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The Section of Environment, Energy and Resources is the premier forum for strategies and information for environmental, energy and resource lawyers. The section’s membership reflects a broad spectrum from both private and public sectors, including law firms, major companies, government, public interest lawyers and academia. The 2007-08 year will provide many opportunities for the section to be part of the national dialogue on environment, energy and natural resource issues. Sustainability and nanotechnology are two key topics the section will continue to explore in depth during the next year. It has been estimated that each lawyer uses about 25,000 to 100,000 pieces of paper a year. Although many law firms participate in some type of recycling program, many more are considering how else to “go green.” As global warming, deforestation and other environmental issues continue to dominate news headlines, lawyers are in a good position to take the lead in making their offices greener. In response to these environmental concerns, the section worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to launch the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge in the spring of 2007. The challenge is a two-year pilot program designed to encourage law offices to take simple steps to consider their environmental impact and adopt sustainable practices. Law offices participate in the challenge simply by joining at least one of three voluntary EPA partnership programs that encourage better paper management, the use of renewable energy and better energy management. Qualifying offices will be recognized by the ABA and EPA, and for those that participate in EPA programs, the amounts of greenhouse gas emissions avoided by their actions are posted on the Climate Challenge Web site. The site provides detailed information about each EPA program, a handy guide to law office energy efficiency, a listing of participating law offices and contact information. The section has created an informative podcast designed to answer questions about the project. The development of nanotechnologies is proceeding at a rapid pace. With the promise of a $3 trillion industry and 14% of world manufacturing output by 2015, no company, university or government wants to be left behind in what many see as the next industrial revolution. The speed at which the technologies are advancing presents a major challenge for environmental governance. One of the section’s most important projects in 2006 was the completion of seven papers that collectively provide the first comprehensive, scholarly review of the core federal environmental statutes � with a view toward assessing the utility of each in addressing the legal and regulatory issues pertinent to EPA’s jurisdiction presented by nanotechnology. In general, the papers concluded that the core environmental statutes provide the EPA with sufficient legal authority to address the challenge of assessing the enormous benefits, and potential risks, of nanotechnology. The section’s efforts in this ambitious project have been extraordinary. The lawyers who have devoted time, energy and scholarly attention to the briefing documents have provided an immensely useful service. Lee A. DeHihns III, incoming chair of the Section of Environment, Energy & Resources, is a partner in the environmental and land use group at Atlanta-based Alston & Bird. For more information about the section, see www.abanet.org/environ.

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