Florida State / College of Law / Events

Environmental Law Without Congress:
An Interdisciplinary Conference on Environmental Law

February 28, 2014

Congress has not passed a major piece of environmental legislation since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Meanwhile, federal agencies have embarked upon a series of regulatory initiatives, and regional, state, and local governments have experimented with a variety of environmental laws. What might that suggest about the future role of Congress in environmental law?

This conference seeks to initiate a cross-disciplinary discussion of the economic, political, psychological and sociologial forces that shape attitudes toward environmental law and regulation. It convenes experts in law, policy, and the social sciences, with a view toward providing a holistic and comprehensive perspective on environmental law.

Conference Program

A live-stream of the conference is available by clicking here.


Keynote Speaker: Richard Lazarus Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law, Harvard Law School.
Professor Lazarus has represented governments and nongovernmental organizations in over forty cases before the United States Supreme Court, presenting oral argument in 13 of them. His primary areas of legal scholarship are environmental and natural resources law, with particular emphasis on constitutional law and the Supreme Court and the role of Congress in environmental lawmaking. Professor Lazarus is the author of The Making of Environmental Law, and co-author of Deep Water – The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling, a Report to the President's Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He received his B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and went on to get his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Todd Aagaard, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law.
Professor Aagaard writes extensively in the areas of environmental law and administrative law. Prior to joining the Villanova faculty, he clerked for Second Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi and worked for eight years as an attorney in the Appellate Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. He received his B.A. with honors from Pomona College, his M.S. from the University Of Michigan School Of Natural Resources and the Environment, and his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. 

Dallas Burtraw, Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future.
Dr. Burtraw is one of the nation’s foremost experts on environmental regulation in the electricity sector. For two decades, he has worked on creating a more efficient and politically rational method for controlling air pollution. He also studies electricity restructuring, competition, and economic deregulation. He is particularly interested in incentive-based approaches for environmental regulation, and recently has studied ways to introduce greater cost-effectiveness into regulation under the Clean Air Act. He attended the University of California at Davis where he got a B.S. in Community Economic Development. He received his M.P.P. in Public Policy and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Daniel A. Farber, Sho Sato Professor of Law, University of California-Berkeley, School of Law.
Professor Farber is the Co-Director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. He is one of the most widely published and renowned scholars in the areas of environmental and constitutional law, and is the co-author of Cases and Materials in Environmental Law. Professor Farber serves on the editorial board of Foundation Press. He received his B.A., M.A., and J.D. degrees from the University of Illinois, and was a law clerk for Judge Philip W. Tone of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and then for Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court.
William Funk, Lewis & Clark Distinguished Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School.
Professor Funk writes extensively in the areas of environmental law, administrative law, and constitutional law. He is the author of American Constitutional Structure and a co-author of Administrative Procedure and Practice: Problems and Cases, as well as Administrative Law: Examples & Explanations and the Federal Administrative Procedure Sourcebook. He is a Fellow of the Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section, a Center for Progressive Reform Scholar, and a member of the American Law Institute, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from Columbia University, where he graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and James Kent Scholar.
Alexandra B. Klass, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School.
Professor Klass teaches and writes in the areas of environmental law, energy law, natural resources law, tort law, and property law. Her recent scholarly work addresses regulatory challenges to integrating more renewable energy into the nation’s electric transmission grid, federal financial support for renewable energy development, eminent domain issues surrounding interstate transmission lines, and the legal issues associated with using carbon capture and sequestration technology to limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and her J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin.
Nathan Richardson, Resident Scholar, Resources for the Future.
Nathan Richardson researches and writes broadly in the area of environmental law and economics, specializing in environmental liability, environmental federalism, and the relationship between law, regulatory institutions, and policy design. He has published in the areas of law and policy related to climate change, including EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Mr. Richardson is managing editor of RFF’s environmental policy and economics blog, Common Resources. He attended Georgetown University where he received his B.S. in Foreign Service and the University of Chicago Law School for his J.D. with honors.
J.B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law, Vanderbilt Law School.
Professor Ruhl is an expert in environmental law, land use and property law. He has written extensively in the areas of climate change, the Endangered Species Act, ecosystems, federal public lands, and other land use and environmental issues. He is a co-author of The Law of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management (Foundation Press, 2nd ed. 2006) and the Practice of Policy of Environmental Law (Foundation Press 2008). He received his B.A. and J.D. at the University of Virginia, his LL.M. at George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Geography at Southern Illinois University.
Janet Swim, Professor of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University.
Professor Swim's research addresses perceptions and responses to current social and environmental issues. She examines the impact of information, motivation (e.g., values, beliefs, and emotions), and behavioral skills on interest in information about climate change and engagement in pro-environmental behavior. Professor Swim was the lead author of Climate Change Psychology: Coping and Creating Solutions, a report commissioned by the American Psychological Association. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Hope College and her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
Sandra Zellmer, Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law.
Professor Zellmer is a widely-published and respected scholar in the areas of natural resources law, and is the co-author of Natural Resources Law (West, 2nd ed. 2012). She served as a clerk for the Honorable William W. Justice, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, practiced law with Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was a trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She received her B.S. magna cum laude from Morningside College, J.D. Sterling Honor Graduate from the University of South Dakota School of Law, and her LL.M. in Environmental Law with highest honors from The George Washington University National Law Center.
Moderator: Shi-Ling Hsu, Larson Professor of Law, Florida State University College of Law.
Professor Hsu researches and writes extensively in the field of climate change, environmental law and economics, and natural resources law. He is the author of The Case for a Carbon Tax: Getting Past Our Hangups to Effective Climate Policy (Island Press, 2011), and is one of the world's leading experts on carbon taxation policies. He is a founding director of the Society for Environmental Law and Economics. He received his B.S. from Columbia University, J.D. from Columbia Law School, and his M.S. in Ecology and Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Davis.

CLE credit available.

Please RSVP to Michael Hoover, mhoover@law.fsu.edu, or 850.645.8749.