Law Review Symposium Speaker Biographies
Title – The Clean Power Plan
Abstract – On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the EPA announced the Clean Power Plan – a historic and important step to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Shaped by years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement, the final Clean Power Plan is fair, flexible and designed to accelerate the trend toward increased reliance on cleaner American energy resources. The Clean Power Plan sets achievable standards for power plants to cut carbon emissions that drive climate change and customized goals for states based on each state’s energy mix that ensure national consistency, accountability and a level playing field. The Clean Power Plan is a major step forward – which shows the world that the United States is committed to leading global efforts to address climate change.
Biography – Susan Hedman was appointed by President Barack Obama to be EPA Region 5 Administrator on Earth Day 2010. She directs the EPA’s operations in the six-state Great Lakes region that includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the reservations of 35 federally-recognized tribes. She leads a team of over 1000 scientists, engineers, lawyers, environmental specialists and administrative staff in the Region 5 Office.
Before accepting the President’s appointment, Susan was environmental counsel and senior assistant attorney general in the Illinois Attorney General’s office, where she focused on litigation and legislation relating to environmental protection, energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon capture technology and associated consumer issues. Previously, Susan was chief legal officer for the Geneva-based United Nations Compensation Commission tribunal that handled claims for environmental damage from the oil fires in Kuwait and releases of oil in the Persian Gulf, as well as the costs of de-mining and disposal of unexploded ordnance from the 1990 Gulf War. Susan has a Ph.D. from the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, a M.A. from the La Follette School of Public Affairs and a J.D. from the School of Law at the University of Wisconsin. She has over 35 years of experience working on environmental and energy issues.
CLIMATE CHANGE PANEL
Title – Addressing Climate Change and Environmental Injustice Through Food Choice, Law & Policy Reform
Abstract – Greenhouse gas emissions from food production are expected to rise by nearly 80 percent by 2050. Unless some serious changes are made in food consumption and production trends, the energy and industry sectors will have to be completely de-carbonized to stay within emissions budgets that avoid dangerous climate change. In addition to its contribution to global warming, our current food system places enormous pressure on dwindling freshwater supplies, destroys forests, grasslands and other natural habitats, pollutes waterways, threatens human health, and greatly reduces quality of life in rural communities across the U.S. This presentation will delve into these issues in light of existing laws and policies, their contribution to the problems, and the need for reform to address the problem
Biography – Kim Ferraro is the Hoosier Environmental Council’s (HEC) Senior Attorney. Kim comes to HEC from the Legal Environmental Aid Foundation (LEAF), the state’s only not-for-profit legal aid services organization focused on the environment. Kim served as the Executive Director of LEAF from its founding until its merger with HEC in December 2011. As LEAF’s Executive Director and continuing as HEC’s lead counsel, Kim has achieved several legal victories that have helped communities impacted by industrial pollution, factory farm waste, reckless residential development, and coal ash contamination. Kim’s honors include “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Indiana Lawyer, “Legal Advocate of the Year” by HEC, and the Dean W. Kohlhoff Memorial Award for Excellence in Environmental Law, among others. Kim is dual licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois, is admitted to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and is an active member of the environmental law section of the Indiana State Bar Association. She has a law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University.
Title – California Adapts to Drought: Lessons for More Humid Areas?
Abstract – Nature played a cruel trick on California. She gave the state a semi-arid, Mediterranean coastal climate which has created an economy based on creativity and leisure; she also gave the state a great inland valley and other areas suitable for high valued crops. California produces one-half of the fruits, vegetables and nuts grown in the United States as well as almost 90 percent of the domestically produced wines. But, Nature also gave the state a highly variable climate subject to prolonged droughts, and made it rain and snow in the least populated areas of the state. Then, she penalized the state harshly for Global Climate Change (GCC).(1) California’s leaders have always known that the state was vulnerable to drought and sought to buffer both farmers and urban residents by a series of dams, irrigation canals, and aqueducts to bring water from northern California, the eastern slope of Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Colorado River. California also developed a complex, unique system of water allocation law in the late 19th and early 20th century. But, it left it largely unreformed and unenforced for almost a 100 years, relying on vary-over storage, unregulated groundwater pumping and the return of El Nino years to adapt to its perpetual water stress.
