Law Seminars International Presents:

An Important Two-Day Conference on

Climate Change in California

Developing and implementing regional, state, and local strategies

December 3 & 4, 2018

San Francisco, CA
Regrettably, we've had to cancel this program

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Program Overview

Who Should Attend

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

Why You Should Attend

As we approach the dates for this year's conference, we find state, regional, and local governments in the throes of developing and implementing policies to reach California's ambitious climate and energy goals. The goals have grown significantly as the State approaches an election year and has passed legislation establishing state policy that 100% of electricity sales come from renewable and zero-carbon resources by 2045, affordable housing, local emissions reductions, a thriving cap and trade program and climate resiliency. We have designed this program to offer practical advice for the people who will be in the trenches as California moves towards the following objectives:

~ Healthy energy systems

~ Inclusive economic growth

~ Sustainable communities

~ Climate resilience, forest management, and mitigation while ensuring sufficient food supplies for population growth

Pursuing these objectives will affect all sectors of California's economy from big picture planning down to local decisions on specific projects. Take advantage of this opportunity to hear from thought leaders, policy makers, advocates and practitioners who have a wide range of perspectives and experiences. We hope you will stay to continue the conversation at the reception for faculty and attendees at the end of the first day. We want you to leave with a deeper understanding and tools for navigating shaping the confluence of California climate, energy, transportation, and land use policies today.

~ Tara S. Kaushik, Esq. of Holland & Knight LLP and

Kevin Poloncarz, Esq. of Covington & Burling, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • California carbon policy
  • West coast carbon pricing
  • Cap-and-Trade market operations
  • Stationary source litigation
  • Transportation sector litigation
  • The Net Zero goal for buildings
  • Electric sector customer choice trends
  • Electrification of transportation
  • Vibrant and clean urban communities
  • Natural and working rural lands
  • Development of local and regional targets
  • Climate resiliency measures and cost recovery for utilities

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs

  • "Fantastic Seminar!"
  • "I LOVE this meeting: I wish we could do more"
  • "Best I have ever attended"

Agenda Day 1

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Tara S. Kaushik, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Holland & Knight / San Francisco, CA

Kevin Poloncarz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Covington & Burling / San Francisco, CA

8:45 am

Evolving California Carbon Policy and Policy Developments in California

Recent legislative and administrative policy initiatives in California; key pending issues

Ben B. Carrier, Esq. , Attorney
California Air Resources Board / Sacramento, CA

9:30 am

West Coast Carbon Pricing:

Similarities and differences in how British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California are approaching the issue; pushback from the fossil fuel producing mountain states; economic perspective on the extent of the need for unified carbon policies

Michael Hagerty , Senior Associate
The Brattle Group / Cambridge, MA

10:15 am


10:30 am

California Cap-and-Trade: Market Update

Market operations; participation by other states and Canadian provinces; potential for broader participation; recent auction results; pricing impacts from broader participation; where the market is likely to be heading

Kevin Poloncarz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Covington & Burling / San Francisco, CA

Marne S. Sussman, Esq.
Holland & Knight / San Francisco, CA

Timothy Tutt , Program Manager, State Regulatory Affairs
Sacramento Municipal Utility District / Sacramento, CA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Checks and Balances: Litigation Update on Issues Arising from Conflicts between Federal Climate Policy and California Environmental Interests

Stationary sources: How the efforts to undo the Obama era climate policies have fared in the courts

William W. Westerfield, III, Esq. , Senior Attorney
Sacramento Municipal Utility District / Sacramento, CA

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Energy Sector: Options for Getting to Net Zero Goal for Buildings

From building-scale to community-scale, exploring AB 3232 and other state policies for zero energy and zero emission new buildings to meet the goal of a 50 percent reduction in emissions from buildings; options local governments can implement on their own

Mindy Craig , Owner/Principal
Blue Point Planning / Oakland, CA

The current role of natural gas in the California energy system and implications for eliminating greenhouse emissions in California

Jane Long, Ph.D. , Independent Consultant
California Council on Science & Technology / Sacramento, CA

4:00 pm

Energy Sector (cont'd): Choice as Impetus for Creating the Grid for Tomorrow and the Challenges Facing Traditional Electric and Gas Utilities

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and departing load charges: In light of increasing Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) exit fees, will the CCA model be able to survive?

Melissa Brandt, Esq. , Senior Director of Public Affairs and Deputy General Counsel
East Bay Community Energy / Oakland, CA

Storage as a game changer for utilities: In front-of-meter utility scale applications; potential for grid and pipeline infrastructure deferral; behind-meter use in conjunction with demand management and energy efficiency technologies and programs

Vidhya Prabhakaran, Esq.
Davis Wright Tremaine / San Francisco, CA

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Holland & Knight and Covington & Burling

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

8:30 am

Transportation Sector: The Potential for Carbon Reductions through Electrification

Accelerating adoption: Demand response expectations for cars with 300+ mile ranges at lower costs; parking policy changes needed to facilitate a shift to daytime charging at work

Max Baumhefner, Esq. , Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council / San Francisco, CA

Accelerating adoption: Demand response expectations for cars with 300+ mile ranges at lower costs; parking policy changes needed to facilitate a shift to daytime charging at work; perspectives on who should build the vehicle charging infrastructure

Laura Renger, Esq. , Principal Manager of Air & Climate
Southern California Edison / Rosemead, CA

