Lesley K. McAllister Symposium on Climate and Energy Law (Ninth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium)

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Friday, November 3, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.


Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Warren Auditorium

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Climate & Energy Law Symposium

energy and climate policy in the trump era



Symposium Overview

Gold Sponsor:


Denton logo 

Platinum Sponsor:

SDG&E logo 

Event Partners:

Clean Tech logo

 Ypung Professionals in Energy logo

The transition from the Obama presidency to the Trump presidency marked a significant change in approaches to climate and energy policy. The current Administration has stated its intent to reverse much of the Obama era climate and energy policy and regulation. At the University of San Diego’s Ninth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium, state leaders, practitioners, and legal scholars will analyze and assess a range of related topics on three panels.

  • Federal Perspectives – What is happening at the federal level that could affect California’s statewide and policy on energy and climate law? Panelists will discuss the fate of the Clean Power Plan, application of the Clean Air Act, the role of net neutrality in a smart energy future, and the status and implications of potential solar tariffs under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974.
  • State Perspectives – California has been an innovator in the energy and climate area. How will federal policies affect this innovation? This panel will discuss the status of California’s vehicle standards, effects to California of a changing FERC, a historical perspective of how changes at the federal level have challenged California’s authority in the energy sector, and how California has incorporated equity and justice concerns into its approach to climate policy.
  • Local Perspectives – How would changes at the federal level affect local action in this area? Panelists will discuss approaches in the bellwether state of Hawaii, approaches to climate action planning, the challenges of achieving 100% renewable electricity supplies, and lessons learned from climate planning at the local level, including the role of litigation.

The USD Law School community was saddened to learn that Professor Lesley McAllister passed away at the end of August. Professor McAllister joined the USD School of Law faculty in 2005 and during her tenure she, among other things, 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 will dedicate this year's event to Lesley and formally change the name to the Lesley K. McAllister Symposium on Climate and Energy Law.  


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Symposium Agenda

8 – 8:45 a.m. Continental Breakfast ⁄ Registration
8:45 – 9 a.m. Welcome
  • Darien Key, Editor in Chief, San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law
  • Scott J. AndersDirector, Energy Policy Initiatives Center, University of San Diego School of Law
9 – 10 a.m. Keynote Panel
  • Aimee Barnes, Senior Advisor to California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
  • Todd Gloria, California Assemblymember, District 78
  • Andrew​ ​McAllister,​ Commissioner, California Energy Commission
  • Moderator: Scott J. Anders, Director, Energy Policy Initiatives Center, University of San Diego School of Law
10 – 10:15 a.m. Coffee Break
10:15 a.m. – Noon Panel One
  • Thomas McGarity, Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law, University of Texas School of Law
  • David Dana, Associate Dean, Faculty Research and Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Catherine J. Kissee-Sandoval, Associate Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Laura Godfrey Zagar, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
  • Morten Lund, Partner, Stoel Rives
Noon – 1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15 – 3 p.m. Panel Two
  • Alice Kaswan, Professor, University of San Francisco School of Law
  • Pippin Brehler, Attorney, California Air Resources Board
  • William Weaver, Senior Counsel, California Independent System Operator
  • Peter Allen, Administrative Law Judge, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Moderator: Tim DuaneVisiting Professor in Environmental Law, University of San Diego School of Law
3 – 3:15 p.m. Coffee Break
3:15 – 5:15 p.m. Panel Three
  • Kath Rogers, Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson Law School
  • David Victor, Professor, and Co-director, Laboratory on International Law and Regulation, UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Heidi Von Blum, City of San Diego City Attorney's Office
  • Moderator: Nilmini Silva-Send, Assistant Director, Energy Policy Initiatives Center, University of San Diego School of Law
5:15 – 5:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
Scott Anders, Director, Energy Polic Initiatives Center, University of San Diego School of Law
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Reception

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Registration Information

  • Registration categories and fees are provided below. Registration fees includes materials, breakfast, luncheon, refreshment breaks, and symposium reception.
  • Student discounts are available.
  • Unfortunately we are not able to allow refunds. Please confirm your schedule prior to registering.

Registration Category
Early Bird Registration After October 16
General Admission with MCLE $ 200 $ 250
General Admission without MCLE $ 100 $ 150
USD Law Alumni, Academic, Government, and Non-profit with MCLE $150 $175
USD Law Alumni, Academic, Government, and Non-profit without MCLE $50 $75
Students and USD Faculty & Staff $20 $45

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MCLE Credit Information

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


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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 Way for West Entrance to campus
  • Use I-8 West
  • Exit at Morena Blvd.
  • Go right onto Linda Vista Rd.
  • Turn left on Marian Way for 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.

Visitors are required to display a valid permit Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are required to pay for parking on campus. Metered parking is available in mulitple locations on campus but we recommend you park in the West Lot and take the designated tram to Mother Rosalie Hill Hall. The tram will have a sign posted on the window that reads "Climate & Energy Law Symposium" and will run 10-15 minutes. Rates for parking in the West Lot are as follows:

  • 30 minutes - $0.75
  • 1 Hour - $1.50
  • 2 Hours - $3.00
  • 4 Hours - $4.00
  • Full Day - $8.00

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.

Hotel Partner

The University of San Diego’s lodging partner is Bartell Hotels

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Previous Symposia

The Changing Landscape of Energy and Climate Policy in the West

The eighth annual symposium took place on November 4, 2016 and featured a keynote panel with Travis Kavulla, Commissioner of Montana Public Service Commission and President and Chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC); DeAnn (Dede) Hapner, Vice President of FERC and ISO Relations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company; and Adrianna Kripke, Senior Environmental Counsel of San Diego Gas & Electric. Speakers discussed the regional expansion of the California ISO, regional climate and energy policy approaches, and the state approaches to climate and energy policy in the west.


California to Paris: Linking Energy and Climate Policy at the Subnational, National, and International Levels

The seventh annual symposium took place on November 7, 2015 and featured a keynote panel with Congressman Scott Peters (D-52) and Ken Alex, Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown. Speakers discussed the legal challenges and state responses to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, the role of subnational entities, including state, provinces, and cities in international climate agreements, and expectations for the Paris Climate talks.

Innovative Regulatory and Business Models in a Changing Electric Industry

The sixth annual symposium took place on November 7, 2014 and featured a keynote panel with Jon Wellinghoff, Stoel Rives Partner and former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and Jim Avery, Senior Vice President of Power Supply at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). Speakers discussed options for the utility of the future, the role of distributed technologies as drivers of change, and possible regulatory models compatible with the future of the electric grid.

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

The fifth annual symposium, which took place on November 8, 2013, featured keynote addresses by Congressman Scott Peters and Virgil Welsh, Special Assistant to Chair Mary Nichols at the California Air Resources Board. Speakers discussed the strengths and weaknesses of California’s cap-and-trade program, the outlook for emission reductions in the transportation sector, and the promotion of low-carbon energy, particularly solar energy.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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Contact Information

Please send all inquires related to this event to

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Climate and Energy Law Symposium Coordinator

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