The Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program features numerous events each year that bring acclaimed speakers to campus to discuss the day's most salient and compelling issues. In 2013, President Obama chose the steps of Georgetown's historic Old North building to announce his Climate Action Plan to the nation.
Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, world-class scholars, and opinion leaders are among the many national and global influencers who visit Georgetown Law to share their views and insights with our students and the surrounding legal and policy community. The Georgetown Climate Center convenes state and federal policymakers to advance effective climate, energy, and transportation policies. The Climate Center, in conjunction with the Georgetown Environment Initiative, also sponsors a speaker series on climate change. The following information highlights the latest events covering critical environmental and energy issues at Georgetown Law.
Insights into the Making of State and Federal Climate Policy & LL.M. Program Launch
April 7, 2014 – This event featured a frank conversation about state and federal climate policymaking with leading state officials and academic experts followed by a special launch event to celebrate our new LL.M. degree in environmental law. The Georgetown Climate Center and the Georgetown Environment Initiative sponsored the event as part of a speaker series focused on climate change. Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center and director of the Georgetown Environmental Law Program, moderated the discussion.
- Deborah Markowitz, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and Georgetown Law Alumna
- Lisa Heinzerling, the William Brennan Professor of Law at Georgetown University and former Associate Administrator of EPA's Office of Policy
- William W. Buzbee, director of the Emory Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program and a new member of the Georgetown Law Faculty (Fall 2014)
A reception followed the event to celebrate Georgetown's new LL.M. degree in environmental law, to welcome Professor William Buzbee to our faculty, and to congratulate Professor Lisa Heinzerling on her recent installation as Brennan Chair.
Georgetown International Environmental Law Review Symposium
Sustainable Development: Renewable Energy Sources, Technology, and Administration
February 24, 2014 – Featuring energy and environmental policy and legal experts from the federal government and private sector, this symposium provided engaging panel discussions and keynote address. A panel discussion about renewable energy development covered new ideas and technologies that affect the availability and competitiveness of renewable energy sources, including financing and legal challenges facing the industry. A second panel addressed how the administrative process can be used to shape renewable energy regulations and development that included discussion of negotiated rulemaking. Bicky Corman, Deputy General Counsel in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of General Counsel, delivered the keynote address. The event also featured a sustainable lunch and presentation by a Bon Appétit official about social and environmental issues related to the food we eat.
Additional information and a list of speakers can be found here.
We invite you to view the webcast.
Lisa Heinzerling Named William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor of Law
February 19, 2014 – Lisa Heinzerling was installed as Georgetown Law's Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor of Law in a ceremony at the Law Center. The professorship, made possible through a gift from the late John McInespie (L'93), was an especially fitting honor for Heinzerling, who once clerked for the late justice.
"Like Justice Brennan, Lisa is kind, smart, hard working, is deeply committed to a set of beliefs, and has made her life's work their realization," said Professor Naomi Mezey, who introduced Heinzerling at the ceremony along with Dean William M. Treanor. "For Lisa, those [beliefs include] the importance of clean air and water, of pristine wilderness, of safe food … and of the small issue of planetary survival."
Heinzerling's inaugural address as Brennan Professor, A Phone, a Pen, and the U.S. Code, focused on the President's control over agencies' decisionmaking and legal issues raised by that control.
Heinzerling's specialties include environmental and natural resources law, administrative law, the economics of regulation, and food and drug law. In 2008, she served as a member of President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency transition team, and later served in his administration as senior climate policy counsel to the Administrator of the EPA, and as associate administrator of the EPA's Office of Policy. While at Georgetown, Heinzerling has continued to litigate cases in environmental law. Most prominently, she was lead author of the winning briefs in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
A webcast of the ceremony may be viewed here.
The Politics of Climate Change
February 19, 2014 – Leading congressional affairs experts engaged in a frank discussion about the politics of climate change, including the Obama Administration's efforts to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector through EPA regulations.
- Merribel S. Ayres, President of Lighthouse Consulting Group, LLC
- Christina DeConcini, Director of Government Affairs for the World Resources Institute
- Manik Roy, Vice President for Strategic Outreach for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
The event was sponsored by the Georgetown Climate Center and the Georgetown Environment Initiative and is part of a speaker series focused on climate change. Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center moderated the discussion.
Watch a video of the event here.
Covering Climate Change: Journalists Share Their Perspectives
November 14, 2013 – Leading journalists joined the Georgetown Climate Center to discuss the coverage of climate change in the news. NPR's Richard Harris, USA Today's Wendy Koch, and award-winning science writer John Carey shared their experiences in covering stories about mitigating and adapting to climate change across the country.
The Georgetown Environment Initiative co-sponsored the event at the Mortara Center at Georgetown University as part of a year-long series on climate change.Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center and an inaugural Environment Fellow with the Georgetown Environment Initiative, moderated the discussion.
Watch a video of the event here.
Environmental Protection in the Balance: Citizens, Courts, and the Constitution
February 26 , 2010 – Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program (GELPP) partnered with the Environmental Law Institute and the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at Berkeley Law to co-sponsor Environmental Protection in the Balance: Citizens, Courts, and the Constitution. This symposium, organized by the Georgetown Continuing Legal Education Office, brought practicing environmental law professionals together to discuss issues at the nexus of constitutional and environmental law.
Key constitutional, federalism, and related structural issues were the focus of the day-long symposium. The day began with a keynote presentation from Georgetown Law Prof. Richard Lazarus. The Honorable Peter W. Hall of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave the keynote address.
For more information and a detailed agenda please visit www.envconstitution.wordpress.com/agenda/
We invite you to view the webcast of the event.
Judicial Takings? - The Supreme Court Hears Arguments
December 2, 2010 - Immediately after oral argument in the Supreme Court, the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program (GELPP) and the Georgetown University Law Center Supreme Court Institute co-hosted advocates who discussed Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which presented the question whether a judicial change in the common law can “take” property from landowners in violation of the federal Takings Clause. The case also raised questions about how a state can legislatively address beach erosion and modify the boundaries between public tidelands and private uplands, issues that will grow in significance as sea levels rise due to global warming.
- D. Kent Safriet, Hopping, Green and Sams, Counsel for Petitioner
- Thomas Merrill, Yale Law School, Counsel for Respondents Walton County and City of Destin
- Ilya Shapiro, Cato Institute, Counsel for Amici, Cato Institute, et al.
- John Echeverria, Vermont Law School, Counsel for Amicus, American Planning Association
- Richard Lazarus, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute
Briefs in the case can be found here.
We invite you to view the webcast.