Tracy Hester

Associate Instructional Professor of Law
University of Houston Law Center
4170 Martin Luther King Blvd
Houston, TX 77204-6060
713-743-1152 (office)



Amanda Parker

Hester Photo

Professor Hester teaches environmental law at the University of Houston Law Center.  His research focuses on the innovative application of environmental laws to emerging technologies and unanticipated risks, including climate engineering, deep decarbonization (particularly in energy production), nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence, genetic modification, and advanced wind, solar, and other renewable power systems. Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, Prof. Hester served as a partner in Bracewell LLP for sixteen years and led that firm's Houston environmental group.

In Fall 2019, Prof. Hester taught the first U.S. law school course on Climate Intervention Law, which focused on emerging climate engineering technologies and legal challenges.  He also teaches classes on Environmental Law, Natural Resource Damages Liability, Environmental Law in Oil & Gas, Climate Change Liability and Litigation, Environmental Enforcement, Emerging Technologies and Environmental Law, and Advanced Hazardous Waste Law.  He originated and teaches an innovative Environmental Practicum that matches students with multiple leading environmental attorneys to work on practical projects and to develop innovative environmental initiatives.  He also teaches the first year course on Statutory Interpretation and Regulatory Practice.

Prof. Hester is currently the co-director and a co-founder of the Center for Carbon Management in Energy at the University of Houston.  During the summer of 2014, Prof. Hester served as the interim Director of the North America Commission on Environmental Cooperation's Submission on Environmental Matters Unit in Montreal, Canada. The Environmental Law Institute also named him as its Environmental Scholar in Residence for 2015.

Prof. Hester was inducted into the American College of Environmental Lawyers in 2015 (and named a Regent in 2018), elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2004, and named the Top Environmental Lawyer in Houston in 2011 by Best Lawyers of America. He was also elected to the Council of the American Bar Associationís Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) in 2011 through 2014, and he currently chairs SEER's Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Ecological Services Committee.  Prof. Hester is the past chair of SEERís Special Committee on Congressional Relations as well as its Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee . 



Consent Decrees as Emergent Environmental Law, 85 Missouri L. Rev. ___ (Summer 2020) (pending)

The Top Five Legal Barriers to Carbon Capture and Sequestration in Texas, University of Houston Energy Blog (reposted to Forbes Magazineís national blog), Nov. 21, 2019 

Still Standing:  The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the Fate of the Commission on Environmental Cooperation,50 Trends 6 (May/June 2019).

MASTERING ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (with Prof. Joel Mintz), (Carolina Academic Press 2019).

Managing the Carbon Challenge for the Energy Sector:  An Outline of Potential Uses for Negative Emissions Technologies in Energy,University of Houston Energy White Paper Series No. 03.2018 (2018).

Transnational Liability in U.S. Courts for Environmental Harms Abroad, 64 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute Annual Proceedings 27-1 (2018).

Climate Tort Federalism, 13 Florida Int'l Univ. Law Review 79 (2018) (Symposium Issue).

Abandoned But Not Forgotten: Improperly Plugged and Orphaned Wells May Pose Serious Concerns for Shale Development, co-authored with Prof. Bret Wells, 8 Michigan Journal of Enviromental and Administrative Law 115 (2018).

CLIMATE ENGINEERING AND THE LAW: REGULATION AND LIABILITY FOR SOLAR RADIATION MANAGEMENT AND CARBON DIOXIDE REMOVAL, co-edited with Prof. Michael Gerrard. (Cambridge U. Press 2018). Also authored chapter on Liability and Compensation, and co-authored Conclusions and Recommendations.

Legal Pathways to Negative Emissions Technologies and Direct Air Capture of Greenhouse Gases, 48 Environmental Law Reporter 10413 (May 2018). Also published as chapter in Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, ed. John Dernbach and Michael Gerrard (Environmental Law Institute Press 2018).

Going Negative: The Next Horizon in Climate Engineering Law (with Prof. Michael Gerrard), 32 Natural Resources & Env't 3 (Spring 2018).

