News Types: Press Releases

Jaime Spellings (UT JD ’86) gives Distinguished Lecture on Practicing Tax Law at the Largest Corporation in Americas, ExxonMobil

On February 5, 2015, Jaime Spellings (UT JD ’86) gave a Distinguished Lecture on Practicing Tax Law at the Largest Corporation in America, ExxonMobil. He also discussed careers at ExxonMobil.

Mr. Spellings is Vice President and General Tax Counsel at ExxonMobil.

He is also an adjunct professor in the KBH Energy Center and serves on the Center’s Advisory Council.

View speaker bio and supplemental materials.

ExxonMobil VP & General Tax Counsel Jaime Spellings gives distinguished lecture on practicing tax law at ExxonMobil.
ExxonMobil VP & General Tax Counsel Jaime Spellings gives distinguished lecture on practicing tax law at ExxonMobil.

Barry Smitherman (former RRC & PUCT chairman) and Becky Klein (former PUCT chairman) give KBH Energy Center distinguished lecture on Energy Policy in Texas

Barry Smitherman (former RRC and PUCT chairman) and Becky Klein (former PUCT chairman) gave a KBH Energy Center distinguished lecture on January 25, 2015 at the UT School of Law. Their presentations explored energy policy in Texas and paid close attention to pressing issues for the Texas Legisture.

Speaker bios and PPT presentations are available at http://tinyurl.com/k8o8g64

US EPA PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION 2015 HONORS ATTORNEY FELLOWSHIP

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Southwest (Region 9), Office of Regional Counsel, is pleased to announce its 2015 Honors Attorney Fellowship. This fellowship is for up to a two-year term, and the fellow is expected to commit to the full term. The deadline to apply for the 2015 Fellowship is January 30, 2015. EPA anticipates the Fellowship will begin in July/August 2015. The EPA Honors Attorney Fellowship is designed for a recent law school graduate who is a licensed attorney with excellent academic credentials and a strong interest in a career in environmental law or the public sector (see more detailed criteria below).

EPA R9 2015 Honors Atty (PDF)

Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law at the University of Texas School Releases Report on How the Endangered Species Act Influences Groundwater Law and Protects Springflow in Texas

December 19, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas – The Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law (Energy Center) at the University of Texas School of Law released a report today entitled “How the Endangered Species Act Influences Groundwater Law and Protects Springflow in Texas” by Vanessa Puig-Williams, an Austin-based legal consultant with expertise in Texas environmental law. The report was written under the direction of Professor Melinda E. Taylor, the Energy Center’s executive director.

When an endangered species is present in a spring, can the Endangered Species Act (ESA) influence groundwater management and protect springflow? What regulatory tools can a groundwater conservation district utilize to protect springflow to ensure the long-term survival of rare species? What potential legal vulnerabilities do groundwater districts face if they fail to do so? What options are available under the ESA for the districts to obtain authorization for unavoidable harm to the species? In this paper, the author explores the significant and developing relationship between groundwater management and endangered species protection. The author concludes that depending on how one looks at it, the ESA can be either the carrot or the stick – prompting groundwater conservation districts that preside over springs containing listed species to develop desired future conditions that protect springflow and ensuring that springflow protections remain in the future. To read the full report, visit http://tinyurl.com/nlzvlxk.

In April 2014, the Energy Center published a study entitled “The Conflict between Endangered Species and the State Water Plan: Will New Listings under the Endangered Species Act Thwart the State Water Planning Process?” In this study, authors Vanessa Puig-Williams and Melinda E. Taylor explored the potential for new water projects included in the State Water Plan. The authors concluded that, with the exception of projects in the upper Brazos River where the habitat of two endangered species of minnow are located, the additional listings in Texas would be unlikely to result in clashes between the ESA’s requirements and new water projects, because almost all of the Texas aquatic species on the Service’s work plan are dependent on groundwater and located in areas where no new projects have been proposed. To read the full report, visit http://tinyurl.com/oscj54a.

The Energy Center’s mission is to educate students about the law, policy, and commercial realities related to the production of energy, protection of natural resources, and the use of international arbitration to resolve commercial disputes related to energy. In addition to offering a robust course curriculum, the Center sponsors interdisciplinary research and policy analyses and provides a forum for lawyers, scientists, economics, policy makers, and stakeholders to explore solutions to the world’s most pressing energy and environmental issues. Beginning in January 1, 2015, the Center will become the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business, an innovative interdisciplinary project of the School of Law and the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit http://kbhenergycenter.utexas.edu.

For more information, contact: Vanessa Puig-Williams at puigwilliamslaw@gmail.com or the Energy Center at energycenter@law.utexas.edu.