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On Thursday, March 24, 2016, CE3 welcomed Alexandra Klass, the Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Law. The U.S. energy system is critical to every aspect of the nation’s economy and daily life. That energy system, in turn, is completely dependent on U.S. energy transport infrastructure—the oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, and import and export facilities that allow for the cost-effective and rapid transportation and distribution of the energy resources that power the country. This lecture explored how the law can influence the billions of dollars in private sector energy transport investments necessary to meet current energy needs, address the technological and market shifts in the energy sector, and implement present and future clean energy goals and mandates. In other words, it considered how policymakers can attempt to “future-proof” energy transport laws to deliver the growing array of present and future fossil fuels and renewable energy resources to consumers. This included describing the rapidly changing nature of the U.S. energy economy as well as the development, current status, and key challenges of the U.S. energy transport infrastructure; analyzing in greater detail a select group of federal and state laws that regulate the planning, permitting, and construction of energy transport infrastructure; and drawing on the earlier examples to set forth criteria policymakers should consider in creating laws and regulations to govern energy transport infrastructure that focus on federalism principles, flexibility in the location and amount of energy resources, and clean energy goals. Building on this framework, Professor Klass then analyzed two current energy transport debates to apply these criteria—whether to transfer more siting authority for interstate electric transmission lines to the federal government and whether to transport new sources of North American oil primarily by an upgraded rail system or by expanded pipeline infrastructure.

Future Proofing Energy Transport Law - Lecture by Prof. Alexandra B. Klass from UNC School of Law on Vimeo.

Professor Klass teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, environmental law, natural resources law, tort law, and property law.


On Wednesday, March 23, 2016, CE3 welcomed the Environmental Law Institute's Carl Bruch to lecture on Beyond Paris: Compliance and Enforcement Considerations to Realize NDCs. The Paris Agreement represents an innovative approach to addressing climate change through the adoption of Nationally Determined Contributions. Through their NDCs, countries have voluntarily committed to reducing greenhouse gases. Now that delegations have returned to their capitals, governments are developing approaches to achieve the emissions reductions necessary to meet their NDCs. In this lecture, Carl Bruch highlighted considerations for countries to promote compliance and enforcement with their domestic climate change laws and policies. Examining past experiences with environmental compliance and enforcement, he suggested how countries could learn from past experience as they seek to achieve the mitigation goals articulated in NDCs.

Beyond Paris: Compliance and Enforcement Considerations to Realize NDCs - A Lecture by Carl Bruch from UNC School of Law on Vimeo.

Carl Bruch is the Director of International Programs at the Environmental Law Institute, and the Managing Director of the International Network on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE), hosted by ELI. This event was co-sponsored by the Coastal Resilience Center.

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