The Paradox of Regulating Negative Emissions Technologies Under U.S. Environmental Laws, 1 Global Sustainability 1 (2018)

Green Statutory Interpretation by Environmental Courts and Tribunals, 29 Environmental Law & Management 1 (2017).

Designed for Distrust: Revitalizing NAFTA's Environmental Submissions Process, 28 Georgetown Environmental Law Review 29 (Fall 2015).

Restating Environmental Law, 39 Columbia J. Envtl L. 1 (Spring 2015). Lead author on article with Profs. Robert Percival, Irma Russell, Victor Flatt and Joel Mintz. A redacted version was published by the Environmental Law Institute in 32 The Envtl Forum 38 (Jan./Feb. 2015) as that issue's lead article.

Report to the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation's Secretariat on The Legality of Scoping Submissions on Enforcement Matters, prepared at request through the North American Conference of Legal Educators, March 21, 2014.

A Matter of Scale: Regional Climate Engineering and the Shortfalls of Multinational Governance, 3 Carbon and Climate Law Review 168 (2013).

Climate Change Geoengineering:  Legal, Political and Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University 2013) (chapter on U.S. legal issues).

A New Front Blowing In:  State Law and the Future of Climate Change Public Nuisance Litigation, 31 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 49 (March 2012).

Private Claims for a Global Climate:  U.S. and Indian Litigation Approaches to Climate Change and Environmental Harm, __ Journal of the Indian Law Institute ___ (2011); presented at the International Seminar on Global Environment and Disaster Management:  Law and Society, New Delhi, India, July 23, 2011.  The seminar was jointly organized by the Supreme Court of India, the High Court of Delhi, the Indian Law Institute, the Ministry of Environment & Forests, and the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Remaking the World to Save It: Applying U.S. Environmental Law to Climate Engineering Projects, 38 Ecology Law Quarterly 851 (2011),

Nanotechnology: Environmental Law, Policy, and Business Considerations, ABA SEER (2010) ed. L. Bergeson (chapter on hazardous waste requirements for nanomaterials).

Speeches and Appearances

Climate Speech Liability, webinar for the University of Houston Center on Carbon Management in Energy, April 30, 2020.

Implications of COVID-19 on Climate Change Infrastructure Development, webinar for the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy & Resources, Climate Change Committee, April 21, 2020.

Juliana v. United States: If Not Now, When?, webinar for the American College of Environmental Lawyers, April 16, 2020.

Short Cut to a Long Trip: Carbon Sequestration on Public Lands, Conference on Public Lands and Energy Transitions, The George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC, March 12, 2020.

Domestic Regulation of Solar Radiation Management Technologies, Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert School of Law, Feb. 14, 2020 (NIEHS grant). Interplay of Climate Change and Atrocity Law, panelist, University of Houston Law Center, Feb. 4, 2020.

Legal Issues Arising from Climate Intervention and Energy Policy, Energy Unconference, Houston, Texas, Jan. 15, 2020.

Lessons Learned Between U.S. and Indian Climate Tort Litigation, and Importance of Environmental Rule of Law Initiatives, Global Environmental Sustainability Summit, Chandigahr University School of Law, Chandigahr, India, Nov. 17-18, 2019.

Law of Climate Intervention Regulation and Liability, Guest Lecture, Texas A&M University, Bryan Station, Texas, Nov. 7, 2019.

Update on Climate Change Tort Liability Litigation and Corporate Strategic Responses, Annual Conference of the American College of Coverage Counsel and the American College of Environmental Lawyers, Shephard Braod School of Law, Nova University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nov. 1, 2019.

Legal Requirements and Potential Barriers for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration in the United States, presentation to Interdisciplinary Workshop on CCUS by University of Houston and Petroleum Research School of Norway, Sept. 24, 2019, Houston, Texas.

Domestic Laws to Govern Research on Solar Reflective Strategies, presentation to National Academy of Sciences workshop on Developing a Research Agenda and Research Governance Approaches to Climate Intervention Strategies that Reflect Sunlight to Cool the Earth, Stanford University, Sept. 11, 2019.

