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The North American Consortium on Legal Education USMCA, Energy, Environment, and Health Challenges : A Legal Context in the Complex Times of COVID-19

November 13, 2020

08:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CST
Venue : Online via Zoom
3 Panels : English, French, and Spanish

Sponsored by the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law at the University of Houston Law Center, Dalhousie University ; McGill University ; University of Ottawa, CIDE : ITESM ; UNAM ; Universidad Panamericana, George Washington University ; Southwestern Law School ; and University of Arizona.

Register here : Register Link

8:45am : Welcoming Remarks

9:00am-10:00am : USMCA workshop - in English-
Moderator : David A. Gantz
Clayton Fellow, Mexico Center/Baker Institute, Rice University
Samuel M. Fegtly Professor of Law Emeritus, The University of Arizona Anthony van Duzer Professor / Professeur Hyman Soloway Chair in Business and Trade Law /Chaire Hyman Soloway du droit des affaires et du commerce Faculty of Law / Faculté de droit Common Law Section, University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa
Guillermo García Sánchez
Associate Professor, Texas A&M University School of Law
Dalia María Vargas
Alvarado Student, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey México

10:00am - 11:00am : Atelier sur l’énergie, l’environnement et le COVID-19 - en français-
Modérateur :
Aubin Nzaou Research Fellow, Center for U.S. and Mexican Law University of Houston Law Center, U.S.A Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow, European Commission
Thomas Burelli Professeur adjoint, Droit International de l’environnement Université de Ottawa, Canada
Louis de Fontenelle Maître de conférence en droit public
Titulaire Chaire partenariale E2S UPPA “MOVE” Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, France
Eric Goodchild Law Student, Dalhousie Schulich School of Law, U.S.A. (in English)

11:00am - 12:00pm : COVID-19 : Salud, Energía y medio ambiente - Taller en Español -
Moderador :
Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano Director, Centro de Estudios Jurídicos México-Estados Unidos, Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Houston, Estados Unidos de América
Valentín Bocco Parreira, alumno, Facultad de Derecho, InstitutoTécnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México
Emilio Adrián Gutiérrez Terrones, alumno, Facultad de Derecho, Instituto Técnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México
Omar Sánchez García, alumno, Facultad de Derecho, Instituto Técnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México

12:00pm -12:15pm : NACLE Students Writing Competition Awards recognition

Closing remarks

4th Annual North American Environment, Energy, & Natural Resources Conference (Special Webinar Edition)

August 18, 2020
The New Energy Landscape : COVID-19, Climate Change and Diversification


In a few short weeks between the beginning of February and the middle of March 2020, the world saw an unprecedented drop in demand for energy, particularly for transportation fuels. Though the immediacy and scale of the drop are invariably related to the COVID-19 pandemic, other factors, such as increasing Russian and Saudi production as well as continued climate concerns have also had an effect. This same period saw some of the world’s largest energy companies propose future carbon neutrality targets, continue diversification of their business model from fossil fuels, and increase their investment in negative emissions technology startups. Despite the pandemic, renewable buildout continues. Energy businesses also face a reckoning over environment, social, and governance policies and their commitments to anti-racism.

Join University of Houston energy and climate law experts, energy general counsel, negative carbon technology business entrepreneurs and Blank Rome attorneys as we take stock and make sense of the new post-COVID world of energy in our Special 2020 North American Conference Webinar Edition.

The future as seen by energy company general counsel
Discussion of the first survey on energy workers return to work
The latest from the leaders in negative emissions technology

Sponsored by Blank Rome, LLP, the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (EENR) Center of the University of Houston Law Center, UH Energy, the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico (UNAM)


8:45 A.M. 
Welcome to our Changed World
Gina Warren, UH EENR Center Faculty Co-Director
Susan Bickley, Blank Rome, Houston Managing Partner

9:00 A.M. 
Technological Innovation and Energy
Ramanan Krishnamoorti, moderator and speaker : UH Energy
Energy Investment in Direct Air Capture and Other technologies
Steve Oldham, CEO, Carbon Engineering
Jeremy Friesen, Senior R&D Engineer, NET Power
Innovations in low carbon emissions and IP innovation,
Joshua Sarnoff, DePaul University, IP issues and negative emissions technology
Sean McDermott, Blank Rome

10:30 A.M.
Discussions with Dean Leonard Baynes : Carbon Neutrality, COVID-19, The Economy, Black Lives Matter and the 2020 Election.