The state has primarily used the following adaptation techniques:
- Mandatory-voluntary urban water conservation
- Administration and administrative determination of unquantified water rights
- Legislation subjecting unregulated groundwater use to future regulation
- Reliance on market discipline to adjust crop production
Biography – Professor Tarlock, who joined the IIT Chicago-Kent faculty in 1981, is an internationally recognized expert in environmental law and the law of land and water use. He has published a treatise, Law of Water Rights and Resources, and is a co-author of four casebooks, Water Resource Management, Environmental Law, Land Use Controls, and Environmental Protection: Law and Policy.
Professor Tarlock is a frequent consultant to local, state, federal and international agencies, private groups and law firms, and is an elected member of the American Law Institute. Professor Tarlock received his bachelor’s and law degrees from Stanford University, where he was an officer of the Stanford Law Review. Professor Tarlock is currently one of three United States special legal advisers to the NAFTA Commission on Environmental Cooperation. He teaches courses in land use, property, energy and natural resource law, and international environmental law.
Title – Climate Change and the Narrative of Disaster
Abstract – The traditional narrative of “natural disasters”—as largely outside of human control—is being challenged both by the growing recognition that disaster impacts are shaped by human exposure and vulnerability to hazards and by the recognition that anthropogenic climate change is increasingly driving and exacerbating extreme events. This presentation will consider some of the potential consequences of a fuller recognition of the human role in causing so-called natural disasters and a concomitant blurring of the traditional distinction between “manmade” and “natural” disasters. The presentation will also argue that the emerging consensus that no disaster is truly natural masks potentially deep divisions about how that human role ought to be conceptualized. Indeed, the various interests at stake and the convergence of two quite different understandings of human contribution to disaster—one rooted in traditional approaches to disaster mitigation and the other rooted in climate change policy—all but guarantee that there will be no single narrative of human agency in disaster, but rather multiple, potentially conflicting narratives that need to be unpacked, identified, and analyzed.
Biography – Lisa Grow Sun graduated from Harvard Law School summa cum laude. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable J. Michael Luttig, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and then for the Honorable Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, United States Supreme Court. Following her clerkships, Professor Sun was a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School and then taught as a Visiting Professor in the Temple/Tsinghua University Masters in Law Program in Beijing.
Professor Sun now teaches disaster law, constitutional law, and torts at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Her research centers on the intersection of law and natural disasters. She is a coauthor of the definitive disaster law textbook, Disaster Law and Policy, with Dan Farber, Jim Chen, and Rob Verchick. Her disaster law work has also appeared in a number of law journals, including the Cornell and UCLA Law Reviews.
Biography – Steven Hunter, partner with Quarles & Brady LLP in Chicago, is a trial lawyer with first-chair experience in representing companies in all phases of litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including Patent Litigation, E-Discovery, Data Privacy & Security, Banking & Financial Institutions, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Fiduciary Trust and Probate Litigation, and Financial, Trust and Probate Litigation.
Mr. Hunter also has significant experience managing high-volume ESI productions, computer forensic analysis, and complex data preservation issues. He is an ACEDS-certified electronic discovery specialist, and he is regularly invited to speak on issues related to electronic discovery, trial practice, legal ethics, pro bona, and diversity in the legal profession. Mr. Hunter is dual licensed to practice law in Illinois and New York. Mr. Hunter has a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.
Title – Ten Fracking Minutes
Abstract – Hydraulic Fracturing: What is new? What is not new? What are the Concerns with High Pressure, High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing? Presentation will discuss, Water use, chemical use, environmental impacts, legislative control and enforcement authorities.
Biography – Bill Anaya, partner with Arnstein & Lehr, and chair of the firm’s Environmental Law Practice Group, focuses his practice in environmental administrative law, specifically representing a wide range of clients in matters before state and federal regulatory agencies and administrative forums. Mr. Anaya is an accomplished litigator, skilled at representing clients in making an appropriate administrative record before state and federal agencies and courts in Illinois and Indiana. Mr. Anaya’s experience includes not only litigation, but also business-related transactions with environmental conditions or operations.
Mr. Anaya represents individuals and entities in enforcement actions and transactions involving the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Food and Drug Administration, the United States Federal Aviation Administration, the United States Department of Transportation, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Tollway Commission, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, Mr. Anaya is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association (Environmental and Real Estate Law Sections), and is a member of the part-time faculty at The John Marshall School of Law (Chicago). For 10 years Mr. Anaya was a member of the faculty of Loyola University School of Law (Chicago). Mr. Anaya has written and spoken on a broad range of topics and issues related to environmental law, corporate governance, and real estate law.
