jason Busch, Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET), Portland, OR
Cherise Oram, Stoel Rives LLP, Seattle, WA
Thomas McNulty, GL Garrad Hassan, Portland, OR


Registration
To register online, click here.  
To participate at our Houston location, register online with host firm discount code TX1011HF.
To participate via web seminar, register online with the general registration code TX1011GR.
If you choose to participate in the program via web seminar, ABA/ACORE will send the dial-in/log-in instructions to you once you have completed the online registration process. 
For directions to our Houston office, or if you have any questions, contact Bianca Bourgeois at bbourgeois@fulbright.com.  
Continuing Legal Education Credits Available for Participants
In order to obtain Texas CLE credits, attendees will need to submit a certificate of completion to the Texas bar association for self study credit. Upon request, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. will provide attendees with a certificate of completion. 

New York State CLE credits are now available through the Pace Law School Center for Continuing Legal Education. The administrative cost for CLE credits is $30.00. A list of states who have reciprocity with the New York State Bar can be viewed here.

 

 

cid:853355216@17112009-381A

cid:853355216@17112009-3821

3. Houston Renewable Energy Network, breakfast meeting on April 28. This informal group provides opportunities to meet with in-house and outside counsel, deal-makers, and entrepeneurs who work on renewable energy projects in Houston. The next breakfast meeting will include a presentation on utility-scale solar projects. You can find more information about the date, time and location at http://houstonrenewables.org/2011/04/renewable-energy-global-prospectslocal-impact-with-ignite-solar-and-harc/ .

Week of March 6, 2011

1.   March 3: Saving the Bay documentary screening and Galveston Bay restoration panel.  (Sorry for the late notice)

Please join GBF and the Houston Green Scene for a preview screening of Saving the Bay, an award winning documentary exploring the history of San Francisco Bay narrated by Robert Redford. Producer Ron Blatman will be here to provide introductory remarks and the one hour screening will be followed by a panel of local experts discussing restoration efforts in Galveston Bay. The panel will be moderated by GBF President Bob Stokes and will include: Helen Drummond, Director, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Lisa Gonzalez, Houston Advanced Research Center; Lance Robinson, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; Jamie Schubert, Upper Coast Ecosystem Assessment Team Leader, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; and Woody Woodrow, United States Fish and Wildlife Services - Coastal Program. More information about the documentary, which will air on PBS on April 20th, can be found on the Saving the Bay website. See the full press release.

Please RSVP to edemmeck@galvbay.org. Light appetizers will be served, and beer and wine will be available for purchase. Admission is free.

Thursday, March 3, 2011
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Brown Education Center Auditorium at the Houston Zoo
Enter at Gate 5 ( map )
6200 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030

2.  March 8:  Lecture by Dr. David Archer on Climate Change at Rice University

Public Lecture with Dr. David Archer. The Center for the Study of Environment and Society, the Shell Center for Sustainability and Green Team America are hosting a public lecture called The Long Thaw: How humans are changing the next 100,000 years of Earth's climate. The presenter is Dr. David Archer of the University of Chicago, Department of Geophysical Sciences. The lecture will take place on March 8th at 7:30pm at the McMurtry Auditorium at Duncan Hall of Rice University.

3.  March 9:  Presentation by Dr. Jane Goodall at the Progressive Forum

Title: Jane Goodall at the Progressive Forum
Location: Wortham Center, Cullen Theater
Description: Jane Goodall is one of the world’s most famous scientists whose work forever changed our understanding of what it means to be a human. She is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the summer when she ventured into what is now Gombe National Park in Tanzania to study chimpanzee behavior, with the release of her latest book, Jane Goodall: 50 Years at Gombe. She has expanded her work into a global mission to empower people to make a difference for all living things. In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute continues the Gombe research, protects chimpanzees and their habitats, and builds community-centered conservation programs in Africa. JGI’s Roots and Shoots, a humanitarian youth network, has groups in over 120 countries.
Start Time: 7:30 pm
More information at www.progressiveforum.org

4.  March 10 - Sierra Club Monthly Meeting:  Lessons from Smeltertown - Public Health, Lead Contamination and Collective Memory on the US/Mexico Border

     In 1970, officials investigating air pollution from the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) in El Paso, Texas were alarmed to find that over one hundred children in the neighboring working class barrio of Smeltertown had seriously elevated levels of lead in their bloodstreams.  UH Deptartment of History Assistant Professor Monica Perales will speak on the complex responses to the lead crisis: the interconnections between the border city's historic health policies, postwar urban renewal efforts, the legacy of the smelting industry, and a community's collective memory in forming responses to the environmental crisis.  This is the subject of her 2010 book Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community.