Draft article on A Coordinated U.S. Regulatory Framework for Climate Intervention Actions, accepted for presentation at the Natural Resource Law Instructors' workshop at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation annual conference in Monterey, California on July 20, 2019, and at the Environmental Law Scholars' Colloquium, Vermont Law School, Sept. 21, 2019.

Environmental Investigations, as part of the Engage the Expert podcast series, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC, July 24, 2019.

The Pros and Cons of Climate Intervention Technologies. as part of The CAP Impact Podcast with the McGeorge School of Law, May 13, 2019.

Panelist, Low-Carbon Futures in the Energy Sector, Summit on Low-Carbon Futures for Houston, Center for Houston's Future, Houston, Texas, June 6, 2019.

Update on Environmental Prosecutions After Industrial Disasters, presentation to American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Legal Meeting, Houston, Texas, June 5, 2019.

Moderator, Legal Careers in Energy and Environmental Law, UH Energy & Environmental Law Society, Houston, Texas, April 1, 2019.

Participant in tabletop disaster simulation exercise, UT-Medical Branch and Houston Local Emergency Preparedness Committee, Texas City, Texas, March 28, 2019.

Emerging Regional Frameworks to Govern Localized Climate Interventions, opening presentation to Public Envireonmental Interest Law Symposium, Levin College of Law, Florida State University, Gainesville, Florida, February 7, 2019.

The Future Role of the Environmental Submissions Process After the USMCA, panel presentation, workshop sponsored by the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, Guadalajara, Mexico, Oct. 26, 2018.

Criminal Liability for Environmental Disasters in a Climate-Changed World, presentation and panel discussion, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy & Resource's Fall conference, San Diego, California, Oct. 19, 2018.

Consent Decrees as Common Law, presentation at Vermont Law School Environmental Law Colloquium, South Royalton, Vermont, Sept. 22, 2018.

The Role of Negative Emissions Technologies in Energy Production, opening presentation at the NETS in Energy Workshop, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, Sept. 14, 2018.

Abandoned But Not Forgotten:  Improperly Plugged and Orphaned Wells May Pose Serious Concerns for Shale Development, workshop presentation (with Prof. Bret Wells), Paul Hebert School of Law, Louisianan State University, Baton Rouge, Sept. 7, 2018.

Applying Environmental Laws to Climate Engineering and Carbon Management, invitational lecture at Paul Hebert School of Law, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Sept. 6, 2018.

Transnational Liability in U.S. Courts for Environmental Harms Abroad, presentation at 2018 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Annual Institute, Victoria, British Columbia, July 21, 2018.

Artificial Intelligence, Environmental Law, and Ethical Obligations, presentation to Houston Bar Association Environmental Law Section, Houston, Texas, May 16, 2018.

NAFTA Renegotiation and Energy – Where Are We Now and Where Will We Be?, moderator and presenter in panel discussion, North American Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Conference, Houston, Texas, May 3, 2018.

Emerging Uses of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Environmental Law, presentation at Artificial Intelligence and the Law conference, Vanderbilt Law School, April 20, 2018.

Opportunities and Updates on Environmental Law and Administrative Practice, panel moderator and speaker, Federalist Society, University of Houston Law Center, April 2, 2018.

Participant and speaker in tabletop disaster simulation exercise, Houston Local Emergency Preparedness Committee, March 22, 2018.

Recent Developments in the Public Trust Doctrine in Texas, Maurice Shapiro Symposium, George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC, March 16, 2018.

Climate Change Litigation: How Has It Evolved and What Can Energy Companies Expect?, panelist, Center for American and International Law’s 69th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, Houston, TX, Feb. 15, 2018.

Hearing Testimony on Challenges Facing Superfund and Waste Management Clean-up Efforts After Natural Disasters, Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Washington DC, December 6, 2017.

End Times in the Permian: Death of OPEC?, speaker and moderator, University of Houston Energy Symposium, Houston, Texas, Nov. 16, 2017.

Environmental Law in Times of Disaster, moderator and presenter in panel discussion, Environmental Law Symposium, Bracewell LLP, Houston, Texas, Nov. 9, 2017.

