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Annual symposium at USD explores advancement of clean energy

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The University of San Diego's third annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium, titled “Advancing a Clean Energy Future,” will examine emerging law and policy approaches to encourage clean energy. Clean energy refers to the diverse set of technologies that can help meet our needs for energy while limiting its impact on the environment. Shifting to cleaner energy is an essential task for reducing green house gases that cause climate change.

The symposium will bring together legal and policy experts from across the country to address a variety of key issues, including the coordination of state and federal roles in the clean energy sector; the design of policies and markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency; and the balance between energy development and environmental protection.

Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), will give the morning keynote address. Wellinghoff has been a member of FERC since 2006 and was appointed as chairman by President Barack Obama in 2009. With more than 34 years of experience, he has expertise in the private and public sectors of energy law. Wellinghoff has worked to create renewable portfolio standards for seven states and was the primary author of the Nevada statute.

Karen Douglas, commissioner and former chairwoman of the California Energy Commission (CEC), will give the afternoon keynote address. Before being appointed to the CEC by Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger in 2008, Douglas worked as director of California Climate Initiative at Environmental Defense and as acting executive director of the Planning and Conservation League.

The roster of expert panelists includes, among others, Michael Picker, senior adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown for renewable energy facilities; Kirsten Engel of the University of Arizona College of Law; Robert L. Glicksman of George Washington University Law School; Jim Rossi of Florida State University College of Law; and Steven Weissman of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

The symposium is co-hosted by USD School of Law’s Energy Policy Initiatives Center and the San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law. Scholarly articles written for the symposium will be published in the journal's third volume.

For more information about the symposium, visit law.sandiego.edu/celsymposium.

Submitted by Arash Ebrahimi for USD School of Law

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