Martz Summer Conference 2017
Fighting Back on the Colorado River: Carving Out Progress on Multiple Fronts
Since the turn of the 21st century, storage on the Colorado River has declined while stress over the region’s water future has intensified.
The combined impact of overconsumption, drought, and climate change have exposed longstanding problems with the regional water budget, and have focused national attention on the urgency of improving management. Water managers, river advocates, and other concerned stakeholders and decision-makers are responding, increasingly through basin-wide initiatives that go beyond specifying how looming shortages will be distributed to actually trying to head-off the most painful potential impacts. Many of these efforts are at a critical juncture. As they come to fruition, several questions arise: Are we doing the right things? Is it enough? What needs to happen next? Event Video
Past Martz Summer Conferences
Coping with Water Scarcity
Coping with Water Scarcity in River Basins Worldwide: Lesson Learned from Shared Experiences, 2016
Water scarcity is increasingly dominating headlines throughout the world. In the southwestern USA, the looming water shortages on the Colorado River system and the unprecedented drought in California are garnering the greatest attention. Similar stories of scarcity and crisis can be found across the globe, suggesting an opportunity for sharing lessons and innovations. For example, the Colorado River and Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin likely can share many lessons, as both systems were over-allocated, feature multiple jurisdictions, face similar climatic risks and drought stresses, and struggle to balance human demands with environmental needs. In this conference we cast our net broadly, exploring several salient topics including: trans-boundary cooperation, water marketing, Indigenous water rights, environmental and social water needs, and drought coping.
This public event ias informed by three invitation-only meetings held immediately before the conference: an “Indigenous Water Justice” symposium; a “Social Dimensions of Environmental Water Management” workshop; and a “Drought Crises in Federations” symposium. Event Video
Innovations in Managing Western Water
Innovations in Managing Western Water: New Approaches for Balancing Environmental, Social, and Economic Outcomes, 2015
Many aspects of western water allocation and management are the product of independent and uncoordinated actions, several occurring a century or more ago. However, in this modern era of water scarcity, it is increasingly acknowledged that more coordinated and deliberate decision-making is necessary for effectively balancing environmental, social, and economic objectives. In recent years, a variety of forums, processes, and tools have emerged to better manage the connections between regions, sectors, and publics linked by shared water systems. In this event, we explore the cutting edge efforts, the latest points of contention, and the opportunities for further progress. Event Video
Water and Air Quality Issues in Oil and Gas
Water and Air Quality Issues in Oil and Gas Development: The Evolving Framework of Regulation and Management, 2014
Technological advances for extracting oil and gas from shale deposits have ushered in a new era of energy development in key resource-rich pockets throughout the US. In this event, we review the ongoing efforts of governments and industry to develop the regulatory and management practices necessary to protect water and air resources, drawing on the latest scientific research to tackle areas of uncertainty and to inform future action. Event Video
Martz Winter Symposium 2017
Natural Resources, Energy, and Public Lands: What Happens Next?
As the Trump Administration’s priorities unfold, we address the implications of potential policy shifts and other emerging issues in these critical areas. Event Video
Past Martz Winter Symposiums
Celebrating Charles Wilkinson
A Celebration of the Work of Charles Wilkinson: Served with Tasty Stories and Some Slices of Roast, 2016
We celebrated the work of Distinguished Professor Charles Wilkinson, a prolific and passionate writer, teacher, and advocate for the people and places of the West. Charles’s influence extends beyond place, yet his work has always originated in a deep love of and commitment to particular places. We honor Charles’s work in the same way he approached it, by starting with place and expanding to include the entire country. We closed by coming back home to Boulder, where we are fortunate to call Charles a friend, colleague, and mentor. Event Video
Seeds of Change
Seeds of Change: Responding to Global Change in a Bottom-up World, 2015
Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges.
The conference explored this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address the various dimensions of “global change”. Event Video
The Sustainability Challenge
Natural Resource Industries and the Sustainability Challenge, 2014
For more than two decades, sustainability has gained currency as a broad organizing principle for efforts to develop and use energy, natural resources, and the environment in ways that allow society to meet its needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. More recently, sustainability has been embraced by businesses across multiple sectors as part of a broader movement of corporate social responsibility. Hardly a day goes by without news of another corporate initiative on sustainability. Much of the enthusiasm for sustainability in the business community has been centered in “new economy” sectors and among retail giants such as Wal-Mart. Much of it has likewise been motivated by the realization that companies can actually save money by embracing more sustainable practices.
In the traditional natural resources industries, there is an increasing recognition of the considerable challenges facing efforts to operationalize this broad concept in the context of resource extraction and development. In the long run, the promise of sustainability will depend on the natural resource industries—those that provide energy, water, fiber, and raw materials for a growing population—translating this concept into action.
This conference draws together people from different disciplines and backgrounds to discuss the specific challenges confronting efforts to operationalize sustainability in the context of natural resource industries broadly understood. The symposium will discuss the idea of sustainability and how it is taking shape in particular places and sectors; rigorously explore current efforts to re-organize certain business practices under the rubric of sustainability; and endeavor to identify practical, meaningful actions to deepen ongoing efforts to make sustainability a central tenet of our economic, social, and environmental future.