Title – The Role of Biofuels in the United States
Abstract – Corn ethanol is the face of biofuels to most Americans. Yet, questions remain regarding the net energy benefit of biofuels and their role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the vehicles that move Americans and goods. This presentation will address how corn ethanol represents the first generation of biofuels and how its energy and greenhouse gas profile has evolved over the years its production has grown. Further, this presentation will discuss what is next in the development of second generation biofuels and the regulatory drivers associated with this next wave.
Biography – Christina Canter develops life cycle analyses of transportation fuels, including biofuels produced from corn, cellulosic feedstocks such as corn stover, and algae. She has also researched the energy and environmental impacts of producing fuels from Canadian oil sands. Christina holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona and completed a post-doctoral position at the University of Alberta prior to joining Argonne National Laboratory’s System Assessment Section in 2014.
Title – Clean Energy and the Utility of the Future
Abstract – As states consider how to meet the carbon standards set by the Clean Power Plan, in many states legislators, regulators and utilities are also considering new business models for modern utilities. Utilities have traditionally built coal and nuclear plants to meet customers’ needs and made profits off their capital investment, but today serving customers entails providing energy efficiency and renewable energy in order to reduce emissions and help customers save on their bills. Meanwhile, the nation is shifting towards electric vehicles which will increase utility load. In light of the changing landscape, what developments can we expect in the coming years? Certainly, one size does not fit all and different states will be taking different approaches.
Biography – Mr. Kelter is Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) where he leads the organization’s efforts energy efficiency legal and regulatory policy initiatives in the Midwest and before Congress. He has litigated energy efficiency and renewable energy cases in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa. He is an experienced energy and public utilities regulatory attorney, who served as the General Counsel of the Illinois Citizens Utility Board handling a wide array of electricity and natural gas rate and rulemaking cases and issues. Before then, he worked as a staff attorney on clean energy issues Environmental Action and the Washington D.C. Office of the Peoples Counsel. Mr. Kelter is Chair of the Board of the Illinois Environmental Council.
Title – Clean Energy Development under EPA’s Clean Power Plan: The Game is Afoot!
Abstract – The Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan is the most significant single action any American President has taken to date to address climate disruption resulting from anthropogenic global warming. The Plan directly addresses the problem of global warming by setting the first-ever federal limits for emissions of carbon dioxide from electric power plants. Electric power plants are the largest single source in the United States of the carbon dioxide emissions which have been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the principal contributor to human-induced global warming. Moreover, the Plan also proposes a partial solution to the problem by offering important new opportunities to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency in every state. This presentation will provide an overview of these clean energy opportunities presented by the Clean Power Plan.
Biography- Michael A. (“Mike”) Mullett recently retired as Senior Counsel of Mullett & Associates, an Indiana-based law and policy consulting firm, with a practice limited to consultation from a public interest perspective on matters of energy, utility, environmental and land use law and policy. Recent Indiana clients preceding retirement included Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Sierra Club, Hoosier Environmental Council, Save the Valley, and Valley Watch.
Mike served as Counsel to the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana from October, 1982, through June, 2006. In this capacity, he represented the Coalition in numerous electric, gas and telephone proceedings before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court, including three precedent-setting cases prohibiting the recovery through rates of utility investments in cancelled nuclear projects and several important cases regarding Clean Air Act compliance by Indiana electric utilities. He also advised the Coalition regarding legislation pending before the Indiana General Assembly and United States Congress. Mike received his LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Mike received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. Mike received both his B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, and his M.A. degree in Public Policy and Administration, also with high honors, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Biography – Susan L. Satter is Public Utilities Counsel to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She joined the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Utilities Bureau in 2000, and previously served as legal counsel for the Illinois Citizens Utility Board. She has represented the People of the State of Illinois and residential consumers in administrative, judicial and legislative proceedings involving energy, water and telecommunications services and has addressed issues such as rates and prices, cost of service, cost of capital, infrastructure investment, energy regulation and markets, telecommunications regulation and competition, and corporate reorganizations. She earned her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law and served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She earned her BA from University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Title – Recirculating Farming: Successes, Challenges and the Need for Supportive Laws and Policy
Abstract – Recirculating farming: hydroponics (raising plants in nutrient rich, constantly recycled water, without soil), aquaculture (raising fish in recirculating on-land tanks) and aquaponics (raising both plants and fish symbiotically in one recirculating closed-loop system), is a popular, ever expanding industry throughout the world, and now has become a more common practice in the United States too. Over the past six years, the Recirculating Farms Coalition (“RFC”) has worked with recirculating farms and farmers all around the United States in building an active collaborative to share information, techniques, resources and more, and created a notable presence and voice for the industry. From marketing campaigns, to policy initiatives that promote industry development, the Coalition’s members, activists and supporters have helped elevate recirculating farming to a recognized part of U.S. agriculture. Notably, U.S. cities including Boston, Chicago, and New Orleans have embraced water-based growing in their city codes. This presentation will highlight RFC’s local effort in New Orleans to showcase water-based growing; as well as provide an overview of local, regional and national policy and legislative initiatives that address the intersection between environmental justice, food security and agriculture.
