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4th Annual
North American Environment, Energy, & Natural Resources Conference (Special Webinar Edition)

August 18, 2020
The New Energy Landscape: COVID-19, Climate Change and Diversification

In a few short weeks between the beginning of February and the middle of March 2020, the world saw an unprecedented drop in demand for energy, particularly for transportation fuels.  Though the immediacy and scale of the drop are invariably related to the COVID-19 pandemic, other factors, such as increasing Russian and Saudi production as well as continued climate concerns have also had an effect.  This same period saw some of the world’s largest energy companies propose future carbon neutrality targets, continue diversification of their business model from fossil fuels, and increase their investment in negative emissions technology startups.  Despite the pandemic, renewable buildout continues.  Energy businesses also face a reckoning over environment, social, and governance policies and their commitments to anti-racism.

Join University of Houston energy and climate law experts, energy general counsel, negative carbon technology business entrepreneurs and Blank Rome attorneys as we take stock and make sense of the new post-COVID world of energy in our Special 2020 North American Conference Webinar Edition.

  • The future as seen by energy company general counsel
  • Discussion of the first survey on energy workers return to work
  • The latest from the leaders in negative emissions technology

Sponsored by Blank Rome, LLP, the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (EENR) Center of the University of Houston Law Center, UH Energy, the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico (UNAM), and the Energy Transition Governance and Law Project (funded by the European Union and with the University of Lyon III)





8:45 A.M.  

Welcome to our Changed World

Gina Warren, UH EENR Center Faculty Co-Director
Susan Bickley, Blank Rome, Houston Managing Partner

9:00 A.M. 

Technological Innovation and Energy

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, moderator and speaker: UH Energy

Energy Investment in Direct Air Capture and Other technologies

Steve Oldham, CEO, Carbon Engineering

Innovations in low carbon emissions and IP innovation,

Joshua Sarnoff, DePaul University, IP issues and negative emissions technology
Sean McDermott, Blank Rome


10:30 A.M.

Discussions with Dean Leonard Baynes: Carbon Neutrality, COVID-19, The Economy, Black Lives Matter and the 2020 Election.

Corporate General Counsel Panel:

Kay McCall, Renewable Energy Alliance-Houston
Ken Neikirk, Helix Energy
Kelly B. Rose, ConocoPhillips
Tony Trevino, Lewis Energy
William Turcotte, Noble Corporation

11:30 A.M.

Roundtable: The Business and Policy Future for North American Energy-Lessons from COVID

Victor Flatt, EENR Center Faculty Co-Director – Moderator
Praveen Kumar, UH Bauer GEMI
Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano, UHLC US-Mexican Law Center
Dr. Christiane Spitzmueller, UH Center for Applied Psychological Research (creator of The Energy Workforce Return to Work Survey)
Margaret Hill, Blank Rome


12:30 P.M.  Wrap Up and Questions

Gina Warren, UH EENR Center Faculty Co-Director
Margaret Hill, Blank Rome

12:45 P.M. END

UNAM (Autonomous University of Mexico) Energy Transition Governance and Law