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20th Annual Tulane Summit on    

Environmental Law and Policy    

The Environmental Law Summit is Tulane Law School’s preeminent student run conference. Each year the Summit brings together prominent advocates, policy makers, and environmental minds. This year the focus is on Environment 2015: Energy, Water and Wildlife and will discuss issues at the local, regional, national and international levels. Fifteen panels and two keynote speakers will present their views on pressing critical environmental issues, such as groundbreaking lawsuits, water planning, and endangered species protection.  


Panel Descriptions:   



 Professionalism (CLE) [8:00 AM-9:00 AM] 

 Ethics (CLE) [9:00 AM-10:00 AM]  

 NOLA's Paris COP 21 [10:AM-11:30 AM]

  • A review on COP 21 issues to be reviewed in Paris, including a presentation by the French Consul General in New Orleans. The goal of the Convention this year is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so as to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The discussion will be viewed from three sides of the pyramid: law, diplomacy & policy, and science. 

 Fracking I: Waste Water [11:45 AM-1:15 PM]    

  • Recycling and reuse of the fracking water as a closed loop system, or the injection into aquifers.  

 The Future of Solar  [11:45 AM-1:15 PM]    

  • How residential solar generators can inject energy back into the grid and how industry will calculate costs.  

 Fracking II: Preemption [2:00 PM-3:30 PM] Sponsored by the Tulane Environmental Law Journal    

  • A discussion of the constitutional implications of fracking policies.   
  • Particularly pre-emption in St. Tammany Parish   

  Clean Air Act -- 111(D) [2:00 PM-3:30 PM] 

  • Because the comment period is closed now, this panel will be a discussion on the current status on the final/interim rule issued.  
  • What it means for industry and environmentalists, particularly in light of the new 114th Congress.  
  • Is the regulation of CO2 emissions lawful or beyond the EPA’s authority?  

 Energy Independence vs. Exportation [3:30 PM-5:00 PM] 

  • Not too long ago one of the largest political goals in this country was to reach energy independence. There has been a dramatic shift and we are now focused on exportation.   
  • The panel will also discuss the exportation of coal in the Ram terminal of the Jefferson Parish Counsel.   

  Big Carnivores and Wildlife Corridors in the West [3:30 PM-5:00 PM] 

  • A study of the Rocky Mountain Corridors and the Black Bear Corridors in Louisiana.   

 Keynote Address [5:30 PM-6:30 PM] 

  •  Pat Mulroy, Former General Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority 



 Urban Highways and Alternative Transportation [9:00 AM-10:00 AM]    

  • The Transportation Reauthorization expires at the end of 2014, states are out of money, will we address policy changes going forward?   

 The Atmospheric Trust [10:00 AM-11:30 AM] 

  • American Climate Trust -- Our Federal Government has a public trust and responsibility.  This panel will focus on suits against state and federal governments for violating the public trust doctrine in the atmosphere.  
  • The suits have been filed, but what will the public outcry do?  

 Whaling [10:00 AM-11:30 AM] 

  •  A discussion of the policy and conservation concerns and the current state of the industry. 

 Arctic I - Environmental Impacts of Shipping in the Arctic Corridor [1:00 PM-2:30 PM] 

  • Climate change and opening of the Arctic/Northwest Passage, economic and environmental impacts.  

 The Endangered Species Act: Prairie Dogs [1:00 PM-2:30 PM] 

  •  The constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act, particularly in terms of protecting prairie dogs, has been questioned.   

 Arctic II - Maritime Law & Arctic Shipping [2:30 PM-4:00 PM] 

  •  As shipping in the Arctic increases, which laws apply? 

  Environmental Justice in Lake Charles [2:30 PM-4:00 PM] 

  • LNG exportation and a study of the Environmental Justice implications for the Lake Charles Community.   

 Levee Board Suit [4:15 PM-5:45 PM] Sponsored by Jones, Swanson, Huddell & Garrison, L.L.C.    

  • The New Orleans Levee Board’s pursuit of environmental damages against the oil industry for nearly a century of canal construction and wetlands degradation has captivated the state and beyond.  

 Oceanic Winds [2:30 PM-4:00 PM] 


  Keynote Address [6:00 PM-7:00 PM]  

  •  Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, U.S. Army (Ret.) 




 Is there something else you want to see? Please contact Jae Shrader, Executive Speaker Chair, at jshrader@tulane.edu for more information on panels and topics.   

Is there a panel you would like to sponsor? Contact Alison Dunbar, Finance Chair, at adunbar3@tulane.edu  with questions and to see our sponsorship offerings.  

General Summit questions? Contact Emily Prince, Executive Summit Chair, at eprince@tulane.edu.   


Thank you for your continued interest in the 20th Annual Tulane Summit on Environmental Law and Policy. We look forward to seeing you in February.  



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