     Join us for a brief social period on March 10 at 7:00 p.m.   Our program begins at 7:30. Pecore Hall of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1805 West Alabama (at the corner of West Alabama and Woodhead).   Houston, TX. Ample parking is available behind the church.

Week of March 2, 2011

1. Houston Bar Association Environmental Section luncheon - Climate Change Public Nuisance Litigation (March 9, 2011). The guest speaker for this lunch is Rick Faulk, the head of Gardere's litigation department and its environmental group. He's a national expert on public nuisance environmental litigation over climate change, lead paint and other large tort actions. With the U.S. Supreme Court's imminent decision on the Connecticut v. American Electric Power case, this topic will likely get high-level attention during the next few months. More information below:

TO:                  HBA ENVIRONMENTAL SECTION MEMBERS
FROM:            John Gray, Secretary
RE:                  Section Luncheon Meeting
DATE:           Wednesday, March 9, 2011
TIME:             11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Location:         Petroleum Club, 800 Bell Street, 43rd Floor, Houston, Texas

SPEAKER:        Richard O. Faulk

TOPIC:          Can the Common Law be Used to Control Climate Change:  Supreme Court Update Connecticut v. AEP

Please join us for an important discussion about the use of public nuisance cases against large-scale greenhouse gas emitters, focusing on the merits of their claims and potential role in curbing greenhouse gasses.  This discussion will focus on AEP v. Connecticut; a case that will be heard by the United States Supreme Court on April 18, 2011, and should be familiar to most environmental law practitioners.  Rick Faulk chairs Gardere Wynne Sewell’s Litigation Department and the Firm’s Environmental Practice Group.  He also leads Gardere’s Climate Change Task Force and has published numerous articles on the topics of climate change and public nuisance.  In 2009, Mr. Faulk received the William H. Burton Award for Legal Achievement at the Library of Congress for his article Alchemy in the Courtroom?  The Transmutation of Public Nuisance Litigation, 2007 Mich. St. L. Rev. 941 (2007).  Mr. Faulk has submitted amicus briefs in both Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil and Connecticut v. AEP on behalf of a number of trade organizations.

In his presentation, Mr. Faulk will update the section about the positions being taken by the states as plaintiffs, and industry and the Obama Administration as defendants.  The primary issues before the court is whether the doctrines of Standing and Political Question as they apply to this global warming nuisance suit creates a constitutional conflict.  The Supreme Court’s decision in this case will likely determine whether these doctrines will bar future climate change complaints or open the doors to a new wave of related litigation. 

The meeting will be held at the Petroleum Club, 800 Bell Street.  Networking and registration is from 11:30 am to 12:00.  Lunch will begin promptly at noon and the presentation starting at 12:15 p.m.  Valet parking is available at a cost of $7.00.

The cost for this CLE program is as follows:

Advance Registration (please RSVP as soon as possible but no later than noon on Tuesday, March 8):

$30.00             HBA Environmental Section Members
$35.00             Non-Members and Guests
$20.00             Government, Non-Profit and Academic Employees
$15.00             Law Students

Note:  Those who register in advance and do not show will be invoiced for the walk-in price (below) if payment was not received in advance.

Late Registration (after 12:00 noon Tuesday, March 8), Walk-Ins and No-Shows:

$40.00             Members (all categories) and Non-Members

Please RSVP to Stephanie Morris, smorris@lockelord.com (or call 713-226-1146) and send a check payable to the HBA to Stephanie Morris, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, 2800 Chase Tower, 600 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002.

