Law Seminars International Presents:

An Important Two-Day Conference on Addressing

Climate Change in the West - The Path Forward

Developing and implementing regional, state, and local strategies

February 16 & 17, 2017

Seattle, WA

Download PDF Brochure
Seattle - WA

Program Overview

Who Should Order

Attorneys, energy industry executives, state and local government officials, Tribal officials, environmental consultants, and others involved with climate change response issues in the West

Why You Should Order

Climate change looms as the preeminent environmental and energy issue of our time. The views of the incoming Administration notwithstanding, the scientific consensus is clear that action needs to be taken in the near-term to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and to adapt to the reality of a warming planet. This conference will illuminate the path forward.

We'll first examine the opening moves of the Trump Administration. Will President Trump exit the Paris Agreement, and what are the likely ripple effects if he does? Will he or Congress be able to undo President Obama's Clean Power Plan?

We'll then turn to the strategies available in the face of federal antipathy. What can leaders in "sub-national" governments at the regional, state, and local level, and in the private sector, do to continue making progress in reducing carbon emissions? California has affirmed its commitment to aggressive climate goals. Oregon has ramped up its clean energy goals and is exploring a market-based program linked to California's. Washington continues to examine its options for further reductions. In meantime, the pace of technological innovation and market acceptance of renewable energy shows no sign of abating.

Our faculty of expert attorneys, policy makers, and environmental advocates will explore the climate strategies that are underway within Western states and Canadian provinces, the integration of the Western electricity grid as a means of achieving reductions, the adaptation strategies being undertaken at all levels of government, and the increasing sense that environmental justice needs to inform all of these efforts.

~ Craig Gannett, Esq. of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and Kevin Poloncarz, Esq. of Paul Hastings LLP, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • The Paris Agreement: What next?
  • What next for federal climate change policy
  • Options for state participation in regional structures in the absence of federal action on climate change
  • Carbon taxes vs. cap & trade vs. command & control: How the West Coast states are aligned on purposes, but not necessarily on methods
  • Regionalization of the electric grid as a way for western states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving efficiency
  • How climate change initiatives in the West Coast states interface with what our neighbors to the east and north are doing
  • Key elements for local-level action/adaptation/resilience strategies

What Attendees Said

  • "Great mix of political, technical, legal and financial perspectives. Well-designed panels."
  • "I cannot remember a better day for content and speakers and interest than yesterday at the seminar."
  • "I am amazed at the high level and quality of the speakers at this conference"
  • "Best conference I've attended since becoming a PUC commisioner."

Agenda Day 1

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Addressing Climate Change in the West

Overview of the pieces that had been coming together to address climate change before the election; what's likely to remain, and the issues to be addressed at the sub-national level moving forward

Craig Gannett, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP / Seattle, WA

Kevin Poloncarz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Paul Hastings LLP / San Francisco, CA

9:15 am

The Paris Agreement: What Next?

Overview of the structure and terms of the agreement

Reed Schuler
Seattle, WA

10:00 am


10:15 am

Federal Climate Change Policy: What Next?

In Congress: Possible legislative proposals and the tactical options available to opponents

Craig Gannett, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP / Seattle, WA

Litigation: How the transition may play out in the courts

Kevin Poloncarz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Paul Hastings LLP / San Francisco, CA

Likely administrative actions at the DOE, EPA, and the FERC

Kyle W. Danish, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman LLP / Washington, DC

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

State Participation in Regional Structures in the Absence of Federal Action on Climate Change: What are the Options?

The West Coast has the Western Climate Initiative and Pacific Coast Collaborative, and the Northeast has the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI): From an economic and legal perspective, do they provide viable vehicles for moving forward?

Doug Scott, Esq. , Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Great Plains Institute / Minneapolis, MN

Commerce Clause issues

Danny Cullenward, Esq., Ph.D. , Research Associate
Near Zero/ Carnegie Institution for Science / Stanford, CA

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Carbon Taxes vs. Cap & Trade vs. Command & Control: The West Coast States are Aligned on Purposes, but not Necessarily on Methods

How each West Coast state arrived at its current approach; update on 2017 administrative and legislative activities; opportunities for cooperation on climate policy

Jay J. Manning, Esq. , Moderator
Cascadia Law Group / Olympia, WA


Kevin Poloncarz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Paul Hastings LLP / San Francisco, CA


Angus Duncan , Chair
Oregon Global Warming Commission / Portland, OR


Chris Davis , Governor's Advisor on Carbon Markets
Washington State Governor's Office / Olympia, WA

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and Paul Hastings LLP

Friday, February 17, 2017

8:30 am

Regionalization of the Electric Grid as a Way for Western States to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Improving Efficiency

Increased RPS targets; proposals for expansion of California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM); establishment of carbon markets for cap and trade; interplay with Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and mountain states

The Hon. Philip Jones , Commissioner
Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission / Olympia, WA

Mary M. Wiencke, Esq. , Director, Environmental Strategy and Policy
PacifiCorp / Portland, OR

Carl Zichella , Director, Western Transmission
Natural Resources Defense Council / San Francisco, CA

Clare Breidenich , Director, GHG Committee
Western Power Trading Forum / Seattle, WA

10:30 am


10:45 am

How Climate Change Initiatives in the West Coast States Interface with What Our Neighbors to the East and North are Doing

State policy developments in the resource-rich Rocky Mountain West: How the traditional fossil-fuel producing states are reconciling desires for increased production with market demands for cleaner power and changing foreign markets for coal and oil

Steven Michel, Esq. , Chief Counsel for the Clean Energy Program
Western Resource Advocates / Santa Fe, NM

Climate policy initiatives in Canada: BC's preference for taxing carbon rather than capping and trading; Ontario joining Quebec in participating in California's cap and trade program; federal policies to implement the Paris Agreement

Selina Lee-Andersen, Esq.
McCarthy Tetrault LLP / Vancouver, BC Canada

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Developing Local Level Action/Adaptation/Resilience Strategies

Project permitting: To what extent can state environmental policy acts be used to address climate change Impacts?

