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News Release

Vermont Journal of Environmental Law Presents 'The Energy Transition' Oct. 20 at VLS

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE––The editors of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (VJEL) at Vermont Law School will address the legal, regulatory, and policy challenges associated with transitioning from the current energy system to a cleaner energy economy during their 2017 symposium, titled “The Energy Transition,” from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in Chase Community Center at VLS. The symposium, open to the public and press, will be streamed live at

“Climate change is an internationally recognized threat, with about 29 percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions coming from the electricity sector alone and another 27 percent from transportation, based on 2015 data from the U.S. EPA,” said VJEL Symposium Editor Elizabeth Doherty JD/MERL’18 of the inspiration for the “The Energy Transition.” “By shifting the current electricity and transportation sectors to cleaner fuel sources, we can address—and possibly eliminate—more than half of our GHG emissions. Although such a shift is both possible and necessary, it is also important to protect the economy, respect the division of state and federal jurisdiction, and acknowledge national security and reliability concerns associated with an increasingly smart grid.”

The daylong VJEL symposium will open with a keynote address by Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. Reicher will discuss the importance of energy efficiency measures in the transition and issues surrounding implementing those measures.

Additional symposium panels and guests include:

Panel 1: “Legal Barriers to Renewable Generation”
- Karl Rábago: Executive Director, Pace Energy and Climate Center, Pace Law School
- Graham Jesmer: Assistant Counsel, New York Public Service Commission
- Stephen Pike: Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Panel 2: “Traditional Generation and the Energy Future”
- Peter Bradford: Adjunct Professor, Vermont Law School; former commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- Rich Miller: Assistant General Counsel, Con Edison

Panel 3: “Energy and the Constitution”
- Steven Ferrey: Professor of Law, Suffolk Law School
- Alexandra Klass: Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School
- Joel Eisen: Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law

Panel 4: “National Security and Grid Reliability”
- Jim Landis LLM’09: General Counsel, U.S. Marine Corps
- Stephen Dycus: Professor of Law, Environmental Law Center, Vermont Law School
- Mark James: Assistant Professor of Law, Institute for Energy and the Environment, VLS
- Kaitlin Brennan: Cybersecurity Manager, Edison Electric Institute

Continuing legal education (CLE) credit is available for the “The Energy Transition.” For more information about the symposium, including registration, visit Eventbrite; email or; and follow VJEL on Twitter, @JournalVJEL, #VLSGetsEnergized. The symposium includes lunch for those guests who preregister.

The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law’s mission is to provide an accessible forum to discuss contemporary environmental legal issues. VJEL publishes articles authored by academics, practitioners, and students alike. In selecting articles, VJEL editors recognize that environmental issues are inexorably linked with many other areas of law and seek to encompass a broad range of viewpoints and attitudes. In addition to publishing quarterly issues and hosting symposiums, VJEL reaches national audiences through its annual Top 10 Environmental Watch List. For more information about the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, visit


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three Master’s Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.