Nearest MetroRail Station: Bell

 

February 28, 2011

1. Special screening - Haynesville: A Nation's Hunt for an Energy Future (March 2, 2011). The UH Energy Management and Policy Group will host a special presentation of the film Haynesville: A Nation's Hunt for an Energy Future. This documentary film has been a leading force in the energy discussion surrounding shale gas production in the U.S. It follows the story of three people caught up in the discovery of the Haynesville Shale, and examines the larger implications for our energy future.

See the film trailer and synopsis here: http://www.haynesvillemovie.com/

When: Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 -- 6:30pm Screening 8:00pm Q&A and panel discussion

Where: Stubblefield Auditorium in Cemo Hall, (directly behind Bauer School of Business, driving directions attached)

Format: After the screening there will be a Q&A with director Gregory Kallenberg, and a discussion led by panelists J. Lanier Yeates, Jacqueline Weaver and Joseph Pratt.

Please see attached invitation for additional details and driections to Stubblefield Auditorium in Cemo Hall.

http://www.law.uh.edu/dailylex/spring2011/haynesville.pdf

 

February 23, 2011

Here is information on environmental legal events happening next week.  Please let me know if you’re interested in any of them, and I’d be glad to help arrange admission (if needed).

1.  Air & Waste Management Association meeting, March 1.  This group includes environmental professionals, consultants and attorneys, and it tends to focus on nuts-and-bolts environmental compliance issues.  This month’s lunch topic – the new Boiler MACT, which will impose tight air toxic emission limits on furnaces and boilers – is very complex, but enormously important to most large industrial facilities in the United States. 

A&WMA Gulf Coast Chapter
Meeting Announcement
Next Luncheon: Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Attached you will find the announcement for the next A&WMA Gulf Coast Chapter (GCC) Meeting.  Our presentation will be on EPA’s new Boiler MACT.  The final rule is scheduled to be released on February 21st so this presentation should be very timely and interesting.  Below are the details on the meeting.

Speaker:        Michael Budin, Manager, Environmental and Energy Services at RMT, Inc.

Topic:             Review of EPA's new Industrial Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Rule

Time:              11:00 a.m. --  Sign-In and Networking
11:30 a.m.  -- Lunch with presentation immediately following

Location:       Brady’s Landing Restaurant
8505 Cypress St., Houston, TX  77012
Located on the Houston Ship Channel
(713) 928-9921

RSVP:            Members should log-in first using the following website to receive A&WMA GCC member discounts:
http://www.awma-gcc.org/member/member.php

Please reserve on-line using the following website:
http://www.awma-gcc.org/member/online_reservation.php
RSVP No later than 12 noon on Monday, February 28, 2011.

Please contact me if you have any questions.  We are looking for to seeing you on Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth

2.  Instituto Argentino del Petroleo y del Gas Houston meeting, March 3.  IAPG is one of the leading groups in Houston for Latin American and Spanish energy companies with operations in the United States.  This meeting will discuss some South American shale gas plays, which might interest everyone who is writing a paper on shale gas or unconventional energy technologies.

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

IAPG Houston - Upcoming Event

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/gallery/43329/Logo-IAPGH-185x51.gif

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

http://app.expressemailmarketing.com/images/spacer.gif

spacer (1K)

spacer (1K)

spacer (1K)

spacer (1K)

Thursday, March 3, 2011 - Luncheon Meeting

Fueling the shale gas and unconventional resources 
transformation in Argentina - Neuquen New Horizons Plan

spacer (1K)

Guest Speakers:
 • Rubén Etcheverry - President, Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén S.A.

Less than two years ago the Province of Neuquen started with a process aimed at pursuing high volumes of gas and oil from unconventional reservoirs. Mr. Echeverry  will be presenting the results from the highly successful early rounds and offering a preview of the upcoming New Horizons Plan round. Do not miss the opportunity to interact with the CEO and other top officers at the provincial oil company.