Kristen Boyles, Esq. , Staff Attorney
Earthjustice / Seattle, WA

Jennifer L. Hernandez, Esq.
Holland & Knight LLP / San Francisco, CA

Green-tech business perspective

Elizabeth Willmott , Sustainability Program Manager
Microsoft Corporation / Redmond, WA

Market efficiency and other considerations for selecting approaches and projects: What should drive the policy agenda at the local level and how can we reach consensus on it?

Terese (T.C.) Richmond, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman LLP / Seattle, WA

3:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Craig Gannett, Craig Gannett, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and co-chairs the Energy Practice Group. He is a former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and teaches Climate Change Law at the University of Washington School of Law.

Kevin Poloncarz, Kevin Poloncarz, Program Co-Chair, is a partner in the Environment and Energy Practice of Paul Hastings LLP. He is deeply involved in the development of regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions under the federal Clean Air Act and state laws such as the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

Jay J. Manning, Jay J. Manning, Moderator, rejoined Cascadia Law Group after more than six years as Director of the Department of Ecology and serving as Governor Gregoire's Chief of Staff.

Kristen Boyles is a Staff Attorney at Earthjustice' Northwest office in Seattle. She is a former staff attorney for Pacific Rivers Council, an environmental group focused on protection and restoration of native fish and aquatic habitat.

Clare Breidenich Clare Breidenich is the Director of the GHG Committee for the Western Power Trading Forum. She has worked on international climate issues with the EPA, the Department of State, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat. She also served on the Washington State Governor's Climate Action Team.

Danny Cullenward, Research As Danny Cullenward, Research As sociate for the Near Zero program at the Carnegie Institution for Science, is an energy economist and lawyer working on the design and implementation of scientifically grounded climate policy.

Kyle W. Danish Kyle W. Danish is a partner at Van Ness Feldman LLP where he focuses on climate change and energy policy. This includes involvement with development of market-based mechanisms for greenhouse gas regulation.

Chris Davis Chris Davis is Senior Advisor, Energy and Carbon Markets at the Governor's Office, State of Washington. He previously served as Director of Conservation in Puget Sound for the Nature Conservancy.

Angus Duncan Angus Duncan serves as Chair of the Oregon Global Warming Commission. He also serves as President and CEO of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which is a non-profit business venture that generates revenues from regional and national sales of renewable energy and carbon-offsetting Green Tags. He previously served on the Northwest Power Planning Council.

Jennifer L. Hernandez Jennifer L. Hernandez leads the West Coast Land Use and Environment Practice Group for Holland & Knight LLP. Her climate change practice includes integrating climate change requirements into the environmental analyses (relating to greenhouse gas emissions as well as water supply, flood and fire risk, and other topical areas) required by CEQA for new and modified projects and plans.

The Hon. Philip Jones The Hon. Philip Jones was appointed to the Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission by Gov. Chris Gregoire in March 2005. He has served as President of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC). He previously served as senior legislative staff for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Selina Lee-Andersen Selina Lee-Andersen is a partner at McCarthy Tetrault LLP where she focuses on environmental law for the energy and natural resource sectors. This includes matters relating to carbon pricing, emissions trading, offset systems, compliance and clean technologies.

Steven Michel Steven Michel is Chief Counsel for the Clean Energy Program at Western Resource Advocates. Before joining WRA, he was General Counsel to the New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers, and before that served as a New Mexico Assistant Attorney General representing residential utility customers.

Terese (T.C.) Richmond Terese (T.C.) Richmond is a partner at Van Ness Feldman LLP. She represents state and local government agencies on environmental law, land use, water law, and climate change issues. Most recently, she served as the Vice Chair for the federal advisory committee that authored the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment as part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan.

Reed Schuler Reed Schuler recently departed the Department of State where he served on the Policy Planning Staff. He chaired the State Department's task force on climate security and resilience. Previously he served as a U.S. negotiator for the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Doug Scott Doug Scott is Vice President, for Strategic Initiatives at Great Plains Institute. He formerly served as chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission and the as director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency where he chaired the Illinois Governor's Climate Change Advisory Committee and represented Illinois in development of the Midwestern Governors' Associationís energy and climate accords.

Mary M. Wiencke Mary M. Wiencke is Director of Environmental Strategy and Policy for PacifiCorp. She is responsible for the development of PacifiCorp's environmental policy, strategy, and programs.

Elizabeth Willmott Elizabeth Willmott is the Sustainability Program Manager for Microsoft Corporation. She has worked for over a decade with cities and local governments to help them meet their carbon reduction and climate resilience goals. From 2011 through 2016 she managed Climate Solutions' New Energy Cities program. She has also written two guidebooks to help local governments prepare for climate change impacts.

Carl Zichella Carl Zichella is Director, Western Transmission for the Natural Resources Defense Council. He directs NRDC's ongoing effort to make the siting of renewable energy transmission in the West more efficient and environmentally responsible. He is a member of the Gridwise Architectural Council and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council's Transmission Expansion Planning and Policy Committee.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 12.25 WA, 12.25 CA, 13.0 OR CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.