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Environmental law summit explores climate change Feb. 19-20

February 16, 2016


Tulane’s 21st Annual Environmental Law & Policy Summit runs Feb. 19-20.

If the Obama administration’s approach to climate change weren’t already a hot enough topic, the death over the weekend of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia added yet another complication to the politics — just as Tulane’s 21st Annual Environmental Law & Policy Summit examines the issue of global warming Feb. 19-20.

Just a week ago, the high court by a split vote blocked enforcement of the administration’s Clean Power Plan while challenges work their way through lower courts. Scalia’s successor on the Supreme Court could significantly impact the federal government’s ability to limit greenhouse-gas emissions by power companies.

The Clean Power Plan, the subject of a panel Feb. 19 at 2:30 p.m., is just one aspect of climate change the summit will address. Researchers, scholars and scientists from across the United States also will look at the 2015 international treaty forged in Paris and the national security implications of climate change.

The summit is free and open to the public, with all sessions at Tulane Law School’s Weinmann Hall, 6329 Freret St., in New Orleans. Sessions start at 8 a.m. each day. There is a charge for attorneys seeking continuing legal education credit.  

For details or to register: here or here 


Hilary Tompkins, U.S. Department of the Interior solicitor, is set for the Tulane Environmental Law & Policy Summit’s Feb. 19 keynote at 5:40 p.m.

Vicki Arroyo, a New Orleans native and executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center at the Georgetown University Law Center, is scheduled to present a keynote address Feb. 20 at 4:15 p.m. discussing coastal cities’ policies for reducing the impact of climate change.

Panels also are planned on topics including water rights, green business, genetically modified salmon, urban farming, China and environmental restoration. The summit opens with panels on professionalism and ethics Feb. 19. 

Hilary Tompkins, the top lawyer for the U.S. Department of Interior and a member of the Navaho Nation, is set for the Feb. 19 keynote at 5:40 p.m. 

The U.S. Senate confirmed Tompkins as DOI solicitor in 2009. She previously has worked as chief counsel to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, handling a wide range of duties and advising him on Native American affairs. She also has been an attorney with Sonoksy, Chambers Sachse, Endreson & Perry, a firm that focuses on representing Native American interests, and a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York.

The summit, produced by student members of Tulane Law's Environmental & Energy Law Society, attracts hundreds of attorneys, academics, students and representatives from government, industry and nonprofit groups for two days of panel discussions on critical issues affecting the environment and energy fields.


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