News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

Reminder: 6/1/12 National Spring Conference on the Environment

I encourage you to register for the National Spring Conference on the Environment, titled “Reframing the Conversation: Examining the Tension Between Environmental Regulation, Job Growth and the Economy.”  This event is will take place this Friday, June 1st at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore.  The event is organized by the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.

Over 40 years ago, President Richard M. Nixon joined with Congress to transform environmental protection in this Nation. Through these efforts, the 1970s saw the creation of such pivotal regulatory schemes as those still implemented under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act—as well as a host of other meaningful environmental protection initiatives, including creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Notably, environmental protection was not then perceived to be “owned” by one political party or the other. Nor did aggressive “political” debates on environmental issues influence an apparent consensus regarding the importance of the core mission: protection of the people of our Nation and its precious and limited resources. Yet today, some forty years later, it seems fair to say that President Nixon and Congress did not then fully anticipate how their actions would ultimately yield the over-arching regulatory systems that now affect our nation at every level.

This 40th National Spring Conference on the Environment will reframe the conversation and address the current debate over the economic impact of environmental regulation in the United States. Even if true, of what relevance is it now that our current state of affairs was not anticipated by its creators? Environmental knowledge and knowledge of longstanding environmental issues and problems has advanced greatly since the 1970’s—as have, in likely equally unanticipated ways, economic issues, markets and regulatory mechanisms. What follows? As a Nation, for example, have we begun now to “trade off’ our commitment to environmental protection to facilitate economic recovery and job growth? What should our environmental protection mission be today? What should be our economic goals? Are we, for example, allowing decades of what some might view as “environmental regulatory creep” to diminish the Nation’s economic competitiveness and destroy our chances at job growth?

Featuring prominent federal, state, NGO and private sector experts at the center of this very real debate now under way in our country in a key Presidential year, this day-long conference will provide a wide-ranging discussion about the policy and reach of environmental regulation as this Nation tries to recover from one of the most devastating economic crises it has ever faced. The conference will examine the legal ramifications of restructuring the environmental regulatory development process In light of current “hot-topic’ water, air and natural gas issues.

A keynote presentation from USEPA’s General Counsel and an opening friendly “debate” between a former USEPA official and a current Administration official will prove to be uniquely informative on some of the most critical issues of our time. The Senior Energy Counsel, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, has been invited to help frame a concluding facilitated discussion in which participants will help formulate forward-looking policy proposals on these crucial issues.

Registration is still open.  Click here for more information, including conference registration, materials, and brochure.

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