Climate Tort Federalism, presentation at Environmental Federalism Workshop, Florida International University School of Law, Miami, Florida, Oct. 20, 2017.

Regional Governance Options for Regulating Climate Engineering, moderator and speaker, Climate Engineering Conference 17, Berlin, Germany, Oct. 11, 2017.

God’s Work in Human Hands: The Evolving Role of Religious Environmentalism Under U.S. Law, presentation at Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont, Sept. 23, 2017.

“Overview of Legal Implications of Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies,” presentation at Climate Engineering Research Registry:  Disclosure Mechanisms and Best Practices workshop hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and The Forum on Climate Engineering Assessment, Washington, DC, July 18, 2017.

Organized and moderated panel discussion on The Law of Climate Engineering, (with Dr. David Keith, Prof. Michael Gerrard, and Prof. Anthony Chavez), Natural Resource Law Teachers Institute, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Banff, Canada, June 2, 2017.

Application of Domestic Environmental Laws to Solar Radiation Field Experiments, at Geoengineering Research Governance Workshop, Oxford Martin School, Oxford University, Oxford, England, June 22, 2017.

The Paradox of Regulating Negative Emissions Technologies Under U.S. Law, presentation at workshop on “The Politics and Governance of Negative Emissions Technologies, Between the Paris Agreement and the Anthropocene,” Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 15, 2017.

Regulating Climate Engineering Through Environmental Intervention Law, presentation at Research Roundtable on Global Climate Change Governance, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2017.

Lead speaker at panel presentation on Emerging Issues in Environmental and Energy Law Under the Trump Administration, South Texas College of Law Houston, Houston, Texas, April 18, 2017.

Green Statutory Interpretation and Environmental Courts and Tribunals, presentation at the International Symposium on Environmental Adjudication in the 21st Century, hosted by the International Forum of Environmental Judges, Auckland, New Zealand, Apr. 11, 2017.  Led subsequent panel and paper presentation regarding judicial process implications of environ­mental adjudication at follow-up workshop on Environmental Adjudication in the 21st Century hosted by Edward Elgar Publishing, at the Environmental Court of New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand, April 12, 2017.

Public Health, Environmental Law, and Predictive Disaster Strategies, presentation at the World Conference on Environment – 2017, hosted by the National Green Tribunal of India, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, March 25-26.

Moderated and presented at Reopening NAFTA:  What Will Happen to Environmental Cooperation Between Us?, Workshop on “NAFTA, Jobs and the Environment” hosted by the North American Conference of Legal Educators, George Washington University School of Law, Washington, DC, March 17, 2017.

Presentation on “U.S. Law and Solar Radiation Management Field Experiments”, Workshop on Climate Engineering Governance, Carnegie Center for Environmental and International Peace, New York City, New York, Feb. 16, 2017.

Moderated panel on “Environmental Implications of Reopening NAFTA”, North American Energy Summit, University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas Feb. 23, 2017.

Presentation on Environmental Law Implications and Applications to Emerging Technologies (Nanomaterials, Synthetic Biology and Climate Engineering), at Workshop on Carbon Dioxide Removal/Negative Emissions Technologies, Forum on Climate Engineering Assessment, at Berkeley School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, California, Feb. 9, 2017.

Presentation on Instant Cities and Transient Sources:  Environmental Law and Major Sports Events, Superbowl of CLE, University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas, Feb. 3, 2017.

Presentation on The Law of Direct Air Capture and Negative Emissions Technologies, Workshop on the Legal Issues of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, Columbia University School of Law, New York City, New York, Oct. 21, 2016.

Moderator and Organizer, Annual Workshop on Texas Water Law and the Endangered Species Act, University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas, Oct. 14, 2016.

Presentation on Environmental and Energy Implications of the Presidential Election Outcome, BNA Energy Summit, Houston, Texas, Oct. 4, 2016.

Presentation on Subject-Matter Exceptionalism in Statutory Interpretation, Colloquium on Environ­mental Scholarship, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont, Sept. 23, 2016.

Moderated and participated in panel on The Future of the Clean Power Plan, Energy Symposium at University of Houston, Houston, Texas, Sept. 20, 2016.