Schultz Lectureship in Energy 2017
The State of U.S. Energy Policy Following the Paris Agreement: Who is Leading?
Colette Honorable, Former FERC Commissioner, Partner Reed Smith LLP
The 2017 Shultz Lecture focused on the evolution of energy policy in the U.S. and beyond following the Paris Agreement and the 2016 presidential election. The presentation highlighted the events following the withdrawal of the U.S. from the climate accord – in particular the incredible response from grassroots organizations, local and state leaders, and industry- and the unprecedented showing of leadership from the people. Event Video
Past Schultz Lectures
Reducing GHG Emissions
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Electrical Power Sector
Paul L. Joskow, President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 2016
Electricity generation accounts for about 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. While emissions have declined by about 20% in the last ten years, much of this reduction is due to the fortuitous availability of cheap natural gas which has provided incentives to substitute less CO2 intensive natural gas for coal as a generation fuel. The sector faces many challenges to meet long run 2050 goals of reducing emissions by as much as 80% from 2005 levels. These challenges include the diversity of federal, state and municipal regulation, the diverse and balkanized structure of the industry from state to state and region to region, the failure to enact policies to place a price on all carbon emissions, the extensive reliance on subsidies and command and control regulation to promote renewables and energy efficiencies, uncertainties about aggressive assumptions about improvements in energy efficiency beyond long-term trends, pre-mature closure of carbon free nuclear generating technologies, integrating renewables efficiently into large regional grids, methane leaks, and transmission constraints. The lecture discussed these challenges and suggests policies to reduce the costs and smooth the transition to a low carbon electricity sector. Event Video
Energy: Threats and Opportunities
Energy: Threats and Opportunities-An Entrepreneur’s Perspective, 2015
Governor John Hickenlooper, State of Colorado
Governor John Hickenlooper outlined his vision for a path to cleaner, more efficient forms and systems of energy at the University of Colorado Law School on November 12. In the 8th annual John H. and Cynthia H. Schultz Lecture, Hickenlooper discussed his views on energy development in the state and challenges facing a sustainable energy solution due to the growing rate of global energy consumption—set to rise more than 56 percent by 2040. The bottom line: We need a “miracle solution,” and it needs to be more affordable, more reliable, more effective, and cleaner than today’s energy, he said. Event Video
The Oil-Water Nexus
The Oil-Water Nexus: Where Development Meets the Environment, 2014
Jim Burke, NGL Energy Partners
This year, the lecture was delivered by James Burke, President of NGL Energy Partners. NGL Energy Partners is a leading gatherer, transporter, and marketer of crude oil and NGLs (Natural Gas Liquids) and a growing provider of oilfield water and wastewater handling and disposal services. The lecture covered the “Oil-Water Nexus,” focusing on the increasing importance of water and wastewater handling and disposal for unconventional oil and gas operations. Event Video
GWC Distinguished Lecture 2017
Atmospheric Trust Litigation: Securing a Constitutional Right to a Stable Climate System
Professor Mary Wood, Philip H. Knight Professor, Faculty Director, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, University of Oregon Law
In face of irreversible climate tipping points and the failure of statutory law to control carbon dioxide pollution, youth around the world are suing their governments to act before it is too late. The campaign, called Atmospheric Trust Litigation, recently won a landmark ruling from a federal district court declaring a constitutional right to a stable climate system. Professor Wood discusses this litigation in the context of climate urgency and the federal government’s policy to spur production of fossil fuels. Event Video
Past Distinguished Lecture Events
In Love with the Wild
In Love with the Wild: Thoughts About Public Lands in the 1st Century, 2016
Bill Hedden, Executive Director, Grand Canyon Trust
Bill Hedden provided a report from the field, a description from an activist and stakeholder of what it’s like to live surrounded by deep, wild public lands. The lecture included a personal description of what the public lands can mean to an individual life. Followed by a broader scope and look ahead related to public lands issues, asking how our societal relationships with these lands must evolve in the 21st century. Hedden believes it is necessary to speak in new ways about these matters at a time when the very concept of public lands is once again under assault from the Congress and from state legislatures, attacked through well-funded disinformation campaigns, and, if all the rest isn’t clear enough, the land itself occupied by armed militias—our inheritance under threat from people who have not felt lucky to earn a living off of lands and resources belonging to all of us, but who feel resentful and determined to take the lands for themselves. Hedden notes the American people are in danger of losing something of inestimable value without really knowing what it is and, more importantly, without having a vision of what role this globally unique endowment might play in helping us find a way to live in harmony with our ever more stressed planet. Event Video
Expanding the Watershed
Expanding the Watershed: Certainty and Sustainability in 21st Century Water Resources Management, 2015
Mike Connor, Deputy Secretary, United States Department of the Interior
The Distinguished Lecture Series was designed as a cooperative venture between the Getches-Wilkinson Center and the Colorado Natural Resources, Energy, & Environmental Law Review, to bring to the University of Colorado each year a distinguished figure in the fields of natural resource, energy, and environmental law and policy. The Annual Distinguished Lecture Series provides a forum for thought–leadership, allowing the Distinguished Lecturer to reflect on their experience and provide insights on the current state of natural resources, energy, and the environment. The articles and transcripts resulting from these lectures will be published in the Review. Event Video
CO Public Lands and O&G
Are Colorado Public Lands Becoming a Sacrifice Zone for Oil and Gas?