ONLINE REGISTRATION     


EVENT SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Location:
Renaissance Houston Hotel - 6 Greenway Plaza East, Houston, Texas 77046 
Registration opens: 11:30 a.m.
Program : 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
_____________

Presentation Abstract
Driven by a new understanding of the size and availability of shale resources, it was less than two years ago that the Province of Neuquén decided to take the first steps to promote its production.
The Province along with its oil company "Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén S.A.", started with a process designed to achieve aparadigm shift inNeuquén Basin aimed at pursuing high volumes of gas and oil from unconventional reservoirs in the medium term. This process included encouraging and attracting companies into investing their capital and leading technologies.
Confident that Neuquén will become in the short term the third centre of tight and shale gas activity in the world, the Province launched -with better-than-expected resultsthe first three bidding rounds as part of the "New Horizons Plan". The purpose of this plan was to encourage association among organizations willing to invest in unconventional high-risk exploration.
Here in Houston, before the worldwide oil community and close to the launch of the New Horizons Plan 4th Bid Round, the Province of Neuquén shows its first roundss characteristics and results, as well as its high expectations for the upcoming one.

spacer (1K)

spacer (1K)

spacer (1K)

http://www.iapghouston.org/eventfiles/ruben-echeverry.jpg

spacer (1K)

spacer (1K)

spacer (1K)

spacer (1K)

© 2011 IAPG Houston

spacer (1K)

3.  Houston World Affairs Council – U.S. & European Energy Challenges, March 4.  The Houston World Affairs Council is an excellent opportunity to meet a broad cross-section of Houstonians interested in international energy and environmental issues.  Prof. Zamora has four seats remaining at his table, so you should let me know quickly if you’d like to attend.  Our table might include several senior folks from Baker Hughes, including their general counsel.

World Affairs Council of Houston

Wachouston.org                   Contact                    Login                  February newsletter pdf

 http://www.wachouston.org/images/wac/C%20Boyden%20Gray%20WEB.jpg

Europe, the United States, and Energy:  Challenges and Opportunities

C. Boyden Gray
Former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union

In conversation with Alan Crain
Friday, March 4 Luncheon
The Petroleum Club
800 Bell Street, 43rd Floor

Registration: 11:30 a.m. 
Program: Noon-1:30 p.m.

Members: $35
Non-members: $45
Register

The trans-Atlantic relationship includes nearly 60 percent of global GDP, 40 percent of world trade and 70 percent of capital flows. Both the E.U. and the U.S. require a steady supply of oil and natural gas from volatile regions, particularly the Middle East, to fuel this trade.  Recent events have heightened the importance of the strong ties between Europe and the U.S., including the harmonization of non-tariff regulations. Addressing these and related issues are politically and technically challenging; however, doing so is critical to the political and financial health of both regions.
C. Boyden Gray was appointed ambassador to the European Union in 2006, and subsequently served as Special Envoy for European Affairs and Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy . He served as White House Counsel in the administration of President George H.W. Bush and previously as Legal Counsel to Vice President Bush. Gray also served as counsel to the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief during the Reagan Administration. 
Gray was one of the principal architects of the 1991 Clean Air Act Amendments and was also involved in the creation of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.   A former U.S. Marine, he is also a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal. 

 

World Affairs Council of Houston       P.O. Box 920905       Houston 77292 
(713) 522-7811  voice                     (713) 522-7812   fax

 

February 14, 2011

Here are the upcoming events for the next week:

1.Resources for the Future Briefing. RFF is one of the most respected think tanks in the United States for energy and environmental economic analysis. RFF will host its first briefing in Houston tomorrow at ConocoPhillips' headquarters in West Houston from noon to 1:30. I've attached the agenda below. Please let me know ASAP if you would like to attend the briefing.

AGENDA:

Energy and Climate Policy Update
Phil Sharp, RFF President
Insights on emerging climate and energy issues, domestically and internationally, and expectations for the new Congress.

Toward a New National Energy Policy: Study Findings
Alan Krupnick, RFF Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Energy Economics and Policy
Highlights from recently completed RFF multi-year study of 35 energy policy options and their implications for oil use and emissions reduction, with additional detail on related shale gas research.