Presentation on Direct Air Capture Technology and U.S. Environmental Law, at the Closing the Carbon Cycle symposium, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, Sept. 30, 2016.

Presentation on NAFTA and the TransPacific Partnership:  Environmental Implications, Energy Symposium on Latin America and the United States, University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas, Sept. 16, 2016.

Presentation of Recommendations and Advice of EPA National Advisory Committee on NAAEC to the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Annual Meeting of Ministers of U.S., Mexico, and Canada, Merida, Mexico, Sept. 8, 2016.

Environmental Statutory Interpretation, presentation at Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, International Union of Conservation Naturalists, Oslo, Norway, June 21, 2016.

Presentations and meetings to national bar and legal entities of Haiti, with delegation of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, May 30-June 2, 2016.

Invitation meeting of authors for Legal Aspects of Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project, Columbia University School of Law, New York City, New York, May 23, 2016.

Legal and Moral Implications of Climate Change for the Energy Sector, plenary presentation to the annual meeting of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, The Woodlands, Texas, May 11, 2016.

Moderated and spoke at panel on Emerging Theories of Climate Change Liability, University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas, April 21, 2016.

Speaker and organizer, Climate Change Resiliency and Planning Workshop for Houston and Gulf Coast Region, workshop at the Association of Industrial and Chemical Engineers, Houston, Texas, April 12, 2016.

Speaker, Impact of the Paris Agreement on Houston and U.S. Climate Policy, annual conference of the Citizens Environmental Coalition, Houston, Texas, March 24, 2016.

“Comparing Environmental Enforcement Review Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA’s Environmental Side Agreement”, North American Conference of Legal Educators, annual conference, Monterrey, Mexico, March 12, 2016.

“The Emerging Law of Ocean Engineering,” presentation to the International Conference on Sustainability and Economic Development hosted by UNESCO and India’s National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, India, March 6, 2016.

“Experiential Teaching in Environmental Law Classes,” American Association of Law Schools annual conference, New York City, January 8, 2016.

“U.S. Supreme Court Update:  Air Pollution After Michigan v. EPA,” University of Houston Law Center CLE Series, July 28, 2015.

 “Local Laws, Global Liability:  How Domestic Laws Can Apply to Transnational Impacts of Climate Engineering,” presented at Climate Engineering Conference 14, Berlin, Germany, August 2014.

“Geoengineering Regulation Using Domestic Law,” Summer Geoengineering Institute, Harvard University, August 2013.

“Still Speaking Truth to Power?  Revisions to the NAFTA CEC Environmental Submissions Process,” International Seminar on Human Rights and Environmental Justice, National Commission on Human Rights of Mexico, Mexico City, Sept. 26, 2012.

“Ethical Issues When The Lawyer is the Environmental Crimes Target,” presentation to the Houston Bar Association Environmental Section, Oct. 10, 2012.

“Private Claims for a Global Climate:  U.S. and Indian Litigation Approaches to Climate Change and Environmental Harm,” Presentation to International Seminar on Global Environment and Disaster Management hosted by the State Department of India, New Delhi, July 23, 2011.

Participated in numerous academic conferences, including:  Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation annual conferences in 2011 and 2012 (Calgary and Los Angeles; attended 2012 conference as trustee representing UHLC); Widener Law School Workshop on Environmental Constitutional Law in Wilmington, Delaware on May 2012; moderated a panel on the impacts of shale gas production in the Eagleford shale at the UH and Texas Tribune's Symposium on Energy & the Environment on Apr. 13 at the University of Houston; keynote speaker at Air & Waste Management Association conference on clean air act issues, Jan. 12, 2012; AALS annual meetings in New Orleans (2010), San Francisco (2011) and Washington, DC (2012); ABA annual environmental conferences in Salt Lake City (2010, 2011, 2012), New Orleans (Fall 2010; moderated Environmental Enforcement panel with senior EPA and DOJ enforcement attorneys); Texas Environmental Superconference (2010, 2011, 2012); AALS conference of Natural Resource Law Teachers in Portland, Oregon (2011); annual meetings of the American Law Institute in 2010 - 2012 (Washington, DC and San Francisco).

