Presents the EENR Lecture Series for Spring 2016

Emerging Theories of Climate Liability and Enforcement

Roger Martella
Former EPA General Counsel and Partner, Sidley & Austin LLP

Prof. Robert Percival
Robert F. Stanton Professor of Law and the Director of the Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Clara Poffenberger
Environmental Law & Policy Counselor, formerly with Baker Botts, Hogan Lovells and a major energy corporation


Friday, April 22, 2016
noon - 1:30 p.m.
Room 111 TUII
1.5 Hour CLE credit (no ethics).
Please RSVP to


As the United States moves steadily to limit its future greenhouse gas emissions, new battles over future liability and litigation concepts have sprung up on the frontiers of climate change law. These skirmishes include civil and RICO investigations of allegedly inconsistent or incorrect past statements on climate science by corporations, increasingly stringent standards for climate risk claims in securities fi lings, liability for corporations and governments that fail to plan for and adapt to climate change, and possible tort actions under either state laws or natural resource damages/public trust theories. Our panel will explore the dimensions of these new climate change liability initiatives and weigh their potential impact on future enforcement and litigation.

The EENR Center Speaker Series is made possible through the generous support of Blank Rome LLP, Bracewell LLP, Vinson & Elkins LLP, and the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.


Past Speakers Spring 2016

Presents the EENR Lecture Series for Spring 2016

“New International Petroleum Investments and the Assessment of Social and Environmental Issues in the Ecuadorian Amazon”

Dr. Yvonne Fabara Arias

Dr. Yvonne Fabara Arias

International Oil and Gas Consultant Former Secretary of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Ecuador

Thursday, March 31, 2016
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Room 111 TUII
1 Hour CLE credit (no ethics).
Please RSVP to

Dr. Yvonne Fabara will present an overview of the recent petroleum exploration agreements entered into between the Secretary of Hydrocarbons of Ecuador and Chinese petroleum companies for the development of projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The agreements sent a message that the Ecuadorian government wants to build up confidence in companies wanting to invest despite low international oil prices. The presentation will also address the requirements of special assessments
on social and environmental issues for the protection of indigenous people and the Ecuadorian rainforest, which are crucial concerns to developing these projects. With oil as its main export, Ecuador currently produces around 540,000 barrels of oil per day.

Dr. Fabara is an international expert on oil and gas transactions with over 25 years of professional experience in legal, corporate and government positions. Her experience has a strong focus on upstream strategies but also on major downstream infrastructure projects. She recently executed three oil exploration and production contracts for Blocks 28, 79 and 83 in the South Oriente Region on behalf of the Republic of Ecuador. These new contracts are incorporating foreign investors in the petroleum industry of Ecuador.

Dr. Fabara was a member of the Integrated Project Management team, for the Ecuadorian Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline (OCP), and has also been legal counsel for different construction companies working in the petroleum sector. She was advisor to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Non-Renewable Resources, of the Republic of Ecuador, and legal counsel for construction companies.

She has a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the Catholic University of Ecuador. Quito-Ecuador. She holds a MSc Comparative Government, from London School of Economics (LSE), and a Diploma in International Law, Society of International Studies (SEI). Madrid-Spain.

Click here for video


Presents the EENR Lecture Series for Spring 2016

“Dangerously Close: The West Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion”
Dr. Kulinowski will discuss the Chemical Safety Board’s recent investigation of the West Fertilizer disaster, and how the Board’s conclusions relate to EPA’s new proposed rules for Risk Management Plans and the use of inherently safer technologies.

Dr. Kristen Kulinowski

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

Monday, March 28, 2016
7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Room 109 BLB
1 Hour CLE credit (no ethics).
Reception 6:30 p.m. in lobby area.
Please RSVP to

The Honorable Kristen M. Kulinowski is a Board Member at the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). CSB Board Members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to five-year terms. Dr. Kulinowski brings to the Board experience in chemical and materials sciences, occupational health and safety issues, risk policy, nanotechnology, undergraduate education and research administration.

Prior to joining the Board, she served on the staff of the Science & Technology Policy Institute (STPI), a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) that provides analysis of science and technology policy issues for the White House and other federal agencies, where she worked on a diverse set of topics, including program evaluation, innovation policy, and the U.S. Antarctic research program.

Prior to joining STPI in 2011, she was at Rice University as Senior Faculty Fellow in Chemistry, Executive Director for the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN), and Director of the International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON). Much of her work at Rice focused on bringing together diverse stakeholders to explore and communicate the potential risks of engineered nanomaterials. Her passion for education was stimulated at both Rice and CalPoly-San Luis Obispo, where she enthusiastically taught general chemistry and physical chemistry.

Dr. Kulinowski’s introduction to policy stems from her experience as the OSA-SPIE Congressional Science Policy Fellow of 2001-2002, where she worked in the U.S. House of Representatives on legislation involving weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and domestic nuclear power security. Dr. Kulinowski earned a B.S. degree in chemistry with honors from Canisius College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Rochester.

EENR Lecture Series Video - Dangerously Close: The West Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion_3/28/2016


Presents the EENR Lecture Series for Spring 2016

“Shale Development Challenges”

Panel 1 (9:00-10:00 a.m.)

