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Past Conferences and Events

The Choice: Energy & Environment Issues in the 2016 Election

The video below is a recorded webcast of the Oct. 25, 2016 debate between Trevor Houser and Congressman Kevin Cramer, the energy policy adviser for Hillary Clinton's and Donald's Trump's campaigns. 

Please note that the program starts at the 16-minute mark. 

Environmental Law Careers in Washington, DC

On February 20, 2015, members of the Richmond Environmental Law Society, joined by faculty members Noah Sachs and Joel Eisen, traveled to Washington, DC to meet with UR Law alums working in the environmental field. Barry Steinberg ’66 hosted the group in Washington, and in the afternoon, the students met with Brenda Mallory, General Counsel of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Adapting to Climate Change: A Legal Strategy

Victor Flatt, Professor at UNC School of Law and Director of the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources, spoke to a packed house at the law school on February 3, 2015 on the challenge of climate change adaptation. He focused on necessary changes in federal and state law that will be needed in a warmer world.

Lobbying: The Art of Persuasion

David Goldston, Director of Government Affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council joined us on April 3, 2013, for a discussion with students on his career in lobbying, how to get a job in the field, and the strategies and tactics of a Capitol Hill lobbyist.

Greening Richmond: Politics and Land Use in the Capital

On March 6, 2013, the Merhige Center hosted a discussion with Dan Slone (Partner, McGuireWoods LLP), Thad Williamson (Associate Professor of Leadership Studies), and Alicia Zatcoff, L'94 (Sustainability Manager for the City of Richmond). These three leaders in land use, development, and public policy discussed the environmental future of the City of Richmond. The City is undergoing rapid change, including redevelopment of the river front, downtown revitalization, and continued suburban expansion. The speakers outlined what these changes mean for Richmond and the region.

Improving Cooperative Relationships to Advance Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Conference

On October 17-18, 2012, the Merhige Center presented an Environmental Enforcement Conference co-sponsored with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Enforcement Division; and the Southern Environmental Enforcement Network. The conference drew a crowd of over 100 to the Robert R. Merhige, Jr. moot courtroom, and the discussion focused on improving enforcement and compliance in the Commonwealth. 

Election 2012: Facing Off on Energy and the Environment

On October 10, 2012, the Merhige Center for Environmental Law and the Richmond Environmental Law Society co-sponsored an event featuring a discussion with representatives from the Obama and Romney campaigns regarding environmental and energy issues in the upcoming election. Kenneth Berlin (Obama-Biden 2012) and Jeff Holmstead (Romney-Ryan 2012) discussed their respective campaigns' positions.

Merhige Center Symposium - "Clearing the Air: Mercury and the Environment"

On March 28, 2012, the University of Richmond School of Law and the Merhige Center for Environmental Law hosted the "Clearing the Air: Mercury and the Environment" symposium. The symposium discussed the impacts of the EPA's new Mercury and Air Toxic Standard on the environment, public health, and industry.  Panelists discussed challenges of cost and implementation, the long history of legislation and rulemaking regarding mercury, and the environmental benefits of limiting mercury emissions.

"Race, Class, and Power in Environmental Justice" (Lecture by University of Richmond Professor Andrea Simpson, January 25, 2012)

On January 25, 2012, Dr. Andrea Simpson, associate professor of political science and chair of the Department of Policital Science at the University of Richmond was the speaker for an event entitled "Race, Class, and Power in Environmental Justice." The event was hosted by the Merhige Center for Environmental Law and the Black Law Students Association of the University of Richmond School of Law. With over 40 University of Richmond professors, undergraduate students, and law students in attendance, Simpson led a lively discussion about the effects that race, class, and power in the modern world have on the environmental justice movement, and how those aspects will affect it in the future.

Merhige Center Rock Climbing Trip to Belle Isle in Richmond, VA

On Sept. 15, 2011, students from the University of Richmond Law School spent an afternoon rock climbing and adventure at Richmond's Belle Isle. Students had the opportunity to explore the island, sunbathe, check out the rapids on the James, and get acquainted with one of Richmond's greatest outdoor spaces. The event was a great way for law school students to get to know one another and enjoy some fun outdoor activities!

"Creative Cooperation: The Roadmap to our Energy Future" (Lecture by Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers, April 18, 2011) Background Report Prepared By Law Students

The Richmond School of Law, Robins School of Business and Jepson School of Leadership Studies jointly sponsored a lecture on "Creative Cooperation: The Roadmap to our Energy Future," by James E. Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy Corporation, on Monday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m., in the Robins School of Business, Ukrop Auditorium. In preparation for this lecture, students in Professor Joel Eisen’s spring 2011 Energy Law and Law of Climate Change courses (Aminah Qureshi, Brianne Mullen, Jim Tartaglia, Stephen Rancourt, Carl Tate, Clayton Worthington, Julia Curtis, Oliver Taylor, Clayton LaForge, Matthew Curtis, and Tricia Dunlap) studied Duke Energy’s climate change strategy, and prepared background on twelve projects that the company is undertaking to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets.

Here is a copy of the student-prepared background report.

 
We hope that you will find this information enlightening and a useful background companion to Mr. Rogers’ lecture. 

“Vision 2020: A View of Our Energy Future,” April 1, 2010
On April 1, 2010, scholars, energy experts and policy makers gathered to address some of the most pressing questions faced by the United States:  What is the future of energy in the United States and Virginia? How will climate change impact economic stability and national security?  What role will alternative energy sources play in meeting our future needs?

Vision 2020: A View of Our Energy Future provided a vigorous conversation among speakers and panelists who debated a broad range of timely and controversial issues including the legal framework of environmental regulations, the future of coal and nuclear power, the role of emerging technologies, and the interplay of energy with our nation’s security.  The Merhige Center for Environmental Law, along with the University of Richmond Law Review, Allen Chair Issue and the Virginia State Bar’s Environmental Law Section hosted attorneys, academics, and the general public who benefited from discussion with, among others:  former Governor George Allen; Eric Finkbeiner, Senior Advisor for Policy to Governor Bob McDonnell; Cale Jaffe, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center; and, Christopher Paine, Director of the Nuclear Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.


Contact Us

Professor Noah Sachs is the director of the center. Contact him at nsachs@richmond.edu or (804) 289-8555.