Lesley K. McAllister Symposium on Climate and Energy Law

Each year the University of San Diego School of Law hosts the Climate and Energy Law Symposium. Legal and policy experts from across the country attend the event, including practicing attorneys, policy makers, and academic experts.

The symposium is co-hosted by the Energy Policy Initiatives Center and the San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law.

Our USD Law School community was saddened to learn that our former colleague Professor Lesley McAllister passed away at the end of August 2017. She was part of the USD School of Law faculty from 2005 until 2013, when she moved to UC Davis. During her tenure at USD, among many other things, Professor McAllister helped to create the Annual Climate and Energy Law Symposium and the San Diego Journal of Climate and Energy Law. She also pioneered the Climate and Energy Law Course at USD School of Law and co-authored a book on the subject.

To honor her contributions to the USD School of Law generally, and to the Symposium and Journal specifically, we have formally changed the name to the Lesley K. McAllister Symposium on Climate and Energy Law.

Read more about Professor Lesley McAllister (pdf).

Latest Symposium

Looking Beyond Fossil Fuels in The Trump Era

November 9, 2018

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symposium keynote speakers

Symposium Details

The theme of our 2018 Climate & Energy Law Symposium is “Looking Beyond Fossil Fuels in The Trump Era.” The first year of the Trump presidency marked a significant change in climate and energy policy. The Trump Administration has worked to reverse many of the climate and energy policies put in place during the Obama years and has sought to expand fossil fuel production and development.  

At the University of San Diego’s Tenth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium (now named the Lesley K. McAllister Symposium of Climate and Energy Law in honor of the late San Diego Law professor Lesley K. McAllister), academic and policy experts will analyze and assess several aspects of this complex issue

Federal Policy on Fossil Fuels Under Trump

During Trump’s first year in office, his Administration has advanced policies to expand fossil fuel production by seeking to expand offshore drilling, withdrawing land from National Monuments, and withdrawing or significantly amending existing or proposed regulations from the Clean Power Plan to methane, among others. These actions raise numerous legal and policy issues in the areas of coastal and marine protection, public lands, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions regulations, pipeline approval, and the possibility of conflicts between the states and the federal government over policy and Constitutional issues.

Federal Fossil Fuel Policies and California Climate Goals

How do policies to expand fossil affect California’s legal ability to pursue its state statutory greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030? How could decisions on (1) whether current Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for 2025 will remain in place and (2) the outcome of the California Air Resources Board’s pursuit of a waiver under the Clean Air Act affect California’s goal to reduce emissions from  transportation? How would expanded oil production, particularly from offshore drilling affect California’s ability to meet its greenhouse gas targets? How will the Department of Defense’s exclusion zones affect offshore wind development and how does this differ from offshore fossil fuel development leases?

Pathways to Deep Decarbonization

How do Trump Administration policies on fossil fuels affect pathways to long-term deep decarbonization, including leaving fossil fuels in the ground? Will market forces make fossil fuels less competitive regardless of policies to expand production? What role could nuclear energy play in reaching greenhouse gas reduction targets in 2050 and beyond?
Law students at the 2014 Climate and Energy Law Symposium