News Types: Press Releases

Energy Center Co-Hosts Workshop on Texas Water Financing

On February 21, the Energy Center partnered with the UT Office of Sustainability and the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution to host a workshop on a set-aside for conservation and reuse in Texas’ new water financing laws.

Melinda Taylor stands at podium
Melinda Taylor, UT Law Energy Center

In November 2013, Texas voters by a roughly three-to-one margin approved Proposition 6, which amended the Texas Constitution and the Texas Water Code to create a new water infrastructure bank, the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT).  SWIFT was capitalized with a $2 billion appropriation from the State’s Rainy Day Fund and is subject to a twenty percent set-aside – codified at § Texas Water Code 15.434(b)(2) – for conservation and reuse.

The legislature charged the Texas Water Development Board with responsibility for implementing and managing the new financing scheme.  The workshop explored the issues and opportunities the agency will face.

For slides, audio, and a program from the event, please click here.

Energy Center Releases Environmental Law Internship Guide

In conjunction with UT Law’s Environmental Law Society and Career Services Office, the Energy Center has released a guide to environmental law internships.

The guide includes information about dozens of internship opportunities and is intended to serve as a guide for law students seeking summer and school-year placements.

While the guide includes positions with the federal government and national nonprofits, the primary focus is on Texas.

Professor David Sokolow Reaches Out to Potential Chinese Students

UT Law Professor David Sokolow began the Spring 2014 semester in China, where he has traveled to share information about the law school’s leading LLM program.  Professor Sokolow has met with students in Beijing and Shanghai.

The LLM program draws upon UT Law’s deep connections to the energy industry to offer a certificate in Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law.

Professor Sokolow with UT Law alumni in Beijing
Professor Sokolow with UT Law alumni in Beijing

 

 

Three Baker Botts Attorneys to Coach 2013-4 Vis Team

Three attorneys from the Houston office of Baker Botts have volunteered to coach UT Law’s 2013-4 team in the Vis Arbitral Moot, the world’s  premiere moot court competition focused on international dispute resolution.

Through a rigorous selection process in September, six UT Law students were chosen to compete on the team: Ashleigh Acevedo, Burton DeWitt, Lauren Miller, Josh Nosal, Hayden Schottlaender, and Zahra Usmani.  Two 3Ls who represented UT in last year’s Vis moot – Becca Bennie and Garrett Martin – are returning as student coaches.

The team will be coached by Energy Center Executive Director Melinda Taylor and three attorneys from Baker Botts international arbitration practice: partners Michael P. Lennon, Jr., and Jennifer Smith ’90 and associate Dustin Appel.  Ms. Smith also serves as member of the Energy Center’s advisory board.

For additional information, please see this year’s Vis rules and problem.

 

 

Wendy Wagner Testifies before House Committee on TSCA Reforms

Professor Wendy Wagner testified November 13 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on S. 1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, which if passed would result in the most significant changes to one of the bedrock federal environmental laws – the Toxic Substances Control Act – in more than a generation.  To read her testimony, please click here.

 

Energy Center Publishes White Paper on Financing Water Infrastructure

The Energy Center has released a white paper exploring bills the Texas legislature passed earlier this year to finance water infrastructure.  The white paper - Paying for Water:  The 83rd Legislative Session and the $2 Billion Water Infrastructure Bank – analyzes policies that it finds could have “profound and long-lasting impact on Texas water law and water resources.”

Center Launches Fellowship for Law Students

The Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law at The University of Texas School of Law has created a new fellowship program that recognizes students interested in pursuing careers in one of its three core subject areas.

For its inaugural fellow, the center selected David Fisher, a Victoria, Texas, native who intends to pursue a career in public interest law, focusing on the convergence of international law, human rights and environmental policy.

“This fellowship is an incredible way for me to harness UT Law’s unmatched reputation in energy and environmental law and its strong presence in Latin America,” said Fisher, who received his bachelor’s degree from UT Austin in 2012 and is expected to complete his J.D. in 2015.

The center will provide fellows with $2,500 per semester and allow them to contribute to its programming and policy research. Through the fellowships, students will develop expertise in cutting-edge issues, cultivate relationships with leading practitioners and receive mentorship from center staff.

“One of the foundational purposes of the center is to enhance educational opportunities in energy, international arbitration and environmental law,” said Melinda Taylor, who is the executive director of the center. “The fellowship perfectly complements the curricular and extracurricular opportunities the center already offers.”

To be eligible, students must be entering or currently in their second or third years, and must have demonstrated a commitment to practicing in one of the center’s subject areas.