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January 2018

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January 8, 2018

Staying on top of the legal and policy developments in the climate change arena is no small task. As a special service to our members, the Environmental Law Institute provides a series of monthly conference calls with national experts on climate law and policy to keep you up to date and to answer your questions.


Topics addressed in this month's call:

  • EPA ANPR on revising the Clean Power Plan, and other federal items
  • Chicago hosting the first North American Climate Summit
  • New York state announcements on EV initiatives, energy storage, energy efficiency, and more (including during State of the State address)
  • States hosting their own public sessions on EPA's proposed repeal of the CPP
  • The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact released its Regional Climate Action Plan 2.0
  • San Antonio officially launched a climate change mitigation and adaptation planning effort
  • The Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments program in Louisiana is finalizing a plan that would result in major relocations from high-risk coastal areas.
  • New lawsuits filed by City and County of Santa Cruz against fossil fuel companies for injuries caused by GHG emissions
  • Hawaii Supreme Court decision finding a state constitutional right to a clean environment, including climate change
  • 9th Circuit decision that NMFS did not adequately consider climate change in approving expansion of swordfish fishery that could harm endangered loggerhead turtles
  • Washington state ruling overturning state regulation on GHG emissions from certain stationary sources
  • New lawsuits challenging BLM postponement of compliance date for methane rule
  • Discussion of the tax bill in the context of the year's work in Congress on climate
  • FERC just issued a decision basically rejecting Energy Secretary Perry's "order" that they provide assistance to coal and nuclear plants; and starting a new proceeding on what it would really take to improve grid resilience

Michael B. Gerrard, Professor, Columbia Law School; Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Manik Roy, Senior Fellow, DEPLOY/US [formerly, ClimateWorks Foundation]
Robert Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates
Kate Zyla, Deputy Director, Climate Center, Georgetown University

If you are an ELI member and are logged onto the Members site, you will see links below to available materials/recordings from this session. If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

ELI Monthly Climate Briefings are made possible by the
generous support of our institutional members.

NOTE: This call/recording is for ELI members only. No comments may be quoted
or used without the express written permission of ELI and the panelist.

January 23, 2018

An ELI Master Class

The Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans are engaged in efforts to expand domestic energy production, and using federal land for that production is of particular political interest. This in-depth Master Class featured cross-sectoral experts covering both the legal framework and the potential changes to energy policy on federal lands, onshore and offshore. Panelists covered the laws and regulations that lay the foundation of energy production on federal lands, including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, Energy Policy Act of 2005, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), and DOI’s Valuation Rule. The seminar also took a deep dive into recent developments in energy production policy, such as the Secretarial Order 3352, SECURE American Energy Act, and the Comprehensive and Forward-Looking Sustainable Energy Development Reform Act. If enacted, these could render notable changes to the regulatory framework from Alaska, to the western states, to the Outer Continental Shelf.

With issues potentially impacting a range of terrestrial and oceanic landscapes, and a varied array of energy extraction and development industries, this Master Class raised thought-provoking questions and delved into this key area of energy and environmental law and policy. How do we balance energy needs with environmental risks? How equitable are royalties when considering the various stakeholders? How will changing energy policy transform federal land and sea? What changes could occur in the regulatory sphere with onshore and offshore federal land? This was a CLE-accredited program.

Panel 1 focused on onshore energy production. Speakers explored a range of timely topics including the December 2017 and March 2018 oil and gas lease sales, royalties from mineral and energy production, Alaska’s “Open for Business” initiative (including the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and ANWR), renewable energy development, mineral extraction, and the future of coal production from public lands.

Panel 1: Onshore Energy Development

Jim McElfish, Senior Attorney; Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program, Environmental Law Institute (moderator)
Shannon Eddy, Executive Director, Large-Scale Solar Association (LSA)
Jim Lyons, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Janice Schneider, Partner & Global Vice Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department, Latham & Watkins LLP
Everett Waller, Primary Member, Osage Minerals Council, Royalty Policy Committee, Department of the Interior

Panel 2 focused on offshore issues. Speakers discussed Trump’s executive order mandating the review of offshore energy policies, offshore renewable energy development, and oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf.

Panel 2: Offshore Energy Development

Jane Luxton, Partner, Clark Hill PLC, formerly General Counsel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (moderator)
James Auslander, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond
Timothy Charters, Senior Director, Governmental & Political Affairs, National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA)
Professor Eric N. Smith, Associate Director of Energy Institute, Tulane University

If you are an ELI member and are logged onto the Members site (the white For Members button at the very top of this page), you will see links below to available materials/recordings from this session. If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.


To receive CLE credit:

  • You need to register and provide payment to ELI.
  • If you desire CLE credit in a jurisdiction that we list as having pre-approved the session, you must still note on your registration that you want CLE from that jurisdiction.
  • You will need to actively respond to several polls that are presented during the live session. This means that you must be logged into the webinar and able to participate when the session begins at 12 noon ET and for the entire duration of the session.
  • Your certificate of attendance will be emailed to you a week or so after the session.

