NRS Program Hosts 10th Annual Energy Symposium

Posted by Texas A&M School of Law NRS Program on Apr 23, 2019 11:54:10 AM

_ Introductory  Keynote Speaker Hari Osofsky, Dean of Penn State Law, addresses the TAMU Law_s 2019 Energy Law SymposiumThe 10th Annual Energy Symposium—Energy Law Currents: From the Ground Uporganized by the TAMU Law Program in Natural Resources Systems, highlighted many pressing issues in energy law. Speakers discussed  topics such as clean energy technology, the hydrocarbon industry’s relationship with local communities, and electricity governance. The symposium also featured valuable advice for students interested in a career in energy law.

_ Lunchtime Keynote Speaker Gerry Borghesi with Exxon Mobil addresses 2019 Energy Law Symposium attendees-1One Thursday afternoon panel focused on oil and gas company interactions with local communities. Kristen van de Biezenbos, Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, highlighted communities and conflicts in British Columbia’s natural gas field. Biezenbos explained that due to decreasing demand for Canadian natural gas in the United States, Canadian natural gas producers in the Alberta oil sands have needed to search for new markets. One solution, a pipeline through British Columbia to transport natural gas to Asia, has proved problematic by causing conflicts between Canada’s provincial governments and indigenous peoples. This Canadian problem underscores the increasing global importance of social licenses and public approval of extractive corporations in the energy industry.

_ Moderator and Fellow Panelists hear advice from panelist Kathryn Malmgren during the Careers in Energy Law PanelFriday began with a panel on Electricity Governance in Transition. Panelist Uma Outka, Professor at University of Kansas School of Law, discussed the frequent misapplication of the “100% Renewable” label in commercial goods production. Fellow panelist Jonas Monast, Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina School of Law, presented on the debate of the proper role competition between firms should play  in advancing to goals we want from the electricity sector.

image2Friday’s keynote speaker, Gerry Borghesi, a strategic planning officer with Exxon Mobil, focused on large energy producers’ response to climate change. Although he expects the heavy transportation sector to continue to rely on oil and gas for the conceivable future, Borghesi identified some potential actions that large energy producers may take to reduce emissions, including: better electrical distribution networks, advancements in technology, and possibilities for hydroelectricity. Borghesi also discussed the challenges associated with meeting massively increasing demands for affordable and reliable energy in an environmentally conscientious way.

The symposium concluded with a helpful panel designed to inform students about careers in energy law.  The panel featured: Moderator Wesley Lloyd, Of Counsel for Freeman Mills, PC; Nick Hofmann, Associate General Counsel for Atmos Energy Corporation; Kathryn Malmgren, Senior Director at Oncor; Cody Miller, Co-CEO and General Counsel for Dale Operating Company; Matt Wolcott, Of Counsel for Freeman Mills PC; and Emily Statton Smith, Senior Legal Counsel for Pioneer Natural Resources. In addition to offering perspectives on career opportunities in the energy sector, the attorneys emphasized networking strategies, including attending CLE events and finding meaningful talking points and connections with professionals whose careers appeal to you. 



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About Texas A&M School of Law Program in Natural Resources Systems

Natural resources are an integral and undeniable component of modern societies globally. These resources are critical for energy, agriculture, manufacturing and economic development in general. Our natural environment is a highly complex and integrated system, and sound decision-making related to the sustainable management of natural resources and the environment requires a broad and interdisciplinary approach. Acknowledging the centrality and complexity of natural resources systems, the Natural Resources Systems (NRS) Program at Texas A&M School of Law endeavors to train and offer real world experience to students on law and policy issues related to exploitation, management and conservation, and advance research on natural resources that connects with other disciplines and with communities worldwide.

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