Fifth Annual Climate and Energy Law Symposium

Fifth Annual Climate and Energy Law Symposium

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Friday, November 8, 2013 at 8:00 a.m.


Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Warren Auditorium

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




2013 CEL Symposium Banner image

California in the Spotlight: Successes and Challenges in Climate Change Law

Academic and policy experts will analyze and assess three core aspects of California’s approach to climate change mitigation at the University of San Diego’s Fifth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium.



Symposium Overview

At the University of San Diego’s Fifth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium, academic and policy experts will analyze and assess three core aspects of California’s approach to climate change mitigation.

First, California has implemented an economy-wide cap-and-trade program. How well does cap and trade work? What are its weaknesses and strengths in comparison to alternative emissions reduction policies? Should it be a regulatory instrument of choice for other states and countries?

Second, California is aggressively pursuing emissions reductions in the transportation sector. What is the outlook for zero-emission vehicles and the policies to promote them? Should the state’s low-carbon fuel standard survive judicial scrutiny? What prospects remain for a national low-carbon fuel standard?

Third, California remains a leader in promoting low-carbon electricity, particularly solar electricity. How have the state’s utilities complied with the Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring that they source 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020? What are the arguments for and against national policies that mandate such goals? What other state, national, and international policies should be implemented to promote low-carbon electricity?

Return to Menu


Symposium Agenda

8 – 8:45 a.m. Continental Breakfast ⁄ Registration
8:45 – 9 a.m. Welcome
  • Stephen P. Ferruolo, Dean and Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Kelsey Chase, Editor in Chief, San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law
  • Scott J. Anders, Director, Energy Policy Initiatives Center, University of San Diego School of Law
9 – 10 a.m. Virgil Welch photoKeynote
Virgil Welch
Special Counsel, California Air Resources Board
10 – 10:15 a.m. Coffee Break
10:15 a.m. – Noon Panel One
Carbon Cap-and-Trade in Action
  • Wil Burns, Associate Director, Energy Policy & Climate Program, Johns Hopkins University
  • Alice Kaswan, Professor of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law
  • Jim Rossi, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Holly Stout, Senior Counsel, California Air Resources Board
  • Moderator: Joshua T. Bledsoe, Counsel, Latham & Watkins LLP
Noon – 1 p.m. Lunch
1 – 2:45 p.m. Panel Two
Towards Low-Carbon Electricity and Transportation
  • Joel B. Eisen, Professor of Law and Austin Owen Research Fellow, University of Richmond School of Law
  • Melissa Powers, Associate Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School
  • Harrison Clay, President, Clean Energy Renewable Fuels
  • Andrew Ulmer, Director, Federal Regulatory Affairs, California Independent System Operator
  • Moderator: Warren Diven, Partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP
2:45 – 3 p.m. Coffee Break
3 – 4:45 p.m. Panel Three
Constitutional Challenges to State Leadership
  • David A. Dana, Stanford Clinton Sr. and Zylpha Kilbride Clinton Research Professor of Law, Northwestern Law School
  • Steven Ferrey, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School
  • Alexandra B. Klass, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota School of Law
  • David Zonana, Deputy Attorney General, Environment Section
  • Moderator: : Tim Duane, Professor, University of California Santa Cruz and Visiting Professor, University of San Diego School of Law
4:45 - 5:30 p.m. Scott Peters photoKeynote
Congressman Scott Peters
 52nd Congressional District
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Closing Reception

Return to Menu


Registration Information

  • Registration categories and fees are provided below. Registration fees includes materials, breakfast, luncheon, refreshment breaks, and symposium reception.
  • San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA) Members receive a 25 percent discount. Please contact SDBCA for discount code before registering online.
  • Student discounts are available.
  • Unfortunately we are not able to allow refunds. Please confirm your schedule prior to registering.

Registration Category
October 19
General Admission  $ 100 $ 125
USD Law Alumni, Academic, Government, and Non-profit 50 75
Students and USD Faculty & Staff 20 45

 Register online now.