Bruce Babbitt, Former Governor of AZ and Secretary of the Interior
Bruce Babbitt is a lifelong environmentalist and outdoorsman. Babbitt served as Arizona Governor from 1976-1987, successfully securing several wilderness designations. As Secretary of the Interior during the Clinton Administration, Babbitt launched a new era in wildlife protection by reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park. Later, he reintroduced the California Condor to the Grand Canyon region. Babbitt also spearheaded Clinton’s ambitious program to protect expansive areas of federal lands as national monuments under the Antiquities Act. Clinton created 20 new monuments and expanded three existing monuments totaling nearly 8 million acres. The creation of these monuments protected some of the most contested and magnificent western landscapes, and this era stands as one of the highest points in conservation history.
Other Past GWC Events
Women in Energy Law and Regulation Conference, 2017
This conference brought together women in electricity law and regulation to discuss the most pressing questions facing legislators and regulators today. Each of the panel topics was selected for its relevance in ongoing debates about the right way to structure and implement legal oversight of the electricity system. The event was anchored by the law school’s annual Schultz Lecture, held the evening before the conference. This year, the Schultz Lecture was delivered by former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable (video below). The Conferencel also featured a conversation among energy journalists covering conference topics (and others like them). This was an opportunity for an open conversation with other panelists and the audience about ways in which law professors, policymakers, and others can support the work of independent journalism in chronicling energy developments. Event Video
FLPMA Turns 40
Celebrating 40 years of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 2016
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers approximately 245 million acres of our public lands and yet, for most of our nation’s history, these lands seemed largely destined to end up in private hands. Even when the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 ushered in an important era of better managing public grazing districts and “promoting the highest use of the public lands,” such use of our public lands still was plainly considered temporary, “pending its final disposal.” It was not until 1976 with the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) that congress adopted a policy that the “public lands be retained in Federal ownership.” In the 40 years since Congress enacted FLPMA, the BLM has experienced a remarkable transformation from an agency once focusing almost entirely on livestock grazing and mineral development to one that has fully embraced a multiple use mandate—including managing large tracts of public lands for conservation and even wilderness protection purposes. Many of the nation’s prominent environmental or natural resource laws, within last few years, have celebrated their 40th anniversaries, often provoking critical dialogues about their past and future. It is now time to acknowledge and celebrate the remarkable transformation of the BLM over the last 40 years since FLMPA’s enactment in 1976.As the Trump Administration’s priorities unfold, we address the implications of potential policy shifts and other emerging issues in these critical areas. Event Video
Winter, Wilderness and Climate
Winter, Wilderness, and Climate-Threats and Solutions, 2016
In partnership with the Getches-Wilkinson Center, join The Wilderness Society and Protect our Winters for an interactive presentation about energy development and climate impacts on public lands. Event Video
Science for Security
Science for Security: The Role of the Department of Energy in Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation, 2015
Dr. Ernest Moniz, United States Secretary of Energy
On August 31st, 2015, Dr. Ernest Moniz, United States Secretary of Energy visited Colorado Law to deliver his definitive remarks on the Iran nuclear deal, in a lecture titled Science for Security: The Role of the Department of Energy in Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation. Event Video
State-Local Conflict Over Fracking, 2015
Professor David Spence, University of Texas at Austin
The law is frequently called upon to resolve regulatory conflicts that arise when a majority mildly prefers policy X, and minority strongly prefers policy not X. Two emerging bodies of case law present this problem, both associated with the growing number of challenges to local restrictions on the use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to produce oil and gas. One set of cases involves claims that these local restrictions are preempted by state oil and gas law; the other involves claims that, where a local ordinance survives preemption, it amounts to a regulatory taking. This lecture explores how the distribution of the costs and benefits of fracking drive the politics that provoke preemption and takings conflicts in the first place, and how the decision rules courts use to resolve preemption and takings claims try to address those distributional concerns. Event Video
Wilderness Act at 50
Celebrating the Great Law: The Wilderness Act at 50
On September 3, 2014, the National Wilderness Preservation System—established and protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964—celebrates its 50th anniversary. We are gathering on September 4th and 5th to celebrate Wilderness—“ornery old wilderness, scratchy, sweaty, and distant, but sacred every step of the way”—and to commemorate the great law so central to its protection.
This is not an ordinary conference, full of dry presentations or heated policy debates. Instead, this will be a full-throated love song to wild country. We have brought together some of the most inspiring, insightful, and compelling Wilderness luminaries: writers, storytellers, advocates, historians, educators, photographers, and other admirers. The most important invitee of all will be the public—those who make wilderness an important part of their lives, and those who simply take comfort in its existence.
Our goal will be to tell the story of the Wilderness movement over the course of the last 50 years, to rearticulate the ethos of the Wilderness community in light of that history, and to take a short moment to reflect on and appreciate the progress that has been made. Event Video