To find out about the status of CLE approval in your jurisdiction:

  • List of jurisdictions that have approved the event for CLE credit or where approval is pending and number/type of hours approved.
  • As noted above, ELI will not be seeking CLE approval in jurisdictions other than those listed as having been already pre-approved. You may or may not be able to self-apply, depending on your jurisdiction's policies.
January 25, 2018

An ELI Ocean Program Seminar

The Trump Administration’s approach to fisheries management seems to constitute a significant policymaking shift. Recent decisions such as extending the Gulf of Mexico season for red snapper or overturning a decision by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that would have cut New Jersey's recreational quota for summer flounder seem to go against NOAA’s traditional approach of situating scientific information at the center of fisheries decision-making. This webinar discussed these and other recent developments and assessed the direction U.S. fisheries policymaking may take in the future.

Shana Miller, Director, Global Tuna Conservation Project, The Ocean Foundation
Monica Goldberg, Chief Counsel-Oceans, Environmental Defense Fund
Mike Gravitz, Director of Policy & Legislation, Marine Conservation Institute
Xiao Recio-Blanco, Director, Ocean Program, Environmental Law Institute (moderator)

If you are an ELI member and are logged onto the Members site (the white For Members button at the very top of this page), you will see links below to available materials/recordings from this session. If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

January 26, 2018

The purpose of this conference was to discuss a spectrum of emerging legal issues with a focus on environmental justice, as well as to introduce a wide-ranging exploration of career opportunities in the EJ field. This conference featured environmental law experts on panels including Careers in Environmental Justice, Energy & Climate Justice, Water Access and Affordability, and Urban Air Quality. In addition to the four panel discussions, environmental leaders and activists were featured in the opening remarks and two keynote addresses.

The conference was intended for a general audience: members of the public came together with lawyers, law students, academics, civil rights and social justice advocates and activists, and community groups to discuss the most pressing issues in their communities in 2018 and beyond.

Opening Remarks:
Dr. Agustin V. Arbulu
, Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR)

Keynote Address 1:
Mustafa Santiago Ali
, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization, Hip Hop Caucus

Panel 1 covered Environmental Justice issues related to energy production and distribution and climate change impacts on EJ communities.

Panel 1: Energy and Climate Justice
Denise Abdul-Rahman
, Environmental Climate Justice Chair, NAACP Indiana
Juliana Pino, Policy Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
Tony Reames, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

Panel 2 featured an in-depth exploration of Environmental Justice issues related to water access in Detroit, Chicago and Flint, including shutoffs and affordability challenges.

Panel 2: Water Access and Affordability
Mark P. Fancher
, Staff Attorney, Racial Justice Project, ACLU of Michigan
Monica Lewis-Patrick, Co-Founder, President, and CEO, We The People Of Detroit
Cyndi Roper, Senior Policy Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council

Lunch keynote speaker Charles Lee, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Environmental Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Panel 3 explored air quality challenges, regulation and enforcement in Environmental Justice communities, state and local perspectives.

Panel 3: Urban Air Quality
Rashida Tlaib, Community Partnerships & Development Director, Sugar Law Center
State Representative Stephanie Chang, Michigan House of Representatives
Michelle Martinez, Executive Director, Third Horizon Consulting and Coordinator, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

Panel 4 featured professionals in the environmental field focusing on a variety of opportunities for new attorneys, organizers, and other roles.

Panel 4: Careers in Environmental Justice
Jeremy Orr
, Vice-Chair, Environmental Justice Committee - Civil Rights & Social Justice Section, American Bar Association (ABA), Moderator
Marnese Jackson, Regional Field Organizer, NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice Program
Maria Thomas, Power Up Program Leader, Soulardarity
Jalonne White-Newsome, Senior Program Officer, Environment, The Kresge Foundation

Cosponsored by: Wayne State University Law School's Transnational Environmental Law Clinic and Environmental Law Society, University of Chicago Law School's Abrams Environmental Law Clinic, the American Bar Association's Environmental Justice Committee of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, and the Environmental Law Institute.

January 30, 2018

5th Al-Moumin Distinguished Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding: Ken Conca & Geoff Dabelko

Fifteen years ago, Ken Conca and Geoff Dabelko published Environmental Peacemaking, a rejoinder to grim scenarios foreseeing environmental change as a driver of conflict. Conca, Dabelko, and collaborators argued that, despite conflict risks, shared environmental interests and cooperative action could also be a basis for building trust, establishing shared identities, and transforming conflict into peace. In the fifth Al-Moumin lecture, Conca and Dabelko reflected on the evolution of environmental peacebuilding research and their long-term engagement with policymakers and practitioners applying these insights around the world.

At the event, Prof. Conca and Prof. Dabelko were recognized with the prestigious Al-Moumin Award for their outstanding contributions to environmental peacebuilding.

Dr. Ken Conca is a Professor of International Relations in the School of International Service and American University. Dr. Geoff Dabelko is a Professor and Director of Environmental Studies at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University; he is also a Senior Advisor to the Environmental Change and Security Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The Al-Moumin Award and Distinguished Lecture of Environmental Peacebuilding recognizes leading thinkers who are shaping the field of environmental peacebuilding. It is named after Dr. Mishkat Al-Moumin, Iraq’s first Minister of Environment, a human rights and environment lawyer.

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