This half-day program will present a series of panels featuring law and policy experts discussing the most pertinent federal and state legal, regulatory and political developments. Find out what we can expect in the remaining days of the Obama Administration and the ways in which November’s elections may shape energy and environmental policy in 2017 and beyond.

Registration / Lunch              

Welcome / Announcement Remark

Panel Discussion: Obama Administration’s Environmental Scorecard & Regulatory Outlook
President Obama took office nearly eight years ago armed with an aggressive environmental agenda and a campaign pledge to tackle climate change.  While some take issue with the necessity or legality of many of the Administration’s environmental regulations, few can dispute how effective the administration has been in using existing statutory authority to promulgate rules addressing climate change and other environmental concerns.  Our panel will look back over President Obama’s two terms to discuss noteworthy wins and losses.  Panelists will use their understanding of the Administration’s regulatory agenda to project what remains on the regulatory “to-do” list as President Obama eyes the finish line and his last chance to cement his environmental legacy.

Authority of New Administration to Change
Regardless of party, changes in administration bring new priorities, new electoral mandates, and the incoming president’s first opportunity to wield executive authority in furtherance of his or her own policy goals.   Charting a new policy course can often require undoing the regulatory and policy decisions of the previous administration.  This presentation will discuss the laws and regulations which circumscribe an incoming administration’s ability to undo the actions of its predecessor.  We will discuss the role of the Congressional Review Act; the differing means by which regulations, guidance, policy statements, and presidential directives can be changed; and the incoming administration’s ability to halt “midnight regulations” proposed and finalized on the eve of the outgoing administration.  

Panel Discussion: Evolving Environmental Regulatory and Litigation Issues       
Environmental regulation impacting the energy and electric generation industries is increasingly evolving.  While there are a number of factors at play, this panel will discuss regulatory trends facing the energy and electric generation industries resulting from specific federal, state, and even private action.  Topics of discussion will range from the potential for an increased number of Clean Air Act Citizen Suits stemming from regulatory changes such as the Clean Power Plan and other EPA-driven regulatory reinterpretations, to increasing state Attorneys General actions, and to landowner lawsuits that have the potential to increase regulatory oversight.

Panel Discussion: 2016 Election Outlook
This year’s election may be one of the most important, and challenging, in U.S. history.  It will reshape politics for years to come, influencing everything from the Supreme Court to the balance of power in Washington D.C.   The divergent positions taken by Democratic and Republican candidates during the 2016 race reflect a stark contrast in the way the two parties approach environmental and energy issues, as well as how they would shape future policy.  During this panel discussion we’ll look at latest polling numbers, break down key House and Senate races and review some of the top regulatory and policy issues facing industry.

Outside Speakers

Jim Grace, Grace & McEwan Consulting