RFF and the 2010 Gulf Coast Oil Spill
Lynn Scarlett, RFF Visiting Scholar and Former Deputy Secretary of the Interior
An overview of recently completed RFF research on behalf of the Oil Spill Commission, on topics ranging from risk-informed regulation to organizational design for spill containment.

Q&A 

2. Houston Renewable Energy Network Event for Houston's Largest Solar Project. HREN members (including you) are invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the largest solar energy project in Houston. The event is free, and takes place tomorrow at 10 am. More information below:

Ignite Solar is pleased to invite you and the members of HREN to the Ribbon Cutting for Houston's largest solar project, Tuesday, February 15th at 10AM. For more information, refer to the invitation below, as well as a media alert with more information about the project and the event.

Feel free to invite friends, colleagues, and interested parties. The event will be held at Sam Rayburn High School, 2121 Cherrybrook Lane, Pasadena, TX 77502.

Please Support the Houston renewable energy industry!

Should you have any questions about the event or the project, feel free to contact Lorie Clements, VP of Business Development via e-mail at lclements@ignitesolar.com, or by phone at 832.316.2402.
Thanks again for your support of renewable energy in Texas!

3. Environment and Energy Law and Policy Journal Symposium on Catastrophes, Feb. 18I alerted you to this Symposium in the last update, but it's so good that it bears repeating. This one-day session will provide a deep look at how environmental and energy laws govern and respond to catastrophes, including the Deepwater Horizon blowout and the BP Texas City explosion.  Our speakers will include Jim Noe (the executive director of the Shallow Water Security Coalition and general counsel of Hercules Offshore, Inc.), John Dupuy (the Assistant Inspector General from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Investigations), and Marcilynn Burke (Deputy Director of Programs and Policy for the Bureau of Land Management and our own UH Law professor).

The Symposium will offer a chance to explore these important issues with top-notch academics, outside attorneys, governmental policy makers and in-house counsel in an informal setting that will promotes questions and direct discussions.  The symposium will take place in downtown Houston at the conference center for Locke Lord.  UHLC students can attend for $20 (basically, the cost of lunch).

You can find complete information about the symposium at www.law.uh.edu/eelpj/symposium.html , but please feel free to call or email me or Allison Kluber (aekluber@central.uh.edu) if you have any questions or need additional information.

 

January 25, 2011

We have several upcoming events that you might want to join.  Please note two in particular:  First, the ABA will sponsor an event this Thursday on governance of nanotechnology (which should be especially helpful for anyone in the class who plans to write about this topic).  You can listen to this event from the Houston host site at Bracewell & Giuliani, and lunch is provided. 

Second, and more urgently, we can provide free admission for students or professors who would like to attend the two-day PLI institute on Energy & Environmental Law (which normally costs nearly $1,600 per person).  The Institute takes place next week on Feb. 3 and 4.  Please let me know as soon as possible whether you would like to attend this event.  We cannot provide free admission unless we provide an advance list of UHLC attendees by Monday, Jan. 31.

If you are interested in any of these events, please let me know.  We can usually arrange for free admission for you, but usually we need to provide a student roster in advance.

1,         American Bar Association webcast on governance of nanotechnology, Jan. 27, 2010 (Thursday). This event will be hosted in Houston at Bracewell & Giuliani’s conference center.  Lunch will be provided, but we need to provide an expected number of attendees as soon as possible.   Please let me know if you would like to join us.  Admission is free for students.

American Bar Association
Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee
Cosponsored by Environmental Disclosure Committee; Science and Technology Section, Nanotechnology Committee; Young Lawyers Division: Administrative Law and Environment, Energy, and Resources Law Committees
Presents a “Quick Teleconference” program

Nano Governance: The Current State of Federal, State, and International Regulation

