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Please check back often as we continue to add panelists.


Friday, April 1

Susan Christopherson, J. Thomas Clark Professor, City & Regional Planning, Cornell University
Professor Christopherson is conducting a comprehensive economic impact analysis of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale in New York and Pennsylvania.  In her address, she will discuss the most recent policy brief from this study.


Saturday, April 2

Hon. Maurice Hinchey, Congressman for New York's 22nd District, U.S. House of Representatives
Representative Hinchey will discuss shale gas development in New York State.

Introduction by Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law

Cyrus Mehri Lecture Series Speaker
Gary S. Guzy
, A.B. '79, J.D. '82, Deputy Director and General Counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
Mr. Guzy will discuss the current state of national energy policy, plans for moving forward, and the importance of Cornell University and Cornell Law School.

Introduction by Karen V. Comstock, Assistant Dean for Public Service


Thursday, March 31


Three law students from the Cornell Law School Land Use Clinic will briefly present research conducted on the issue of shale gas development.  Following these presentations, a panel of regional leaders and experts representing both sides of the hydraulic fracturing debate will discuss shale gas development from diverse perspectives.  The community forum will devote time for audience questions about the issues.

Cornell Land Use Clinic Law Student Presenters

Colleen Lamarre, Candidate for J.D., 2011

Michelle E. Mitchell, Candidate for J.D., 2011

Alexis Saba, Candidate for J.D., 2011


Mary June King, Business Administrator, Lansing Central School District


John Conrad, President & Senior Hydrogeologist, Conrad Geoscience Corp.

Stuart Gruskin, Founding Partner, Gruskin Gordon; former Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Paul Hartman, Director of State Government Relations, Chesapeake Energy Corporation

Bill Podulka, Chair, Residents Opposing Unsafe Shale-Gas Extraction (ROUSE)

Martha Robertson, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature

Adam Schultz, Partner, Gilberti, Stinziano, Heintz & Smith, P.C.

Sandra Steingraber, Biologist; Author; Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College

Rachel Treichler, Attorney, Law Office of Rachel Treichler

Transcript of Community Forum

Friday, April 1

Energy Security, Sustainability & Environmental Law

CLE credits offered
Achieving energy independence is a primary goal at all levels of government. But the meaning of energy independence and what that independence looks like vary widely. The United States is clearly in need of a national energy policy that also promotes sustainability. For natural gas to capture more of the market, our energy infrastructure would require change. A distributed energy system with a focus on renewable energy at the local level poses an alternative to fossil fuels. Would the de-centralization of energy production provide greater security? How could the various options map onto plans for a smart grid? And how do existing federal environmental laws play into the quest for sustainability? This opening panel will explore these questions and the critical role that the law must take in attaining energy security that is also sustainable.


Mark Milstein, Director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise & Senior Lecturer of Management and Organizations, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University<


Richard Allmendinger, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering & Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University

William Boyd, Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado at Boulder; Fellow, Renewable And Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI)

Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP; former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice

Wesley D. Sine, J. Thomas Clark Professor in Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise & Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University

Jefferson W. Tester, David Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Director of the Energy Initiative, College of Engineering; Associate Director, Energy Programs, David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University

Hydrofracking in New York State

CLE credits offered
Natural gas drilling has fueled a heated debate throughout New York State and the nation.  Hydrofracking currently enjoys federal exemption from a number of environmental laws.  What is the true state of these exemptions?  Should these be repealed?  Concerns for contaminating New York’s water led to a moratorium on new natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing.  Other possible risks include degradation to roads ill-suited to heavy machinery, increased storm-water runoff, food contamination, damage to human health, and altering of the landscape.  On the other side, possible benefits include creating jobs, offering a plentiful fuel source, stimulating the economy, and giving landowners valuable leases.  The EPA is completing another study of hydrofracking, as is the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  The results will have a profound effect on drilling.  Where are we now?  What direction should New York take?


Keith Porter, Adjunct Professor of Law, Cornell Law School; U.S. Editor, Journal of Water Law; former Director, New York State Water Resources Institute


Louis Alstadt, Former Executive Vice-President, Mobil Oil Corporation

Walter Hang, President, Toxics Targeting

S. Dennis Holbrook, Executive Vice President, Norse Energy Holdings, Inc.

Michael P. Joy, Partner, Biltekoff & Joy, LLP; Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Buffalo Law School; Member, Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York (IOGA-NY), Public Outreach and Education Committee

Robert Oswald, Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York City

Natural Gas, Energy & the Global Market

CLE credits offered
With an ever-increasing population, finding new fuel sources is imperative. How does natural gas fit into the global marketplace? By some estimates, the Marcellus Shale alone could power the East Coast for the next 50 years or more.  Others argue that projections are misleading and that much of the energy will be exported regardless.  Is natural gas an essential bridge fuel?  Or is the continued reliance on traditional fossil fuels untenable, simply speeding global warming?  Could other energy solutions be more effective? How will the law influence the international energy landscape?  A panel of experts will look at emerging developments and trends, exploring the relationship between energy and sustainability on an international level.


Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, Cornell University


Erika Anderson, J.D. ‘08, Principal, Anderson Law Firm; CEO, H2020 Analytics

Arthur E. Berman, Director and Geological Consultant, Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

Elizabeth Burleson, Visiting Professor of Law, University of Oregon School of Law

Francis J. DiSalvo, Director, David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future; John A. Newman Professor of Physical Sciences, Cornell University

Chris Tucker, Senior Vice President for Financial Dynamics (FD); Team Lead and Chief Spokesman for Energy in Depth; Senior Advisor to the Pennsylvania-based Marcellus Shale Coalition

Transcript of April 1 Panels

Saturday, April 2

The Science Behind Hydrofracking

The actual mechanics of the hydraulic fracturing process are highly contentious.  Questions are raised as to whether geologists can remain objective about potential benefits or risks of the process when so much money is at stake.  Although explanation of hydrofracking can be straightforward, great disagreement exists as to the potential for environmental harm.  Part of this results from a lack of comprehensive studies--studies that the EPA and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation are currently undertaking.  Films such as Gasland show faucets on fire in residential homes near gas drilling; others such as Gas Odyssey explore the economic benefits and safe practices of hydrofracking.  More broadly, can natural gas help reduce carbon emissions?  Or does the overall footprint actually increase global warming?  What long-term effects, both positive and negative, exist? What can the fracking process reveal about why people are so strongly for or against drilling?  Experts from both sides will debate these questions and more.


John Bickerman, B.S. '78, M.S. '79, Founder and President, Bickerman Dispute Resolution


Lawrence Cathles, Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University; Fellow of American Association of Advancement of Science

Robert Warren Howarth, David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology & Director, Agriculture, Energy & Environment Program, Cornell University

Anthony R. Ingraffea, Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Cornell University; Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture; former Director of the Synthesis National Engineering Education Coalition

William Kappel, Hydrogeologist, United States Geological Survey

Brian Rahm, Post-doctoral Associate, New York State Water Resources Institute

Donald Siegel, Professor of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Transcript of The Science Behind Hydrofracking

Clean Tech Alternatives to Natural Gas

CLE credits offered
Numerous renewable sources of energy exist.  How viable are these myriad options for replacing traditional fossil fuels, both on practical and economic levels?  Most people know about solar and wind.  What else is out there?  Rather than asking if alternative fuels could complement oil and natural gas, many believe the question should be how can we ensure that clean tech replaces fossil fuels as quickly as possible.  How can law and policy work to promote clean technologies?


Glen W. S. Dowell, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University


Albert R. George, J.F. Carr Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering & Chairman, Masters of Engineering Program, Cornell University

Emmanuel P. Giannelis, Walter R. Read Professor of Engineering & Co-Director, KAUST-Cornell Center for Energy and Sustainability, Cornell University

Todd Glass, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., Energy & Clean Technology, Project Development & Finance, Venture Capital

Benjamin Ho, Assistant Professor of Economics, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University; former Lead Economist for Energy and Transportation at the White House Council of Economic Advisers

Transcript of Clean Tech Alternatives

Drilling into Property Rights

CLE credits offered
This panel will explore the interaction between property rights and natural gas drilling.  Some property owners view the prospect of drilling as a lucrative opportunity; others fear degradation of their land.  Could drilling lead to successful actions in trespass or nuisance?  Another option for anti-drilling communities is for local municipalities to vie for control over zoning rights.  Could such action lead to a taking of property from owners or gas companies?  State or national regulation may hinder such local control.  How does "compulsory integration" affect landowners?  And how can landowners get the best deal on royalties?  Oil and gas has also historically been promoted at the national level.  Thus, federalism issues are implicated as states' rights may clash with national interests.  Experts will explore these hot topics and the question of how oil exploration fits into or works against our conception of property?


Laura Underkuffler, J. DuPratt White Professor of Law, Cornell Law School


Anthony S. Guardino, Partner, Farrell Fritz, P.C., Municipal Litigation Department

Scott Kurkoski, Partner, Levene, Gouldin & Thompson, LLP

Eduardo M. Penalver, Professor of Law, Cornell Law School

Helen Slottje, Senior Attorney, Community Environmental Defense Council

Transcript of Drilling Into Property Rights

Law & Science: A Convergence in Energy Law and Policy

CLE credits offered
Science is often seen as dispassionately pursuing the truth.  Law and policymaking, however, can involve spirited advocacy and partisan interests.  Science plays a crucial role both for lawyers and politicians.  But the science itself may get distorted in the process.  How should science affect energy law and policy?  How does it affect them?  What role does science play in influencing decision makers?


Michael C. Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law, Cornell Law School


Theodore Eisenberg, Henry Allen Mark Professor of Law, Cornell Law School & Adjunct Professor of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University

Kevin T. Haroff, A.B. ’77, J.D. ‘81, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP; Chambers USA, Leading Environmental Lawyers in California; Northern California Super Lawyers

Bradley C. Karkkainen, Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources Law, University of Minnesota

Transcript of Law and Science

Searching for Justice

CLE credits offered
The law is and will continue to be instrumental in the search for common ground on the future of energy.  But what are the limits of the law?  What is the likelihood of justice for victims of environmental harms?  And what does that justice look like?  As our energy consumption and carbon emissions increase, can we even afford to find common ground?  Can we afford not to?  Or is the very idea illusory?  What are the costs of continued polarization?  Do any benefits exist?  The debate over natural gas drilling could play out as much in the judiciary as in the legislature.  How adequate is our legal system to address these problems?  What effects do our actions have on the rest of the world?


John Bickerman, B.S. '78, M.S. '79, Founder and President, Bickerman Dispute Resolution


John B. Kassel, J.D. '86, President, Conservation Law Foundation; Co-founder, Shems Dunkiel Kassel & Saunders (SDKS); former Secretary of Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources

Roger Martella, B.S. ‘92, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; former General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency

Bradley M. Marten, A.B. '75, Founder and Managing Partner, Marten Law, PLLC; President-Elect of the American College of Environmental Lawyers

Victoria Switzer, Resident of the Dimock, Pennsylvania, gas field

Transcript for Searching for Justice