2015 Climate and Energy Law Symposium

This event occurred in the past

2015 Climate and Energy Law Symposium

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Friday, November 6, 2015 at 8:00 a.m.


Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Warren Auditorium

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Climate & Energy Law Symposium

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



Symposium Overview

Lead Sponsor:

SDG&E logo

Gold Sponsor:

Paul Hastings logo

Denton logo

Event Partners:

San Diego County Bar Association logo

Clean Tech logo


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

First, U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan and State Responses – The proposed Clean Power Plan regulations would provide a framework for states to develop greenhouse gas reduction policies in the form of a State Implementation Plan, at least for the electricity sector. Several legal questions have arisen in response, including dormant commerce clause considerations, the relationship between a federal plan implemented between the EPA and state regulation of electricity to regulate, and the limits of executive action.

Second, U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan as a Framework for International Action – Can the Clean Power Plan and other climate related executive actions serve as an example of the type of linkages that could be attractive for a protocol or other legal instrument at COP 21? Could a similar framework be a mechanism for bilateral or multilateral agreements between countries? Is it possible for the Obama Administration to pursue an Executive Agreement that would not need Senate ratification?

Third, Subnational Participation in International Climate Agreements – Several states already have comprehensive policies to reduce emissions. What is the role of subnational entities such as states or provinces in international agreements? What meaningful bilateral agreements could states enter into? Are protocols in place to permit and facilitate subnational participation in international climate discussions?

Return to Menu

Watch the webcast 

Symposium Agenda

8 – 8:45 a.m. Continental Breakfast ⁄ Registration
8:45 – 9 a.m. Welcome
  • Stephen C. Ferruolo, Dean and Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Andrew Walters, 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. Keynote Panel
  • Congressman Scott Peters, U.S. Congress, District 52
  • Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and the Director of the Office of Planning and Research
  • 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
State Responses to the US EPA Clean Power Plan
Noon – 1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15 – 3 p.m. Panel Two
International Perspectives
3 – 3:15 p.m. Coffee Break
3:15 – 5 p.m. Panel Three
The Role of Subnational Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
5 – 5:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
Scott Anders, Director, Energy Policy initiatives Center, University of San Diego School of Law
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 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 now button

Return to Menu


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 MCLE credit in the amount of 7 hours of general credit.

Conference Materials for MCLE.

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 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.

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. Shuttle service from Bartell Hotel’s The Dana on Mission Bay will be available to and from the symposium.

Return to Menu


Previous Symposia

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.


Return to Menu


Contact Information

Please send all inquires related to this event to ebhappu@sandiego.edu.

Return to Menu


Contact Us

View Directory

83° 61°

Visit Campus

5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110