Corporate General Counsel Panel :
Kay McColl, Noble Environmental Power
Ken Neikirk, Helix Energy
Kelly B. Rose, ConocoPhillips
Tony Trevino, Lewis Energy
William Turcotte, Noble Corporation

11:30 A.M.
Roundtable : The Business and Policy Future for North American Energy-Lessons from COVID
Victor Flatt, EENR Center Faculty Co-Director – Moderator
Praveen Kumar, UH Bauer GEMI
Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano, UHLC US-Mexican Law Center
Dr. Christiane Spitzmueller, UH Center for Applied Psychological Research (creator of The Energy Workforce Return to Work Survey)
Margaret Hill, Blank Rome

12:30 P.M.  Wrap Up and Questions
12:45 P.M.  END

April 17th, 2020

1st Annual Conference Global Energy Transition Law and Policy

WEBINAR April 17th, 2020 - Houston, TX - 9:00a.m. - 12:30p.m. (CDT)


Program :

The Energy Transition in European and Comparative Law : Towards a New Shift and a Democratic Perspective

  • Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano (University of Houston Law Center - EENR - US-MEX LAW)
  • Aubin Nzaou (University of Houston Law Center- EENR - US-MEX LAW) - Recent Developments in Energy Transition Law and Policy
  • Leslie-Anne Duvic-Paoli (King’s College London) - Energy Policy in Citizens’ Climate Assemblies
  • Louis de Fontenelle (University of Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, France) - Energy Communities in the European Union
  • Bernadette le Baut-Ferrarese (University of Lyon) - Europeanisation of the Development of Renewable Energy in Transition

The Energy Transition as an Integrative Approach in Global Law and Economic Policy
Moderator - Victor B. Flatt (University of Houston Law Center - EENR)

  • Raphael J. Heffron (University of Dundee) - Finance and Risk Policy for The Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy
  • Rafael Leal-Arcas (Queen Mary University of London) - A Sustainable and Prosperous Future : The Role of Climate Clubs and International Trade
  • Tade Oyewumni (Vermont Law School) - Decarbonization Options for Gas and Electricity Systems : Power-to-Gas and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage
  • Luis Serra (Tecnologico de Monterrey) - Incorporation of DMDU decision-making under deep uncertainty) Framework into Energy Policy

COVID-19 provides Warning about the Transition from Fossil Fuels

  • Krishnamoorti Ramanan (University of Houston – UH Energy)
  • Victor B. Flatt (University of Houston Law Center - EENR)
  • Aubin Nzaou (University of Houston Law Center - EENR - US-MEX LAW)
  • Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano (University of Houston Law Center- EENR - US-MEX LAW)

April 3, 2020


Conference Venue : University of Houston Law Center, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center.

Convener : Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center and the Center for U.S. and American Law.

Panel’s Universities : University of Houston Law Center, Vermont Law School, University of New Mexico and Jean Moulin University – Lyon 3.

Webinar Format

The renewable energy revolution poses a once in a lifetime opportunity for co-benefits of democracy, bringing electricity to those who lack it, and equity. This transition has the potential for widely shared prosperity, not just a decrease in suffering. To unlock that potential, however, we also need to disrupt business as usual in the dominant business model. The co-benefits are more likely if the institutions that lead the way are democratically owned and managed with the explicit goal of bringing the benefits of ownership to those who have been traditionally marginalized by the current economic and energy system. The talk will sketch the pathways to sustainable development and deep decarbonization of energy at the global level.

First, Professor Melissa Scanlan will discuss research on non-profit energy cooperatives she is leading, which demonstrates how different aspects of the transition are already underway. Each case study, from a comparative perspective of Spain and the U.S., includes an overview of the cooperative’s history, type, and economic sector ; context based on its industry and country ; best practices in environmental sustainability ; and its governance and cooperative legal structure. The panel will discuss Spanish renewable energy cooperatives involved in various points in the energy system and a US electricity cooperative in the politically conservative Deep South that is leading the transition to renewables.

Second, Professor Gabe Pacyniak will discuss how the rural electricity cooperative model in the United States also presents some challenges when it comes to shifting to a lower-carbon electricity grid. The over 900 electricity cooperatives in the United States have generally been slower to shift to lower-carbon electricity in comparison to other types of utilities. Pacyniak will share research that identifies structural and institutional factors for this lag, and will also highlight opportunities to strengthen cooperative supports and oversight to accelerate the shift to a low-carbon electricity system.

Panelists :
- Melissa K. Scanlan,
Visiting Professor, Boston College Law School,
Director, New Economy Law Center, Law Professor, Vermont Law School ;
- Gabe Pacyniak,
Assistant Professor of Law, University of New Mexico ;
- Aubin Nzaou, Ph.D.
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow in Law and Energy Policy,
University of Houston Law Center.

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