WVU law school to host coal discussion

By The West Virginia Record | Oct 26, 2010


MORGANTOWN -- The future of the coal industry continues to be debated by opposing points of view that dispute its role in the effort to supply the ever growing demand for more energy.

While issues regarding the affect on the economy and the search for an affordable alternative source of energy are raised the environmental concerns regarding climate change challenge how policy and regulation will shape that future.

The West Virginia University College of Law will host Professor Michael B. Gerrard, who will describe some of the legal challenges facing the coal industry in view of concerns over climate change – both those relating directly to greenhouse gas emissions and those based on other issues but being pressed largely because of climate concerns. He will then discuss future outcomes for the coal industry under various legal scenarios.

Gerrard's address, Climate Change and the Future of Coal: A Legal Perspective, will be presented at 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 1 in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom in the WVU Law Center.

Gerrard is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, where he teaches courses on environmental and energy law and directs the Center for Climate Change Law. He also holds a joint appointment as a member of the faculty of Columbia's Earth Institute. Before joining the Columbia faculty in January 2009, he was managing partner of the 110-lawyer New York office of Arnold & Porter LLP; he is now senior counsel to the firm.

He practiced environmental law in New York City full time from 1979 to 2008 and tried numerous cases and argued many appeals in federal and state courts and administrative tribunals. He was the 2004-2005 chair of the American Bar Association's 10,000-member Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. He has also chaired the Executive Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Since 1986, Gerrard has written an environmental law column for the New York Law Journal, and since 1989 he has been editor of a monthly newsletter, Environmental Law in New York. He is author or editor of eight books, two of which were named Best Law Book of the Year by the Association of American Publishers: Environmental Law Practice Guide (12 volumes, 1992) and Brownfields Law and Practice: The Cleanup and Redevelopment of Contaminated Land (four volumes, 1998). His other books are Environmental Impact Review in New York (two volumes, with Philip Weinberg and Daniel Ruzow, 1990); Whose Backyard, Whose Risk: Fear and Fairness in Toxic and Nuclear Waste Siting (1994); The Law of Environmental Justice (1999, 2d ed. 2008); Amending CERCLA (with Joel Gross) (2006); Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (2007); and The Law of Green Buildings (with Cullen Howe) (forthcoming 2010).

Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Environment Lawyers, based on 4,000 questionnaires, reported in 2005 and again in 2007 that Gerrard "received more personal nominations for this guide than any other lawyer in the world."

Gerrard received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from New York University Law School, where he was a Root Tilden Scholar.

This event is open to the public and will be webcast live at http://law.wvu.edu/climateandcoal.

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