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UW unveils energy/law center

Apr 25, 2013 - From staff reports

Robert Nordhaus, one of the nation's leading experts on energy law and policy, is the inaugural speaker Thursday for the University of Wyoming's new Center for Law and Energy Resources in the Rockies.

The event begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by Nordhaus's talk at 6:30 p.m. in Room 178 of the UW College of Law Building. It is free and open to the public.

Nordhaus has been at the forefront of United States energy policy design and implementation since the 1970s. He served as assistant counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, responsible for work on energy, environmental protection and other matters. He was a member of the Energy Policy and Planning Office in the Carter White House, and was the first general counsel for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (formerly the Federal Power Commission). He served as President Clinton's general counsel for the Department of Energy.

Additionally, Nordhaus served as a member of the Electric Power Research Institute's Advisory Council. He has written numerous articles and reports on energy and environmental policy and climate change, including working with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Resources for the Future.

The Center for Law and Energy Resources in the Rockies provides a focal point for the many energy and natural resources activities at the UW College of Law. It offers an interdisciplinary approach for exploring the legal, social, economic, technological and political realities that affect energy and natural resources policy.

"­Through speakers, conferences, symposia and similar activities, CLERR provides a platform for engaging in constructive and meaningful public policy debate and offers the opportunity for robust legal and policy research," says Sam Kalen, the center's director and UW College of Law associate professor.

"CLERR builds on the College of Law's strong academic programs in energy, environment and natural resources to provide a wealth of programs to prepare students to face the nation's energy future."

He says this will be accomplished through collaboration with cross-disciplinary UW programs, such as the School of Energy Resources and the Helga Otto Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources.

CLERR will be a leader in addressing the region's most pressing energy law and policy problems, Kalen says.

"Energy plays a critical role in society, affecting our economy, national security, international trade and the human and physical environment," Kalen says. "These issues are nowhere more acute than in the Rocky Mountain region, particularly here in Wyoming, which is one of the nation's top energy producing states, providing coal, oil, natural gas, uranium and renewable resources."

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