Program Information

Thursday, January 27, 2011
1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Time
11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time / 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Program Overview:
States, federal agencies, and foreign governments are challenged to address the risks and promote the benefits of evolving technologies, including nanotechnology. Companies globally are continuing to harness the properties of nanomaterials for use in products from airplanes to pharmaceuticals and from cosmetics to food packaging. Nano Governance: The Current State of Federal, State, and International Regulation will address these issues in a half-day program. This program will explore the new and creative applications of existing regulatory tools and governance approaches to address the potential risks of nanotechnologies, implement new risk assessment approaches to evolving technologies, and maximize the potential benefits of these materials. Panelists will report on new and emerging federal, State, and international nanomaterials regulations and governance strategies. Attendees will gain insight into potential public health and environmental impacts and the approaches various government agencies and industrial stakeholders are pursuing to address these issues while also promoting nanotechnology. The program is open to attorneys and other professionals with chemical regulatory compliance practices.
Educational Objectives:

PANEL 1 – THE FEDERAL REGULATORY OUTLOOK
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Moderator:
Charles L. Franklin, Akin Gump, Washington, DC
Panelists:
William Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
    Washington, DC

  • Regulatory status of nanosilver in FIFRA-registered products, recent developments (e.g., HeiQ AGS time limited, conditional approval, response to ICTA nanosilver and nanocopper petitions)
  • FIFRA registration data requirements needed to evaluate potential risks to humans and the environment
  • Proposed FIFRA Section 6(a)(2) policy and  requirements pertinent to nanoscale materials

Jim Alwood, Program Manager, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC

  • Regulatory developments related to Pre-Manufacture Notices, Significant New Use Rules,  Section 8 information collection, and TSCA Section 4 test rules
  • Guidance for Assessing Screening Level E-Fate/Env Exposure to Nanomaterials
  • Assessing/Managing Risks of CNTs: Lessons Learned
  • EPA OPP and OPPT Coordination Efforts and Strategies

Treye A. Thomas, Ph.D., Toxicologist, Directorate for Health Sciences, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,
    Bethesda, MD

  • CPSC Regulatory Approach to the Assessment of Nanomaterials in Consumer Products
  • Key Issues of Concern

BREAK
2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

PANEL 2 – BEYOND THE FEDS: INTERNATIONAL/ STATE REGULATORY PROGRAMS AND STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING NANOSCALE MATERIALS
2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Moderator:
Lynn L. Bergeson, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., Washington, DC
Panelists:
Steffi Friedrichs, Ph.D., Nanotechnology Industries Association, Brussels, Belgium

  • European Union REACH/Biocides Directive
  • EU Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) 
  • EU Food Directive--Restrictions Regarding Nanoscale Materials

Neena Sahasrabudhe, Ph.D., Office of Pollution Prevention and Green Technology, California Department of Toxic
    Substances Control, Sacramento, CA

  • Chemical information nanosilver data call-in candidate
  • Questions and issues regarding health effects of nanosilver in consumer products

Rosalind Volpe, Ph.D., Executive Director, Silver Nanotechnology Working Group A Program of Silver Research
    Consortium LLC, Durham, NC

  • EU and Beyond Nanosilver Governance Developments
  • Practical Implications of Product Development in Uncertain Times
  • Herding Cats: Managing Industry’s Response to Evolving Green Chemistry Initiatives

BREAK
3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

PANEL 3 – PERSPECTIVES FROM THE FIELD
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Moderator:
Chandran B. Iyer, Sughrue Mion, PLLC, Washington, DC
Panelists:
Thomas R. Jacob, Government Affairs Manager, Western Region, DuPont Company, Sacramento, CA

  • Herding Cats: Managing Industry’s Response to Evolving Green Chemistry Initiatives
  • The Problem of Overlapping and Conflicting Regulations
  • The Importance of State Regulatory Efforts

Richard A. Denison, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund, Inc., Washington, DC 

  • The Importance of State Regulatory Efforts
  • Encouraging Congress to Amend TSCA: Will the Looming Patchwork of State Regulation Prompt Action?

Steve Froggett, Ph.D., Froggett & Associates, LLC, Seattle, WA

  • Balancing the Risks and Potential Benefits of Nanomaterials

2.         American Bar Association QuickTeleconference on Wave Energy, Feb. 1 (Tuesday), 11 am CST.  This QuickTeleconference will focus on legal issues arising from wave energy development (as opposed to hydroelectric power from dams and tidal power from coastal facilities).  We can set up a speakerphone at UHLC if you would like to bring your lunch and listen in.

