USD School of Law Hosts Fifth Annual Climate and Energy Law Symposium

2013 Climate and Energy Law Symposium Sponsors

San Diego (November 4, 2013) – The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law presents the Fifth Annual Climate and Energy Law Symposium on Friday, November 8, 2013. The event will bring together academic and policy experts from around the country to discuss the successes and challenges related to California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

“The symposium is a great opportunity for attorneys and other professional working in areas related to energy and climate change to learn more about how California’s aggressive approach is doing nearly eight years after the passage of the state’s comprehensive greenhouse reduction law,” Stephen Ferruolo, Dean of USD School of Law. “Given the importance of this issue in California and around the nation, we are pleased that the symposium will advance the broader legal and policy discussion on climate related issues.”

The symposium will include keynote addresses from U.S. Congressman Scott Peters, who will provide a federal context to the discussion and provide an update on relevant federal legislation, and Virgil Welch, special counsel to California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols, who will provide an update on the agency’s activities, including the recently released draft update to the Scoping Plan.

“State governments, most notably California, have taken the lead in developing climate change law and policy in the United States,” Scott Anders, director of the Energy Policy Initiatives Center at the University of San Diego School of Law. “This is a great opportunity to take stock of how effective California’s efforts have been and where changes might be necessary.”

Among the broad questions that will be addressed at the symposium include:

  • How is the cap-and-trade system working and what are its weaknesses and strengths in comparison to alternative emissions reduction policies?
  • 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?
  • 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?

To help work through these challenging questions, symposium organizers have assembled a line-up of legal academic experts, including Wil Burns, associate director of the Energy Policy & Climate Program at Johns Hopkins University; Joel Eisen, professor of law and Austin Owen Research Fellow at the University of Richmond School of Law; Melissa Powers, associate professor of law, Lewis & Clark Law School; and David Dana, professor of law at Northwestern Law School.

Representatives from state and federal agencies that work in this area will also be on hand, including Holly Stout, senior counsel at the California Air Resources Board; Andrew Ulmer, director of federal regulatory affairs at the California Independent System Operator; and David Zonana, deputy attorney general in the Environment Section of the California Department of Justice.

The event will take place at USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences (Mother Rosalie Hill Hall) in Warren Auditorium. General admission registration is $125. USD School of Law alumni, academics, government, and non-profit admission is $75. Students and USD faculty and staff admission is $45. To learn more about the event and to register, please see the symposium website at

MCLE Credit

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.

Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC)

The Energy Policy Initiatives Center is an academic and research center of the University of San Diego School of Law that studies how energy policy issues affect California and the San Diego region. EPIC integrates research and analysis, law school study and public education, and provides legal and policy expertise and information about solutions to future energy needs. For more information, visit

About USD School of Law

Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law, and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


Scott Anders
(619) 260-4589