Return to Menu


MCLE Credit Information

The University of San Diego School of Law is a State Bar of California-approved MCLE provider and certifies that this activity is approved for 7.25 hours of general credit.

MCLE materials are available for download below.

MCLE Materials - Panel One
MCLE Materials - Panel Two
MCLE Materials - Panel Three

Return to Menu


Location & Directions

School of Leadership and Education Sciences (Mother Rosalie Hill Hall)
Warren Auditorium, Room 116
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego CA 92110

  • Use I-5 South
  • Exit Sea World Dr. & Tecolote Rd.
  • Proceed left at stoplight toward Morena Blvd.
  • Turn right on Morena Blvd.
  • Left on Napa
  • Left on Linda Vista Rd.
  • Turn left on Marian Way for West Entrance to campus
  • Use I-5 North
  • Exit Morena Blvd. (signs will say: Morena Blvd. use I-8 East)
  • Stay to the right and follow signs for Morena Blvd.
  • Take the first right onto Linda Vista Rd.
  • Turn left on Marian Wayfor West Entranceto campus
  • Use I-8 West
  • Exit at Morena Blvd.
  • Go right onto Linda Vista Rd.
  • Turn left on Marian Wayfor West Entrance to campus

From all directions, once you enter the west entrance:

  • Proceed up the hill and follow the signs to the West Parking structure. Attendants will direct you to a parking space.
  • Tram service will be available from 8 – 9 a.m. from the West Parking structure to Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, which will be the first building on your left side (across from Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice).
  • The symposium will be held in Warren Auditorium, which will be down the hall on your right side in room 116.
  • View Mother Rosalie Hill Hall on USD's campus map.

Mass Transit

For attendees wishing to use mass transit, please be advised that schedules and services are limited; consulting schedules in advance is highly recommended. The most convenient hub is the Old Town Transit Center, which is served by bus, the San Diego Trolley, and the Coaster commuter train. The Old Town station is served by USD shuttle buses.
Click here for USD shuttle bus information.
Click here for Old Town Transit Center information

Hotel Partner

The University of San Diego’s lodging partner is Bartell Hotels. Shuttle service from Bartell Hotel’s The Dana on Mission Bay will be available to and from the symposium.

Return to Menu


Previous Symposia

November 9, 2012:
Law in a Distributed Energy Future

The fourth annual symposium featured keynote addresses by then California Energy Commission Commissioner Carla Peterman and Ken Alex, Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and Director of the Office of Planning and Research. Speakers discussed the rules that govern the electricity grid change to incorporate distributed generation, the possibilities for generating energy at the neighborhood and community levels, and the legal and policy innovations at the federal, state and local levels needed to accommodate a distributed energy future.

April 15, 2011:
Advancing a Clean Energy Future

The third annual symposium featured a keynote address by Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Panelists discussed the role of states in renewable energy development, policies to encourage clean energy and energy efficiency, and the balance between renewable energy development and environmental concerns.

April 9, 2010:
Next-Generation Regulation: Instrument Choice in Climate Law

The second annual symposium featured a keynote address by Jody Freeman, Professor of Law at Harvard University and Former White House Counselor for Energy and Climate Change. Panelists discussed market mechanism and tax law options to reduce greenhouse gases and whether traditional legal and policy mechanisms are still relevant. The 2010 symposium also included a workshop on the challenges of and opportunities for siting renewable energy systems, which included a keynote presentation by former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman.

February 20, 2009:
Federal Preemption or State Prerogative: California in the Face of National Climate Policy

The keynote speaker was Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board. Panelists discussed whether states law and policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are preempted by federal law and ways to integrate state and federal actions.


Return to Menu


Contact Information

Please send all inquires related to this event to

Return to Menu


Contact Us

Phone: (619) 260-4527

View Directory

83° 61°

Visit Campus

Warren Hall, Room 201
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110