Emerging Issues at the Intersection of Energy and Water – LSU LAW CENTER

Cosponsored by the LSU School of the Coast and Environment, and Campanile Charities

October 3, 2014

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with seminar developments and other things of interest to you. #LSUCLE #EnergyLaw

Register online now. Click here.

To view the seminar brochure, including a detailed schedule and registration form to fax or mail, click here.

Topics and Speakers: (subject to change without notice)

8:00-9:00 am            Registration and Continental Breakfast (provided) 


Professor Mark S. Davis, Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, LA
Nobody Said This Was Going to be Easy: The New Horizons of Water Management and Water Law
Changes to our water supplies and growing demands for water are bringing water law and water management to places we have not been before.  As a human and economic necessity, water demands to be comprehensively understood and managed if we are to be well served by it.  As water law changes it will be drawn to cultural, hydrologic, ecologic, economic, and human rights dimensions that generally not been its province.  This will likely require a more flexible and purpose driven legal approach that is capable of better matching the dynamic nature of water and society.

Professor Dian Tooley-Knoblett, Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans, LA
Reflections on Louisiana Water Law Committee Report: the Relationship Between Groundwater and Surface Water Under Louisiana Law and Implications for Industry
Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 53 of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature (SCR 53) requested the Louisiana State Law Institute “to study legal issues surrounding groundwater and surface water law and any needs for revision to current law.”  Pursuant  to  this  request,  the  Law  Institute  created  a  Water  Law Committee,  a study committee comprised of academicians, practitioners, judges, and environmental law  specialists.  In addition, the committee has benefited immensely from the participation of observers with expertise and interest in this vital area of law. This talk will discuss the Committee’s findings, and the implications for energy and other development interests in the state.

Professor James G. Wilkins, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, LSU, Baton Rouge, LA
The Importance of Maintaining In-stream Flows in Louisiana
Louisiana’s efforts to manage its water resources have traditionally emphasized direct human needs and uses while ecological and environmental considerations have rarely been considered. Along with greater understanding of the relationships both within natural systems, and between humans and those systems, has come a recognition of the direct and indirect economic benefits provided by surface water allowed to flow in its natural state. Other states have recognized the value of maintaining sufficient in-stream flows to meet recreational and natural recourse needs but Louisiana has yet to establish any legal requirements for maintaining in-stream flows. In developing a water budget it will be important for Louisiana to reserve enough water for these often underappreciated needs.


Professor Robin Kundis Craig, University of Utah College of Law, Salt Lake City, UT
Dealing with Water Shortages Through Desalination: Energy Costs Compared to What?
Poseidon’s Carlsbad Desalination Project in southern California is expected to come on-line in 2015, turning seawater into drinking water. Texas is making increased use of brackish groundwater desalination as well as seawater desalination to increase its water supplies, and Florida also uses both approaches. Desalination, however, comes with some fairly obvious energy costs–but those costs cannot be assessed in isolation. California, for example, already spends a significant amount of electricity–about 15% of the state’s total electricity use–to transport water from northern California to southern California. Could desalination represent a net energy savings in water provision under some conditions?

Professor David B. Spence, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX
Emerging Legal Issues in Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation
The increasing use hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to produce natural gas and oil in the United States has provoked legal and political conflict over the regulation (particularly environmental regulation) of this activity . Some of that conflict pits state regulators against local communities, as more and more municipalities act to ban or restrict fracking within their borders.  This presentation will examine the growing body of litigation that has arisen around these conflicts.

Professor Mark Squillace, University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, CO
Energy for Water
The amount of water needed to produce energy is an important issue but at least as important in the arid Western United States is the problem of energy intensive water development projects.  Among these are desalination plants, deep groundwater pumping, and a variety of water delivery systems.  This talk will explore the problem of energy consumption associated with current and proposed water development projects in the Western United States and suggest strategies for identifying and implementing alternative projects that might lead to a more optimal solution to in terms of both energy and water consumption and use.

12:15-1:45 pm            Lunch at the LSU Faculty Club (provided) 


Karolyn Gillespie, EP Energy, Houston, TX
Optimizing Water Use In the Oil Field: How Legal and Regulatory Planning Can Ensure Sustainable Development

Professor Frank Tsai, Ph.D., PE, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Saltwater Intrusion Into Louisiana Aquifers: A Broad Perspective
This presentation will detail the causes and consequences of saltwater intrusion, including its relationship with energy development. 


