Symposium to Cover Environmental Regulation in a New Political Climate

In New Era of Deregulations, States and Others Appear To Be Filling In
Whose Mess Is It? poster
October 13, 2017

As the U.S. administration has moved toward deregulating federal environmental protections, states and other groups have pledged to uphold them. A symposium sponsored by the Virginia Environmental Law Journal on Oct. 19 in Caplin Pavilion will look at the issues involved in Virginia and at the grassroots level.

"Federal regulation has long been seen as vital for the protection of the environment," said third-year law student Tyler Jerrell, who helped organize the symposium. "But those protections are no longer being upheld."

The administration's second executive order directed review and approval of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Two months later, a March 28 executive order emphasized deregulation of energy development on federal lands. In June, the administration publicly announced its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and on Monday, the EPA announced it would sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, designed to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

In response, attempts to deregulate the energy sector are being met with legal challenges by nonprofit groups and are being opposed by some state and local governments. Additionally, 23 states, including Virginia, have committed to fulfill the aspirations of the Paris Agreement.

"The symposium will look at these issues as they apply closer to home," Jerrell said.

Panelists will explore past and current examples of state and local cooperation on regional environmental issues. While federal agencies have played a key role, the symposium will examine the possibility of lessened federal involvement brought by the new political climate, and explore broader issues of federalism and environmental regulation.

Thursday, Oct. 19

Caplin Pavilion

9:30 a.m.

Welcome Breakfast

9:45 a.m.

Introductory Remarks

Cale Jaffe, Assistant Professor of Law and Director, Environmental and Regulatory Law Clinic, University of Virginia School of Law

10 a.m.

Panel I: Bigger Than Any One State: The Chesapeake Bay

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Oceans Law and Policy

  • Stephen Macko, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
  • Jon Mueller, Vice President for Litigation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Mary Rafferty, Executive Director, Virginia Conservation Network

11 a.m.

Panel II: Federal Waters, State Coastlines: Offshore Energy Development in the Southeast

Co-Sponsored by the Virginia Environmental Law Forum

  • Michael Dowd, Director of the Air Division, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • John Uhrin, Councilmember, Virginia Beach City Council
  • Sierra Weaver, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center



Provided by Brazos Tacos

12:15 p.m.

Keynote Roundtable

  • Caroline Cecot, Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University
  • Michael Livermore, Associate Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Hannah Wiseman, Attorneys’ Title Professor, Florida State University College of Law

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