Call for Papers

University of San Diego Climate & Energy Law Symposium 

The Proposals Deadline Has Been Extended to May 30th

On Friday, November 4, 2016, the University of San Diego School of Law will host its Eighth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium.  With this Call for Proposals, you are invited to submit a title and abstract of an article that you can present at the Symposium and publish in the Eighth Volume of the San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law.  If we select your proposal, the University will pay for all travel expenses to and from the Symposium. Also, you must submit your completed article to the Journal’s editors by the date of the Symposium (November 4, 2016) for consideration in the Eighth Volume. 

The theme of our 2016 Climate & Energy Law Symposium is “The Changing Landscape of Energy and Climate Policy in the West.” Recent developments at the federal and state levels are changing the energy and climate policy landscape in the U.S., with particular implications for the West. The Supreme Court’s decision to stay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) has put on hold the prospect of a single federal unifying climate policy in the electricity sector. Other rulings related to distributed energy (e.g. FERC 745) resources and renewable portfolio standards (e.g., Colorado’s renewable portfolio standard) have obscured the line between state and federal authority. Several states, including California, Washington, Hawaii, and Oregon have adopted aggressive climate and energy policies, including renewable portfolio standards and low-carbon fuel standards, while others have not taken these steps. Increasing amounts of renewable energy have created challenges for grid operators.  

At the University of San Diego’s Eighth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium, academic and policy experts will analyze and assess several aspects of this complex issue

  • The Blurring Lines between State and Federal Jurisdiction - Recent or pending court decisions are challenging the bright line division between state and federal regulation of energy. New technologies, business models, services, and products are changing how customers, utilities, regulators, and system operators act. Renewable energy integration, greenhouse gas reductions, changing economics, and state procurement mandates are creating conflicts between how wholesale and electric markets are regulated. Courts have upheld state RPS programs and California’s low-carbon fuel standards against commerce clause challenge. How are these issues affecting the West?  What actions are states taking to limit federal jurisdiction?  What can the West expect from an increasing number of cases challenging these types of state policy or wholesale market regulation?
  • Regional Expansion of the California ISO - California’s Independent Operator (CAISO) has developed an Energy Imbalance Market to address the issue of oversupply during certain times of the day and year. The CAISO is also considering expanding beyond California’s borders. Such developments raise interesting questions around federal and state jurisdiction and governance. Are there lessons learned from other multistate RTOs that might apply to CAISO expansion? What would the implications be for the energy and climate policies of states that join the expanded ISO?
  • Regional Climate and Energy Policy Approaches – In the absence of US EPA’s CPP are state policies sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the West and beyond? Or is another approach necessary to link state policies similar to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative among Northeastern states? Is California’s Cap and Trade program a foundation for a broader Western climate policy?
  • Integrating Distributed Generation – Distributed generation is playing an increasing role in energy and climate policy. The energy supply from rooftop solar is expected to increase. Net energy metering (NEM) polices are changing as the penetration of rooftop solar increases. California and Nevada recently modified their NEM policies in different ways. Energy storage, demand response, and integration of electric vehicles into the distribution system and into wholesale markets raises interesting questions. How will differing policies across the West affect solar markets? What are the prospects of integrating distributed energy resources under recent rulings and CAISO efforts? 
  • Transportation Fuels – California has a policy goal to reduce fossil fuels in the transportation sector by 50% and to have 1.5 million zero emissions in the road by 2025. Oregon and Washington are contemplating a low-carbon fuel standard similar to California’s policy. Hawaii is seeking to reduce and ultimately eliminate its reliance on imported fuels for ground transportation. How will implementation of these policies affect transportation fuel markets in the West? Electrification of the transportation sector is a significant strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How will this affect overall electricity management? What role do low transportation fuel costs play in attempts to reduce emissions from the transportation system?

All article proposals related to these broad issues in climate and energy law are welcome. If you are interested in participating, please submit the following materials to Cassandra Wells, Editor-in-Chief of the San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law, at

  1. (1) The proposed title of your article and a brief 300 word abstract; 
  2. (2) Your CV; and,
  3. (3) Written acknowledgement that you will attend the Symposium on Friday, November 4, 2016, and submit a complete draft of your article to the San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law by that same date. 

The University of San Diego Climate & Energy Law Symposium is co-hosted by the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) and the San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law

Please submit your proposal by Wednesday, May 30, 2016.  We look forward to hearing from you!



Energy Policy Initiatives Center
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (619) 260-4589
Fax: (619) 260-4753