Panel 2 (10:00-11:00 a.m.)
State of the science for allocation of production in horizontal wells and the multi-stage hydraulic fracturing of close-proximity horizontal wells State of legal issues with allocation wells and hydraulic fracturing of close-proximity horizontal offset wells

Kim Talus

Dr. Christine
Dr. Ibrahim S. Abou-Sayed Jason Newman Bret Wells
Christine Ehlig-Economides is Professor and Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair at the University of Houston. Professor Ehlig-Economides was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2003 and was a member of the NAS Committee on Americas Energy Future and the NRC Board on Energy and Environmental Systems. She is one of the 16 Quantum Reservoir Impact Scholars. Dr. Abou-Sayed is the founder and president of i-Stimulation Solutions, Inc. His practice focuses on well stimulation and production enhancement for tight reservoirs and shale plays. Jason Newman is a partner at Baker Botts LLP and advises energy clients on all legal aspects arising from the rapid development of various oil and gas shale plays throughout Texas and the United States. Bret Wells is an associate professor of law with the University of Houston Law Center. Professor Wells teaches and writes on oil and gas issues with a particular focus on the legal challenges raised by todays development in unconventional shale formations.


Keynote Address:
Commissioner Christi Craddick

Regulatory challenges and benefits of horizontal drilling in unconventional shale formations (11:00-11:45 a.m.)

Commissioner Craddick is one of three commissioners of the Railroad Commission of Texas and has served in that capacity since 2012.
Commissioner Craddick is one of three commissioners of the Railroad Commission of Texas and has served in that capacity since 2012.

Friday, March 4, 2016
8:30 a.m. - noon

Room 240 BLB
Breakfast & Lunch will be served.
Please RSVP to 2.75 CLE Credit Hours (No Ethics)

EENR Lecture Series Video: Shale Development Challenges_3/4/2016


Presents the EENR Lecture Series for Spring 2016

“Future Directions of EU Energy Policy: Energy Union”?

Kim Talus

Kim Talus
Principal, RSAH2O Consulting Group Former Chairman, Texas Water Development Board

Sirja-Leena Penttinen

Sirja-Leena Penttinen
Lecturer in European and Energy Law at UEF Law

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
University of Houston Law Center
Hendricks Heritage Room (2nd Floor)
1 Hour CLE credit (no ethics). Lunch will be served.
Please RSVP to

Kim Talus is a Professor of European Economic and Energy Law at UEF Law School and the Co-Director of the Center for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law ( /en/cceel). He is also a Professor of Energy Law at the University of Helsinki.

His research and other activities focus on international, comparative and European energy law. More specifi cally, his activities focus on international upstream petroleum law and regulation and on EU energy law and policy. He has published widely in these areas and is a frequent speaker in international conferences. He has held teaching positions at University College London, University of Houston and Bonn University. He is the Editor-in-Chief for Oil, Gas and Energy Law ( and a member of the Editorial Board for Journal of World Energy Law and Business. He works frequently with companies, public authorities and governments in various areas of energy law and policy. He is also an expert member (electricity) of the Finnish Market Court.

Sirja-Leena Penttinen is a Lecturer in European and Energy Law at UEF Law School. Her research focus is on EU energy law and internal market law. She has published several international articles in these areas and is a frequent speaker at international conferences. She has also been a visiting researcher at Oxfod University, University of Oslo and has conducted research at Florence Regulatory School. She is a member of the Center for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law ( /en/cceel). Sirja-Leena works frequently with public authorities, including the European Commission and the World Bank, as well as with private companies in areas like EU energy law and general EU law.

EENR Lecture Series Video: Future Directions of EU Energy Policy: Energy Union

Click here to see past speakers

Map and Directions

The University of Houston Law Center is located off of Interstate 45, just south of downtown Houston.

To reach the Law Center from I-45 northbound, take the Elgin-Cullen/Lockwood exit, turn left at the light, and proceed under the freeway to the traffic light at Entrance 18 where you will take a left. Take a left at the first inner-campus road and follow it as it turns right and deposits you at a four-way stop.  Turn left, and the Law Center buildings will be on your left, with metered parking available to your right in Parking Lot 19B.

To reach the Law Center from I-45 southbound, take the Spur 5 exit and follow it to the first stop light  (University Drive).  Turn right, and proceed past the Campus Wellness Center to the stop light (Calhoun).  Turn right, and proceed past Calhoun Lofts to the last entrance on your left before Calhoun “dead ends.”  Parking Lot 19B is on your right, with the Law Center complex flanking the bronze statue of Albertus Magnus. Metered parking is available.

Map of the Law Center (pdf)

Google Earth “bird’s eye view”

View Larger Map

Click here for an interactive campus map to help you locate the Bates Law Building, Parking Lot 19B, the East garage, or the Visitor's parking garage.

Visitor Parking

Visitors have two parking options:

  • Meters – Lot 19B. Visitors may park at the meters located in the Law Center's parking lot (locate Lot 19B, here) with a valid receipt of purchase displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle. In addition, there are several metered parking spaces (2 hours maximum) located on the south side of Lot 19B, close to the Calhoun Lofts.
  • Parking Garages. Visitor parking is also available in the Welcome Center parking garage located on University Drive and Calhoun Road, the East garage on Calhoun north of University, and at the UH Hilton located on University Blvd. Locate these garages here. Both are a short walk from the Law Center. Garage parking is $2 per hour, maximum $8 per day.

UH Parking & Transportation. For more information, please visit the main campus Parking & Transportation site.