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2011 New Directions in Environmental Law Conference

A Climate of Possibility

April 2, 2011
Yale Law School
New Haven, CT
Thanks for a great conference!

Videos are now available of:
Dean Robert Post's Introduction
Professor Lisa Heinzerling's Keynote address

New Directions in Environmental Law Conference Report (PDF)

Keynote Speaker: Lisa Heinzerling
Panelists: Bruce Ackerman, Alejandro Camacho, Michael Gerrard,
Catherine O'Neill, Jedediah Purdy, and Robert Verchick

The New Directions in Environmental Law Series, hosted by the Yale Environmental Law Student Association, challenges the present and imagines the future of environmental law and scholarship.

Academics, policy makers, and litigators continue to diverge in their methods of grappling with increasingly intractable environmental challenges, and each of these methods has proven alarmingly insufficient. The time has come to critically assess - if, and how - environmental law can be productive as a field. What values and tools can it accommodate? How will environmental law and be transformed by the challenges of today and tomorrow?

On April 2nd, 2011, we made our first inquiry into the problems, challenges, and potential new and inspiring directions in this dynamic field as part of the New Directions in Environmental Law Conference Series. The one-day, student-run conference featured panels, workshops, a keynote speech, and social events. We especially encouraged students and young practitioners from across and beyond the region to join with us in building this Conference Series.
Keynote SpeakerLisa Heinzerling: Georgetown Law professor and Outgoing Associate Administrator of the EPA Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation. A pathbreaker at EPA, pivotal leader behind the 2007 landmark Massachusetts v. EPA ruling, and a bold legal scholar, Professor Heinzerling embodies the ethos of this conference. Through her career in public service, including her success at EPA in achieving greenhouse gas regulation, and her cross-cutting scholarship, Heinzerling proves environmental law to be a powerful field rich in ethical underpinnings and open to idealism.

Panel I: Environmental Law Waitlisted with Professors Bruce Ackerman (Yale), Alejandro Camacho (UC-Irvine), and Jedediah Purdy (Duke). This panel challenged the place of environmental law in the academy. It addressed the nature and the role of environmental law scholarship in academia, both analytically and normatively, and probed evolving and progressive directions in the field. We asked how environmental law scholarship can be useful to practitioners, and heard stories from our panelists about why they chose to write about - or stop writing about - environmental law and where they intend to go with it.

Panel II: Clearing the Air with Professors Michael Gerrard (Columbia), Catherine O'Neill (Seattle), and Robert Verchick (EPA; Loyola). This panel addressed the EPA's recent updating of their Clean Air Act regulations in light of its endangerment finding following Massachusetts v. EPA. Clearing the Air examined the nature of the GHG regulations and the political and economic environment in which they were put in place, with particular salience given to the as-then not-yet-decidedSupreme Court case about greenhouse gas regulations,. The panel will raised issues regardingthe interplay between different regulatory sites, the domestic/international interface and transboundary challenges and opportunities, social justice issues in the regulatory context, and new possibilities within law, politics, and advocacy.

Other Events
Workshops, Friday-Night Student Festivities, and More