"Climate in the Courts: Climate Change Liability and Litigation," 13th Annual Hot Air Topics Conference, Air & Waste Management Association, Houston, January 14, 2010.

"Quiet So Far: A Muted Response to Allegations of the First Human Fatalities Linked to Nanoparticles," Environmental Law Institute, January 2010.

"Fifth Circuit Decision Threatens a Tsunami of Climate Change Tort Cases While the Defense Bar Awaits a Circuit Split," Environmental Law Update, October 22, 2009.

Nanotechnology Deskbook (with Lynn Bergeson), Environmental Law Institute, 2008.

"City of Houston Air Quality Authority: A Dialogue on Air Toxics," Hot Air Conference, American Waste Management Association, Houston, Texas, 2007.

"Environmental Legal Requirements for Nanomaterials," Texas Environmental Superconference, Austin, Texas, 2007.

"Massachusetts v. EPA: Preliminary Thoughts and Forecasts," Federal Bar Association, Houston, Texas, 2007.

"Keystone Cornerstones: Fundamentals for the New Environmental Attorney," organizer and moderator, Annual Meeting of ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, Keystone, Colorado, both 2007 and 2008.

"RCRA Regulation of Wastes from the Production, Use, and Disposal of Nanomaterials," American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, June 2006.

"New World of Nanowaste: Review of Regulations, Positions, Policies, and Actions Related to Nanotechnology," Environmental Impact of Nanotechnology Workshop, EPA OSWER, Washington, DC, 2006.

"Small Stuff, Big Challenges: Applying Environmental Laws to the New World of Nanoscale Materials," American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Annual Meeting, October 7, 2004.

"Life Ain't So Simple: Environmental Regulation and Permitting for Renewable Energy Projects," Texas Environmental Superconference, August 5, 2004.

"Jurisdictional Wetlands Under the CWA," Greater Houston Builders Association, Houston, Texas, April 5, 2004.

"Nanotechnology in the Transitional Age: Potential Legal Requirements and Future Liabilities," Rice CASE Media Fellowship, Rice Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, March 16, 2004.

"Environmental Justice in Criminal Sentencing," American Bar Association Environmental Crimes and Enforcement Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2, January 2003.

"Nanotechnology in the Transitional Age: Potential Legal Requirements and Future Liabilities," Nanodays 2003.

"Conference Rice Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, October 13, 2003.

"Texas Regulatory Overview," Progress Ventures/Progress Fuels EHS Forum, Raleigh, North Carolina, March 12, 2003.

"Nanotechnology and Environmental Liabilities," NanoDays 2002 Conference, Rice University Center for Environmental and Biological Nanotechnology, Houston, Texas, September 2002.

"Trends in the Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws," Federal Bar Association, South Texas Chapter Meeting Houston, Texas, June 20, 2002.

"The Practice of Environmental Law," University of Houston Environmental Law Society, Houston, Texas April 4, 2002.

"Environmental Criminal Enforcement," NAELS, Houston, Texas, March 23, 2001.

"Corrective Action Strategies," The Advanced RCRA Institute, Government Institutes New Orleans, Louisiana, October 2-5, 2000.

"Environmental Criminal Enforcement," Texas Water Law Conference, Houston, Texas, May 4-5, 2000.

"RCRA: What It Means in Day-to-Day Operations," Environmental Compliance Bootcamp, Government Institutes, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, February 8-10, 2000.

Co-author, "New World, New Laws: Preparing to Advise Clients on Global Warming Legal Policies and Strategies," Houston Bar Association Journal, 1999.

Co-author, "RCRA Corrective Action Program and Administrative Reform Initiative," Bracewell & Patterson LLP Environmental Roundtable, Houston, Texas, September 23, 1999.

"Update on RCRA Corrective Action Strategies and Texas Risk Reduction Program," Bracewell & Patterson Environmental Roundtable, September 23, 1999.

"U.S. Environmental Laws & Regulations Course," CERCLA Update, Government Institutes, San Antonio, Texas, June 22-24, 1999.

"Practical Strategies for Environmental Compliance in Texas," Government Institutes, Houston, Texas, November 5-6, 1998.