Wave Energy in the U.S. Today: How Technology, Academia, Regulations, and Policies are Shaping the Industry

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. MT/9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. PT
While the wave energy industry in the U.S. is in its infancy in terms of market maturity and usage as an alternative energy source, many ground-breaking developments are occurring.   As Oregon is considered the epicenter of wave energy in the U.S., understanding the issues confronting wave energy projects and project development in  that state can be instructive for the hydrokinetics industry in general.  This Quick Teleconference will provide a general overview of the wave energy industry and will appeal to anyone who has an interest in learning more about issues impacting domestic wave energy development. 

The experts on this panel will address the intersection of technology, academia, and permitting, regulatory, policy, and legal issues involving the Department of Energy (“DOE”) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (“BOEMRE”), as well as unique challenges facing the wave industry.  Preliminary permits, pilot projects, marine spatial planning, and the commercialization and future of the wave energy industry will also be discussed.  Panelists will include a Partner of Pacific Energy Ventures, LLC who has served as a consultant to wave energy project developers, the Program Manager of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, as well as members of the legal community who have extensive siting, regulatory, and project development experience with hydropower and hydrokinetics projects.  This promises to be an interesting, informative, and cutting-edge session.  We hope you will join us. (more)

Educational Objectives:

Moderators:
Kim Diamond, Lowenstein Sandler PC, New York, NY
Roger Feldman,
 Andrews & Kurth LLP, Washington, DC
Panelists:
Meleah Ashford, Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, Corvallis, OR
Steve R. Kopf, Pacific Energy Ventures, LLC, Portland, OR
Chad Marriott, Stoel Rives LLP, Portland, OR

Click Here to Register
Host Site Locations: New York, NY; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Washington, DC

 

3.         First Annual Enviroment and Energy Institute by UHLC and the Practising Law Institute, Feb. 3-4.  This conference will assemble top national speakers on enviromental and energy law issues for two days in downtown Houston.  Our speakers include the head of EPA’s civil enforcement program, EPA’s Regional Adminstrator for Texas (Dr. Al Armendariz), FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer, the former CEO of Shell (John Hofmeister), and many others.  You can find the entire program at www.pli.edu , and I’ve attached the most recent brochure here.

While PLI normally charges $1,595.00 per person to register for this program, we can bring students and professors for free because UHLC is co-sponsoring the program.  If you would like to attend, please contact me as soon as possible – you can receive free admission only if we provide advance notice.

 

4.         Energy Bar Association meeting with FERC Commissioner John Norris, Feb. 4.  The Energy Bar Association will host a lunch meeting with Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner John Norris.  The lunch will take place at Vinson & Elkins.  Registration information is provided below:

EBA Houston Chapter Meeting
With
The Honorable Commissioner John R. Norris

Friday, February 4, 2011
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Central Time)

Location:  Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.
1001 Fannin Street
Conference Center on the 26th floor, Rooms 26C & D
Houston, TX

(Teleconference Participation will be available)

 

5. Environment and Energy Law and Policy Journal Symposium on Catastrophes, Feb. 18This one-day session will provide a deep look at how environmental and energy laws govern and respond to catastrophes, including the Deepwater Horizon blowout and the BP Texas City explosion.  Our speakers will include Jim Noe (the executive director of the Shallow Water Security Coalition and general counsel of Hercules Offshore, Inc.), John Dupuy (the Assistant Inspector General from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Investigations), and Marcilynn Burke (Deputy Director of Programs and Policy for the Bureau of Land Management and our own UH Law professor).

The Symposium will offer a chance to explore these important issues with top-notch academics, outside attorneys, governmental policy makers and in-house counsel in an informal setting that will promotes questions and direct discussions.  The symposium will take place in downtown Houston at the conference center for Locke Lord.  UHLC students can attend for $20 (basically, the cost of lunch).

You can find complete information about the symposium at www.law.uh.edu/eelpj/symposium.html , but please feel free to call or email me or Allison Kluber (aekluber@central.uh.edu) if you have any questions or need additional information.