Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics Newsletter

Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics Newsletter: Friday, January 6, 2017

Message From The Directors

Jonas Monast Victor Flatt

Introducing Our Board of Advisors

In 2017, many people are uncertain what the future holds for environmental protection, climate stabilization, and energy innovation.  There are always questions such as these in the course of any political transition, but they have been amplified by some of the rhetoric of November’s election.  Though there is much uncertainty, we think this election tells us more than ever that issues of environmental protection, climate stabilization, and energy provision cannot be separated from the desire of all persons for a productive job and a healthy society.  That is why we at CE3 will continue to emphasize that while protecting our environment and stabilizing our climate, we must continue to look for ways to do so that provide healthy economic growth and energy provision for citizens of our country.  We firmly believe that this is not an either/or choice, and in the coming years, we will continue to press that argument to those who believe environmental and climate protection must somehow be shut down to benefit our economy.

We will be helped in our endeavors by our newly named Board of Advisors, which includes some of the most experienced and admired persons in the environment, energy, and climate field in our country, including a former Ambassador, a former Acting Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, of the Department of the Interior, leading economists and environmental justice advocates, and alumni who are at the cutting edge of renewable energy development. To see a list of our new Advisory Board, please go to

We hope that you enjoy this quarter’s newsletter.

Victor Flatt and Jonas Monast  

Featured Article

Illuminating the Energy Policy Agenda: Electricity Sector Issues Facing the Next Administration

A new paper from the University of North Carolina Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics; the Harvard Environmental Policy Initiative; and Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions provides an overview of six key areas of federal policy: federal regulation of electricity markets, climate policy, nuclear energy, natural gas, economic development, and federal government procurement.  Due to statutory deadlines, pending lawsuits, and agency rulemakings—if not by choice—the next president will tackle energy policy. For each area, the paper identifies the decision points--in time or circumstances--that will force the next administration to make choices that shape the future of the grid. For each decision point, the paper explores the next president's options and the authorities that he could deploy.  The paper also received significant media coverage, including an Op-Ed in The Hill and stories published by E&E News (subscription required), Argus, theNews & Observer, Utility Dive, Greentech Media, and anotherE&E News about the Federal Power Act and PURPA.

Recent News

PUC Collaborative Meeting

PUC Collaborative 1 PUC Collaborative 2

CE3 hosted a workshop for energy scholars focusing on state-level electricity regulation September 30th - October 1st. Papers were presented by: Hari Osofsky (University of Minnesota Law School), Ann Carlson (UCLA School of Law) and William Boyd (Colorado Law), Shelley Weldon (University of South Carolina School of Law), Kate Zyla (Georgetown Climate Center), Jonas Monast (University of North Carolina School of Law), and Christina Reichert and Sarah Adair (both of the Nicholas Institute).  The lively lunch discussion on Friday focused on energy law scholarship during a period of rapid change.  We are also grateful for colleagues at Duke University and Strata Solar for providing insight on valuing renewables, including modeling, planning, and uncertainty.   

Parr Center for Ethics - Symposium on Climate Change Ethics

Professors Victor Flatt and Maria Savasta-Kennedy participated in panel discussions during the Symposium on Climate Change Ethics, hosted by the UNC Parr Center for Ethics on October 28th.  The full day conference featured panels on: life in the Anthropocene and the value of nature; rising sea levels and duties to future generations; and responsibility for climate change and duties to other nations.  The keynote focused on climate justice.


New Scholars Profiled!

Hirokawa Krakoff Parenteau

Scholars profiled since our last newsletter include Keith Hirokawa (October 2016), Sarah Krakoff (November 2016), Patrick A. Parenteau (December 2016).  Keep up to date by going to ourScholars page or by liking CE3 on Facebook or following us on Twitter or Instagram (@UNCCE3), where the new profile is posted monthly.

Professor Monast Participates in International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Forum

Professor Monast participated in the 16th Annual Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Trading, held at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France. The event, cosponsored by the International Energy Agency, the International Emissions Trading Association, and the Electric Power Research Institute, brings together climate policy experts from the United States, Europe, and Asia to explore new developments in international, national, and subnational emissions trading programs. Jonas provided an update on market-based compliance options under the Clean Power Plan and the ongoing litigation challenging the rule.


Students Attend NC Environmental Justice Summit with Professor Savasta-Kennedy

1L Ben Parker and 2Ls Jordan Luebkemann and Dewey Bennett spent their Fall Break attending the 18th Annual Environmental Justice Summit with Prof. Maria Savasta-Kennedy.  The yearly summit is hosted by the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network at the Historic Franklinton Center at Bricks, a former slave plantation, and features presentations and discussions by community members, government officials, environmentalists, students and researchers.  The event is focused on raising public awareness about environmental justice, connecting communities in need with technical resources, supporting and encouraging community driven research, and helping communities and policy makers address problems of environmental injustice.  Ben Parker relates: "The NCEJ Summit was an incredible experience. It was comprised of informative panel discussions, presentations from experts in various fields related to environmental issues, and a commitment to genuine dialogue between every person there. I cannot recommend the experience highly enough."  Contact Prof. Savasta-Kennedy if you are interested in attending next year's Environmental Justice Summit.

3L Shannon O'Neil Presents Findings From Summer at FERC OGC to the NC Bar Association's EENR Law Council

Shannon O

After spending her summer at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions' Office of General Counsel, 3L Shannon O'Neil had the opportunity as a guest of Prof. Savasta-Kennedy to present the findings from her summer project, which looked at how environmental justice issues relate to natural gas pipeline siting decisions to the North Carolina Bar Association's Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section. Specifically, Executive Order 12898 instructs all federal agencies to incorporate the aims of environmental justice in carrying out their responsibilities. However, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission), as an independent agency, is not bound by the Order. Rather, the Order merely “requests” the Commission’s compliance. Nevertheless, environmental justice concerns frequently arise in the course of reviewing energy project applications, particularly with regard to the siting of natural gas facilities. Additionally, recent events have brought concerns regarding the safety of natural gas facilities to the forefront of the public discourse. As public awareness of the relevant issues continues to grow, environmental justice is likely to become an increasingly salient topic of discussion—and consideration—in the Commission’s application review processes.

3L Brooklyn Hildebrandt Reflects on her Semester-in-Practice

Brooklyn Hildebrandt

3L Brooklyn Hildebrandt notes: "Spending my penultimate semester of law school with the Environmental Enforcement Section in DC was easily one of the best decisions I have made while at UNC.  I've always wanted to be an environmental litigator and working at the DOJ not only affirmed this aspiration, but also allowed me to work on the skills necessary to achieve these goals.  Between  communicating with our primary client (the EPA), drafting motions for attorneys while they were busy in court,  presenting litigation risks to management, and so much more, I received hands-on training from some of the best in the business.  It was an experience I couldn't have received in a classroom and one I know will benefit me far into my future."  Ms. Hildebrandt has accepted a position at Beveridge and Diamond in Washington, D.C.

Environmental Law Symposium and Festival of Legal Learning

Registration for the UNC School of Law Festival of Legal Learning is now open! Scheduled for Friday and Saturday February 10-11, 2017, Festival is a convenient, affordable and enjoyable way to satisfy all your MCLE requirements.  As usual, the Environmental Law Symposium is scheduled for Saturday morning from 8:00 am - 12:30 pm. CE3 will once again be hosting a reception for attorneys and students immediately after the conclusion of the program on February 11th. We hope that you will mark your calendars and join us!

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