University of Pittsburgh
July 24, 2013

Energy Law and Policy Institute to Debut at Pitt

Inaugural two-day institute will provide a forum to discuss energy issues crucial to future of Western Pennsylvania and the nation

PITTSBURGH—With Marcellus Shale deposits drawing energy industry workers to Western Pennsylvania at a record pace, the region is at the epicenter not only of a fossil-fuel boom, but of a larger shift in the United States’ energy portfolio. The nation’s rapid move toward unconventional domestic fossil fuels, recent growth in nuclear energy, and continued expansion of renewable energy resources have forced financial markets, legal experts, and policymakers to adjust swiftly to the emerging energy picture.

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law will present a forum to discuss these and other pressing energy issues when it hosts its inaugural Energy Law and Policy Institute on Aug. 1 and 2. The institute will bring together nationally renowned attorneys, industry representatives, government officials, academics, and nonprofit groups to discuss emerging trends and to build on the regional and national knowledge base regarding these critical issues. The institute will provide an opportunity to expand the current energy law and policy conversation, exploring the tools that will be needed to most effectively address energy-based changes not only in Pennsylvania but nationally and globally.

“The institute addresses the demand for knowledge and leadership in the area of energy law and policy,” said University of Pittsburgh School of Law Dean William M. Carter Jr. “The work being done to produce this institute is aligned with the School of Law’s long-term strategy of defining unique academic opportunities and creating distinctive strengths in those areas of opportunity. This institute builds upon the school’s ongoing efforts in the area of energy law and policy.”

The institute is one of a number of initiatives in energy law and policy that are under way in Pitt’s School of Law. Carter has initiated collaborations with other units of the University with expertise in the field of energy, including the Swanson School of Engineering and its Center for Energy as well as the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. At the curricular level, the School of Law has created a number of new course offerings, including “The Law of Shale Gas,” “Energy Law and Regulation,” and “Oil and Gas Law.”

In addition, the School of Law has hosted a number of events and symposia over the last two years, offering free and public lectures on energy-related topics such as government subsidies in the energy field, the future of nuclear power, sustainable development in Allegheny County, and presentations focused on the Marcellus Shale.

The Energy Law and Policy Institute also will serve to address a growing interest Carter has observed among current and prospective law students. The school fields a number of requests annually about course offerings in the field of energy law and the school’s certificate program in that area. Current Pitt law students recently formed the nation’s first student chapter of the national organization Young Professionals in Energy, partnering with their peers in the Katz Business School and the Swanson School of Engineering. This national nonprofit organization, with more than 25,000 members worldwide, provides a forum for networking and discussion for young professionals in the global energy industry.

Speakers at the two-day institute also will include government representatives, scholars from across the United States, lawyers from both local and national firms, energy industry representatives, and members of nonprofit organizations. Panels will cover topics including tax incentive financing for energy projects, the law and policy of pipeline infrastructure and fossil fuel exports, changing environmental regulations pertaining to shale gas development, and land use and title law in energy issues. 

The two-day institute will be held at the Rivers Club, 301 Grant Street, Downtown. Visit this site for more information and to RSVP.

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7/24/13/mab/cjhm