Professor Keith B. Hall, LSU Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA
Hydraulic Fracturing, Well Integrity, and the Baseline Testing of Groundwater
Sometimes the owners of private water wells claim that their water has been contaminated by oil and gas activity.  Those claims often are difficult to prove or disprove for several reasons.  These reasons include the facts that there are many potential sources of contamination, many types of contamination will not be obvious to the persons who use the tainted water, and often there is no baseline data showing the quality of groundwater prior to the oil and gas activity that is being blamed for contamination.  Several states have responded by requiring oil and gas companies to conduct baseline testing of groundwater prior to drilling, and some oil and gas companies are voluntarily doing such testing in states that do not mandate it.

Professor Blake Hudson, LSU Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA
Groundwater, Energy Development, and Other Land Uses: Mining Finite Water Resources
Many groundwater resources around the nation are being depleted at a rate greater than aquifer recharge—turning what might otherwise be an infinite resource into a finite, non-renewable resource. The strain on groundwater resources comes from a number of sectors, from agricultural and energy production relying on groundwater resources to impervious land use developments that inhibit infiltration of groundwater. While no two aquifers face the same set of challenges or threats, this talk will provide a general overview of the problem and some potential solutions to combating it.


Location: LSU Law Center, McKernan Law Auditorium (1 East Campus Drive, Baton Rouge)

Credits: Earn up to 5.0 Louisiana CLE credits, 5.0 Texas CLE credits , or 5.0 Mississippi CLE credits. Need credit for another bar or professional association? We will work with you to report to those entities; fill out the registration form in this brochure, and be sure to complete the portion for “other states.” Or, sign up for other state/organization CE credits at the seminar. Please know your bar/association membership numbers. BONUS OFFER:Although neither Professionalism nor Ethics is offered in this seminar, registrants paying for CLE credits will qualify for admission to one Professionalism hour or one Ethics hour, free of charge, at LSU’s CLE by the Hour Seminar on December 17 or 18, 2014. (Non-transferable)

Parking: Due to changes in LSU’s parking policy, we are no longer able to reserve the parking lot next to the Law Center for seminar parking. Free parking is available in the North Fraternity Lot on West Lakeshore Drive (#8 on the map), a 7-minute walk to/from the Law Center.  Before parking, you must first obtain a free parking permit in the Visitor Center (#10 on the Union Square map). The Visitor Center hours are 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Vehicles without a permit will be ticketed. Metered parking in the new Union Square Garage is available for weekday parking at a reduced rate of $6.00/day (normally $1.50/hour) with parking tags purchased in advance through LSUcle.  The garage (#9 on the map) is located next to the Law Center.  Tags must be purchased from LSUcle with registration and will be distributed at the garage beginning at 7:00 a.m.  Tags will not be available for onsite purchase in the garage.  However, visitors without prepaid tags may park in a numbered spot and pay at one of the kiosks located on Level 2 and Level 3 before leaving the garage on foot.  The onsite fee is $1.50/hour.

WARNING: Garage parking is limited. Our seminars may be competing for garage space with other campus events.  Consequently, the tags will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Directions to the Union Square Parking Garage can be found here.

Hotel Accommodations: Attendees interested in hotel accommodations for the seminar may contact The Cook Hotel on the LSU campus at 866-610-2665 and reference “LSU Law Center Energy Attendees” for a special rate of $113.00 for King Suite or Double Suite.  Rooms are limited.  Do not delay.  If you are not successful in getting a room, click here for a list of other Baton Rouge hotels.

Seminar Materials: Written materials will be provided in electronic format only. Instructions on how to download PDF materials will be included in your confirmation letter, sent via email and snail mail immediately upon registration.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation requests must be received in our office in writing, by email, fax, or mail, no later than 4:30 p.m., on September 26, 2014, to receive a refund less a $50 cancellation fee. Requests must be addressed to our office: LSUcle, LSU Law Bldg., Room W203, 110 Union Square, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-0106, and may be faxed to (225) 578-5842 or e-mailed to lsucle@law.lsu.edu.