EEMI Co-Hosts Natural Resources Symposium

Prof John Graham
December 08, 2020
On September 17, 2020, the GW Environmental and Energy Management Institute co-hosted a web-based symposium entitled “Natural Resources at a Crossroads: How 2020 Has Affected Natural Resources Law and Policy,” with the Environmental Law Institute, the GW Law School and the Industry Natural Resource Management Group. The event highlighted the importance of private/public collaborations to advance shared objectives.
The event was moderated by Barbara J. Goldsmith, President of Barbara J. Goldsmith & Company LLC and featured a presentation by Scott Fulton, President of the Environmental Law Institute. Roger Martella, General Counsel for Environment, Health and Safety at General Electric and former General Counsel, US Environmental Protection Agency, made a keynote presentation on “Post-COVID Strategies – A New Era for Natural Resource Issues in the U.S. and Worldwide.” Mr. Martella identified how and why companies and other stakeholders need to carefully set priorities, consider cost-effectiveness and sustainability imperatives, exhibit transparency and be innovative in the way natural resource matters are approached. 
Robert Dawson on LeftThe symposium examined continuing influences – beyond COVID-19 – on the shape of natural resource related policy and practice in the US and globally. Some of the US and international influences discussed included climate change effects/initiatives, including the EU Green Deal, the rise in attention to PFAS/PFOS and other chemicals, and emerging and new environmental legislation, including UK post-Brexit developments.
EEMI Board of Advisors Member Dr. John D. Graham, Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and former Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, and the Honorable Alex Beehler, former EEMI Research Professor and presently the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, were major presenters at the event.
Another component of the symposium highlighted current and proposed collaborative public/private activities or projects that could enhance efficiency, maximize benefits, and support innovation. That component featured a discussion among speakers and was moderated by Achinthi Vinthanage Associate Professor in the Environmental and Energy Law Program of the GW Law School. Speakers included Dr. John J. Forrer, Director of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Associate Research Professor of Strategic Management & Public Policy in the GW School of Business.