"EPCRTKA-6 New Categories," 9th Annual Environmental Law Conference, Houston, Texas, April 23-24, 1998.

"CERCLA for the Next Century: Cleanups Amidst Creative Chaos," Government Institutes, Houston, Texas, November 6, 1997.

"A Report on Reporting Requirements: An Update on Activity Under EPCRA," Environmental Law Institute, South Texas College of Law of Texas A&M University, Houston, Texas, April 23-24, 1997.

"Management Strategies for Environmental Compliance," Government Institutes, San Antonio, Texas, January 27-29, 1997.

"Texas Voluntary Cleanup Program and the Texas EPA Agreement: A Prototype for Other State Voluntary Cleanup Programs," American Gas Association, 1996 Comprehensive MGP Management Symposium, September 12, 1996.

"Environmental Liabilities and Effective Management Strategies to Protect Yourself and Your Company," Government Institutes, San Antonio, Texas, February 12, 1996.

"Environmental Liabilities and Effective Management Strategies to Protect Yourself in Today's Oil and Gas Industry," Government Institutes, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 4-5, 1995.

"Cleaning Up Calamities, Environmental Issues in Plant Disasters: Federal Law," Major Workplace Incidents Seminar, Bracewell & Patterson LLP, Houston, Texas, September 7, 1995.


J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1986
B.A., high honors, Phi Beta Kappa, The University of Texas at Austin, 1983

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
New York

Court Admissions

U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th and District of Columbia Circuits
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas


Bar Affiliations

State Bar of Texas, Environmental Law Section
District of Columbia Bar
State Bar of New York
American Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Resources Section: 

Chair, Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Ecological Services Committee, 2018-current
Co-chair (with Prof. Robin Craig), Law Professors Committee, 2016-2019

Elected to SEER Council, 2011-2014
Chair, Special Committe on Congressional Relations, ABA SEER, 2014-2016
Chair, Environmental Crimes and Enforcement Committee, ABA SEER, 2008-2010
Vice-Chair, Renewable Energy Committee, 2004-2008
Vice-Chair, Corporate Counsel Committee, 1999-2000

Houston Bar Association, Chair of Environmental Section, 2000-2001

Legal Affiliations

American College of Environmental Lawyers
American Law Institute
World Commission on Environmental Law, International Union of the Conservation of Nature
University of Houston Energy Fellow
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
Nanotechnology Standards Panel of the American National Standards Institute, Steering Committee
International Council on Nanotechnologies, Advisory Committee
Houston Local Emergency Preparedness Committee, Pro Bono Counsel, 1998-2004
Greater Houston Partnership, Vice-Chair, Environmental Advisory Committee (now Sustainability), 1999-present; Waste Subcommittee Chair, 1999-2003

Civic Affiliations

Member, National Advisory Committee to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency re NAFTA's Commission on Environmental Cooperation and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation
Texas Environmental Research Consortium, Chair, 2014-present
Houston Audubon Society, Board of Directors 2018-present, Board of Advisors 2012-2018
Galveston Bay Foundation, Trustee, 2004-2012
Texas Risk Reduction Program Advisory Group, Steering Committee, 2004-2012
Representative, Houston Ship Channel Dioxin TMDL Stakeholders Group
Galveston Bay Council, member, 2004-2006
Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, Board of Directors, 2004
Virtuosi of Houston, Board of Directors, 2002-2005


Co-Founder and Co-Director, Center for Carbon Management in Energy, University of Houston
Inducted into American College of Environmental Lawyers, 2015; elected Regent in 2018
Elected to American Law Institute, 2004
Interim Director, Submittal on Environmental Matters Unit, Commission for Environmental Cooperation, 2014
Environmental Scholar in Residence, Environmental Law Institute, 2015
Named Top Environmental Lawyer in Houston by Best Lawyers in America, 2011
Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, Environmental, 2003-2010
Highly Recommended Individual Attorney, Practical Law Company, Environmental Law
Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2020
Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2009
Texas Super Lawyers, 2003-2009
Articles Editor, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Columbia University School of Law