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The Climate is Changing, Should NEPA? Climate Change Considerations under NEPA and CEQ’s Draft Rule

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: May 12, 2020
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  • Discuss council on environmental quality (CEQ) interpretations of the national environmental policy act (NEPA) as it relates to climate change
  • Provide brief historical context
  • Focus on proposed revisions to CEQ/NEPA regulations
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: May 12, 2020


This CLE seminar will focus on obligations to consider greenhouse gas and climate change effects under NEPA, including (1) recent caselaw; (2) existing policy/directives including the Council On Environmental Quality's proposed guidance; and (3) the Council On Environmental Quality's proposed NEPA regulations.

To discuss these obligations, this panel offers diverse perspective from across sectors, with speakers who work in the government, in the private sector, at an environmental NGO, and as an academic.

This program was recorded on May 12th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Dinah Bear

General Counsel
Humane Borders

Ms. Bear served for 24 years as General Counsel and earlier as Deputy General Counsel for both Democratic and Republican administrations at the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the environmental agency in the Executive Office of the President. CEQ has responsibility for advising the President on environmental issues, developing environmental policy and coordinating its implementation within the executive branch. CEQ is also the agency charged with overseeing implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the statutory basis for the environmental impact assessment process and it promulgates the regulations binding on all executive branch federal agencies.

Ms. Bear chaired the Standing Committee on Environmental Law of the American Bar Association from 1991-1993. She chaired the Steering Committee of the Environment Section of the District of Columbia Bar Association, which won the “best section” award during that period. She received the Chairman’s Award from the Natural Resources Council of America, the Distinguished Service Award from the Sierra Club, the Distinguished Achievement Award in Environmental Law and Policy from the American Bar Association.

Ms. Bear now lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she remains professionally active in environmental law and policy with a special focus on the borderlands. She chairs the board of Humane Borders and also serves on the boards of Defenders of Wildlife, Border Action Network and the Mt. Graham Coalition. She received a Bachelors of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1974, and graduated from McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, California, in 1977. She has been admitted to practice by the District of Columbia Bar, State Bar of California (inactive), the U.S. District Court in Tucson, Arizona (pro hac vice) and the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Ben Norris

Senior Counsel
API (American Petroleum Institute)

Ben serves as Senior Counsel in API’s Office of the Chief Legal Officer, where he advises the Institute and its members on state and federal legislative, regulatory, and litigation matters affecting the oil and gas upstream sector. His portfolio includes hydraulic fracturing, upstream environmental issues, liquefied natural gas and gas markets, international trade and cybersecurity. He also advises the Institute on political law, state and local ballot measure campaigns and campaign finance issues.

Prior to joining API in 2011, Ben was an associate in the energy and environmental practice group at a Washington, DC law firm. While at the firm he represented one of the principal defendants in the Deepwater Horizon incident and oil spill before multiple Congressional committees, the Presidential Oil Spill Commission, and in the multi-district litigation in New Orleans, LA. He also represented clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of State, and the U.S. Congress.

Before attending law school, Ben worked as a speechwriter for Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England at the Pentagon and in the natural gas markets reporting division of a major industry trade publication.

Ben received a BA in Political Science and English from Rice University in Houston, TX, and a JD from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, where he served as Articles Editor of the Washington University Law Review.

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Tyler Welti

Venable LLP

Tyler Welti focuses on environmental law, regulatory, and litigation matters, drawing on his experience with the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division. Tyler handles a wide range of federal and state environmental, natural resources, land use, environmental justice, and litigation matters, including government enforcement actions, citizen suits, class actions, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) petitions, and Administrative Procedure Act challenges and appeals. He has particular experience in counseling and defending project developments involving a federal or state government, including transportation, energy, timber, mining, water, and other infrastructure projects.

Tyler's experience includes counseling and litigation involving the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), National Forest Management Act (NFMA), Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), Mining Law, Mineral Leasing Act, Antiquities Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and many other state and federal laws and regulations.

Tyler began his career as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, where he served as lead counsel on numerous major environmental cases. He also served as a judicial law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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Stephanie M. Regenold

Perkins Coie LLP

Stephanie Regenold counsels clients on natural resources law, renewable projects, permitting and regulatory compliance, administrative proceedings and environmental litigation. Stephanie advises on a range of public and private land development and multiple-use projects, from initiation through completion, including oil and gas, mining, timber and renewable wind, solar and hydro projects, and commercial development.

Stephanie’s experience includes title review of mining claims and advising clients on mining-related issues, including claim locations, permitting, and development activities, extralateral rights, and royalty and lease disputes, in Montana, Idaho, Alaska and other western states. She also performs due diligence for natural resource and energy project acquisitions and financings and drafting complex title opinions involving city tracts in the Bakken Shale Play in Montana and North Dakota, oil and gas title opinions in Wyoming, and title review in Idaho for natural gas drilling and exploration. Aside from drafting title opinions, her oil and gas practice includes negotiations and litigation relating to title, payment of royalties and lease disputes in Montana, North Dakota and Colorado. Her experience further extends to forest products matters, including timber export, title and land disputes.

As part of her practice, Stephanie advises on permitting and regulatory compliance for new, ongoing and end-of-life projects, including defense of permits in administrative proceedings and litigation. She is familiar with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Federal Land Policy & Management Act (FLPMA), National Forest Management Act (NFMA), Surface Mine Coal and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) and the Montana equivalent (SUMRA), electrical distribution rights under the Montana Territorial Integrity Act, and other relevant state statutes.

Stephanie also represents clients in land use and real estate issues, acquisitions, surface and subsurface leasing, energy efficiency standards and reporting requirements, debarment under environmental laws, and pipeline and transportation of hazardous materials.

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Michael B. Gerrard

Founder & Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Columbia Law School

Michael B. Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law, and energy law, and is director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He is also Associate Chair of the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

From 1979 through 2008 he practiced environmental law in New York, most recently as partner in charge of the New York office of Arnold & Porter LLP. Upon joining the Columbia law faculty in 2009, he became Senior Counsel to the firm. His practice involved trying numerous cases and arguing many appeals in federal and state courts and administrative tribunals, handling the environmental aspects of numerous transactions and development projects, and providing regulatory compliance advice to a wide variety of clients in the private and public sectors.

A prolific writer in environmental law and climate change, Gerrard twice received the Association of American Publishers' Best Law Book award for works on environmental law and brownfields. He has written or edited eleven books, including Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, the leading work in its field (second edition published in 2014, co-edited with Jody Freeman) and the twelve-volume Environmental Law Practice Guide. Among his other books are The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables (2011), The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: U.S. and International Aspects (2012) and Threatened Island Nations: Legal Implications of Rising Seas and a Changing Climate (2013).

Since 1986 he has been an environmental law columnist for the New York Law Journal. Gerrard was the 2004-2005 chair of the American Bar Association's 10, 000-member Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. He also chaired the Executive Committee of the New York City Bar Association, and the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. He has served on the executive committees of the boards of the Environmental Law Institute and the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Several independent rating services ranked Gerrard as the leading environmental lawyer in New York and one of the leading environmental lawyers in the world. Gerrard has taught courses at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and New York University Law School, and was a visiting distinguished scholar at Vermont Law School. He has also lectured on environmental law in Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Italy, Malta, China, Taiwan, India, Japan, Chile, The Marshall Islands, Canada and throughout the United States.

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