Utility perspective on the best path forward for implementing the transition

David Almeida , Program Manager for Electric Vehicles
Pacific Gas & Electric Company / Sacramento, CA

Project permitting: A local planning consultant's perspective on SB 743 and implementation progress and challenges for Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) for analysis of transportation impacts

Donald Hubbard , Senior Transportation Planning Manager
Parsons Brinckerhoff / Sacramento, CA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Development of Vibrant Communities and Landscapes for Urban Areas and Natural and Working Lands Policies for Rural Areas

Overview of statutory provisions; state guidance; local/regional implementation strategies and challenges

Alberto Ayala, Ph.D. , Executive Director
Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District / Sacramento, CA

Working lands and the potential carbon reductions in that sector

Michelle Passero, Esq. , Senior Climate Policy Advisor
The Nature Conservancy / San Francisco, CA

Forest lands: Mitigation plans for wildfires; legislative and administrative action to deal with firefighting and mudslide costs resulting from loss of vegetation; update on PUC cost recovery proceeding; the challenge of insurance companies on board

Tara S. Kaushik, Esq.
Holland & Knight / San Francisco, CA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Development of Regional Targets for Reducing GHG Emissions from Transportation and Land Use

Practical implementation steps for achieving new targets

Kome Ajise , Director of Planning
Southern California Association of Governments / Los Angeles, CA

Matt Maloney , Assistant Planning Director
Bay Area Metro / San Francisco, CA

2:30 pm


2:45 pm

Putting the Pieces Together: Development of Local Climate Action Plans

Tips for scoping out what needs to be done to cover the necessary elements for a plan, identifying the legal standards to meet, working through the practical problems, and obtaining buy-in for stakeholders

Tina A. Thomas, Esq. , Moderator
Thomas Law Group / Sacramento, CA

Andrea Ruiz-Esquide, Esq., Ph.D. , Deputy City Attorney
San Francisco City Attorney's Office / San Francisco, CA

Honey Walters , Principal
Ascent Environmental / Sacramento, CA

4:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Tara S. Kaushik, Tara S. Kaushik, Program Co-Chair, is a partner in the West Coast Land Use and Environment Group at Holland & Knight. She focuses her practice on regulatory matters, with a specific emphasis on energy, natural resources and the environment.

Kevin Poloncarz, Kevin Poloncarz, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Covington & Burling. He represents a broad range of clients on policy, regulatory, litigation, commercial, and enforcement matters involving air quality, climate change, and clean energy.

Tina A. Thomas, Moderator, is the Founding Partner of Thomas Law Group. She specializes in environmental, land use, and natural resource litigation.

Kome Ajise Kome Ajise is Director of Planning for the Southern California Association of Governments. The newly formed Planning Division combines SCAG's Transportation Planning and Land Use and Environmental Planning Divisions.

David Almeida David Almeida is Program Manager for Electric Vehicles in the Clean Transportation Strategy Group at Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

Alberto Ayala is the Alberto Ayala is the Executive Director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District and serves at its Air Pollution Control Officer.

Max Baumhefner Max Baumhefner is a Senior Attorney in the Clean Vehicles & Fuels, Climate & Clean Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Melissa Brandt Melissa Brandt is Senior Director of Public Affairs and Deputy General Counsel at East Bay Community Energy. Prior to joining tEBCE, she led a team of regulatory case managers at PG&E.

Ben B. Carrier Ben B. Carrier is an Attorney at the California Air Resources Board. He previously served in the City Attorney's office for the City of San Diego and Paul Hastings LLP.

Mindy Craig Mindy Craig is Owner/Principal of Blue Point Planning. She provides policy and strategic planning, marketing, outreach and communications, and financial feasibility services to organizations throughout California and the United States.

Michael Hagerty Michael Hagerty is a Senior Associate at The Brattle Group. He has experience in electricity wholesale market design, and renewable and climate policy analysis.

Donald Hubbard is a Senior Transportation Planning Manager at Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Jane Long, Ph.D., Jane Long, Ph.D., is an Independent Consultant who co-Chairs California's Energy Future Study for the California Council on Science & Technology.

Michelle Passero Michelle Passero is a Senior Climate Policy Advisor at The Nature Conservancy.

Vidhya Prabhakaran Vidhya Prabhakaran is Chair of the Energy Practice at Davis Wright Tremaine.He has substantial experience before the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, the California Air Resources Board, the California Independent System Operator, and the California Legislature.

Laura Renger is the Principal Manager of Air & Climate in the Regulatory Affairs organization at Southern California Edison (SCE). In this position, Laura leads a team responsible for the utility's regulatory and legislative policy concerning air quality, climate change and transportation electrification.

Andrea Ruiz-Esquide, Ph.D., is a Deputy City Attorney at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office, where she practices environmental and land use law.

Marne S. Sussman Marne S. Sussman is a partner at Holland & Knight and a member of the firm's West Coast Land Use and Environment Group.

Timothy Tutt Timothy Tutt is Program Manager, State Regulatory Affairs for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Honey Walters, Honey Walters, Principal, leads the air quality, greenhouse gas (GHG)/climate change, and noise practices at Ascent Environmental.

William W. Westerfield, III William W. Westerfield, III is a Senior Attorney at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.


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50 California Street Building

50 California St in San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 743-6931

The conference will be held at the 50 California Street Building in San Francisco, CA 94111. Lodging is available at a number of nearby hotels--use your favorite hotel website to find the one that offers the best deal for you.
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