The Catholic University of America



International Experts Offer Glimpse of Energy's Future


Wind, electricity, nuclear, gas, or coal? It’s clear that no single source of energy will be able to meet the planet’s ever-growing demand.
What are the best energy policies going forward? The question was the subject of a two-day conference at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law on April 7 and 8, 2011. Sponsored by the law school’s Initiative for Portuguese American Legal Dialogue and the Faculdad de Direito de Lisboa, the discussion, “The 10th Conference on European Union, Portuguese, and American Law: Developments in Energy Law,” brought together energy policy experts from Portugal, the United States, and the European Union to trade ideas and share what has and hasn’t worked in the mission to meet the world’s energy requirements.
“We are convinced that over-regulation will stifle growth,” commented Hon. Antonio de Lecea,(left) deputy chief of mission, European Union Delegation to the United States of America.
Twenty-seven EU member states have ratified a treaty designed to give Europeans more choices in energy supply, de Lecea noted, with generally positive results so far.
Most speakers agreed that the issue of energy regulation— in both the EU and the United States of prime importance in meeting future goals.
While the EU model is admittedly complex, “it may lead the way to new international models for energy regulation,” said Professor Doutor Luis Morais (above), University of Lisbon.
The lengthy discussion permitted more than a dozen experts to contribute their points of view. Panels were moderated by Catholic University law professors Marshall Breger, who organized the conference, Amanda Leiter, Lucia Silecchia, Michael Noone, Susanna Fischer, Robert Destro, and George Garvey.
Other speakers included Stuart Eizenstat, a senior Carter White House official and former ambassador to the European Union, and Ambassador Richard Williamson, U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N., Vienna, Austria.
The energy issue from America’s point of view was articulated by Joseph T. Kelliher, (left) former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Kelliher observed that the topics under discussion, such as the future of environmental law and energy law, and alternative and renewable energy, couldn’t come too soon.
“The U.S. power grid is not adequate to meet the 21st century needs of the country,” warned Kelliher. “Our energy policy is too often driven by the lowest cost today.”