Energy Industry Environmental Law Conference

Conference Materials


Papers and PowerPoints

Cooperative Federalism and the Future of State Environmental Regulation and Enforcement



  • Secretary Chuck Carr Brown, Ph.D., Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Martha E. Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Denver, Colorado
  • Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Austin, Texas

View from Washington – Status of the Trump/Pruitt Regulatory Agenda

One year in, Scott Pruitt’s EPA has ramped up its efforts to roll back a host of environmental regulations, from the Clean Power Plan to the Waters of the United States Rule. At the same time, the courts have been keeping a watchful eye on the process through which this is happening. Tom Lorenzen, who oversaw the federal government’s defense of EPA rules for 10 years and who now represents industry in EPA rulemakings, takes a look back at what’s been done, what hasn’t, and why, and offers some perspective on what is likely to come next.

In-House Environmental, Health and Safety Perspective: “What Keeps Us Up at Night?”

Come hear leading EH&S in-house counsel offer their perspectives on the evolving regulatory landscape in an ever-changing business environment.


  • Kirsten L. Nathanson, Crowell & Moring LLP, Washington, D.C.


  • Christopher W. Armstrong, Assistant Chief Attorney, Environmental & Safety Law, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Spring, Texas
  • Paul I. Hamada, Deputy General Counsel, Legal Compliance, Environmental & Regulatory, Phillips 66, Houston, Texas
  • Rebecca Raftery, Managing Counsel, BP America, Naperville, Illinois

Priorities of the Environmental Protection Agency

The presenter will discuss the current regulatory and enforcement priorities of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Anne Idsal, Regional Administrator, Region 6, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Dallas, Texas

Environmental Litigation – Trends and Coming Threats

The trends and risks in environmental litigation continue to evolve, with the plaintiffs’ bar attempting new theories and seeking ever larger penalties. This presentation will review the most recent litigation activity and what it may portend for future waves of suits in 2018 and beyond.

Going Global: Expanding the Scope of Environmental Review for the Energy Sector

Government agencies tasked with reviewing energy projects may take a harder look at anticipated greenhouse gas emissions following recent federal court decisions that call for a broader scope of environmental review. For example, in a 2–1 ruling issued August 22, 2017, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve a major interstate pipeline project, holding that FERC failed to adequately consider the greenhouse gas emissions that will result from burning the natural gas in downstream power plants. This presentation will review the evolving precedent and its implications for future energy project reviews.

Litigating Contribution Claims Under the Oil Pollution Act

This presentation will address recent case law interpreting Section 2709 of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), which the courts have found provides an independent right of contribution under federal law against a third party whose actions cause or contribute to an oil spill. The OPA provides the comprehensive federal statutory structure for oil spill response, including paying the costs of cleanup, reimbursing economic damages incurred by private parties and public entities as a result of the spill, and liability for civil penalties. The statute places initial responsibility for response on the owner or operator of the source of the oil (e.g. the pipeline company, vessel owner, offshore facility, etc.) regardless of what caused the spill. This presentation will discuss recent litigation of claims brought by initial responsible parties against third parties whose actions contributed to the oil spills.

Update on Environmental and Human Rights Issues in International Arbitration

Environmental and human rights disputes between natural resource companies, states and NGO’s have been on the rise. This panel will discuss recent cases, defense strategy, and other developments in this rapidly evolving area.

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  • Rachel G. Clingman, Former General Counsel of an International Natural Resources Company, Board Member American Heart Association, Houston, Texas
  • Hal Fiske, Senior Counsel, International, ConocoPhillips Company, Houston, Texas
  • Carol M. Wood, King & Spalding LLP, Houston, Texas

Some Like it Hot: Current Ethical Issues for Environmental Lawyers



  • Debra Tsuchiyama Baker, Baker • Wotring LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Robert W. Johnson, Assistant General Counsel – Legal Services, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Spring, Texas
  • Mary Clair Lyons, Assistant General Counsel, Environmental Law, Kinder Morgan, Inc., Houston, Texas