Biography – Emily Posner is the Policy and Legislative Counsel for the Recirculating Farms Coalition, in New Orleans. At RFC, Emily coordinates various policy initiatives related to agriculture and fishery issues. She also coordinates an afterschool gardening and homework help program in her neighborhood; and represents various Louisiana inmates on criminal and civil matters. Emily earned her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Law. While at Loyola she was awarded the 2013 Public Service Award from the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and the 2010 Roger Baldwin Award from the Maine Civil Liberties Union.
Title – Poison in the Well: GMO Crop Contamination Litigation
Abstract – This presentation will discuss the history of crop contamination litigation, the legal underpinnings of that litigation, damages modeling, and results.
Biography – Adam J. Levitt is a director at Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. and leads the Firm’s Consumer Practice Group. He specializes in complex commercial litigation, class action, and mass tort litigation in the areas of consumer protection, antitrust, securities, technology, and agricultural law. Mr. Levitt served as co-lead counsel in two of the largest agricultural and biotechnology class actions in recent years, recovering more than $1 billion in damages for the plaintiffs: In Genetically Modified Rice Litigation, in which Mr. Levitt has obtained settlements exceeding $900 million on behalf of long-grain rice producers and others who suffered losses resulting from contamination of the U.S. rice supply with unapproved, genetically modified seeds; and In Star Link Corn Products Liability Litigation, where he recovered $110 million on behalf of farmers who sustained market losses on their corn crops arising from contamination of the U.S. corn supply with genetically-modified StarLink corn. Mr. Levitt is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Levitt Serves as President of the Class Action Trial Lawyers, a division of the National Trial Lawyers, of which is he an Executive Committee Member. Mr. Levitt is dual licensed to practice law in Illinois and New York. Mr. Levitt graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University and received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
Title – Peeling off the “Science Denier” Label in the GMO Debate
Abstract – Proponents of GMO labeling have recently been affixed with a label of their own: science deniers. Some proponents of labeling may base their opinions on unsubstantiated concerns about direct human health harms from consuming genetically-engineered foods, but there are reasons to be skeptical of GMOs that do not depend on ignoring science. Secondary effects, environmental consequences, market realities for farmers here and abroad, and other concerns may prompt a reasonable person to opt out of the GMO market, as either producer or consumer. Moreover, the precautionary principle may justify resistance to GMOs in a way that it does not justify resistance to, for example, climate change mitigation strategies. This article seeks to offer a balanced view on the pros and cons of GMOs for both producer and consumer, and to help explain the persistence of public reaction against the biotech food.
Biography – Professor Alison Peck teaches and writes in the area of natural resources and sustainable development, with special focus on agriculture and energy law. She has written and commented extensively in the media on regulation of genetically-modified organisms, most recently in a Wired profile on emerging gene-editing technologies. Recent publications include Does Regulation Chill Democratic Deliberation? The Case of GMOs, 46 Creighton L. Rev. 101 (2013); The Cost of Cutting Agricultural Output: Interpreting the Capper Volstead Act, 80 Mo. L. Rev. 451 (forthcoming 2015); and Talking About Shale in Any Language, in Delivering Energy Law and Policy in the EU and the US: A Reader (Raphael Heffron & Gavin Little, eds.) (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2015). She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and an LL.M. in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
Title – Legal Tools to Create a Sustainable Food Future
Abstract – The American agricultural industry enjoys significant legal protections and exemptions from environmental regulation. This agricultural “exceptionalism” results in externalized pollution costs borne by the public. This presentation explores options such as regulation, disclosure of information, taxes, penalties, and incentives to create an environmentally sustainable food system.
Biography – Nicole Negowetti is an Associate Professor of Law at Valparaiso University Law School. She teaches Torts, Food Law & Policy, and Legal Writing. Professor Negowetti’s scholarship is focused on food law and policy, agricultural law, and sustainability. She is also a co-founder and Board Member of the NWI Food Council, whose mission is to build a just, sustainable, and thriving locally-oriented food system through networking, education, and advocacy.