News

Prof. Thaler presents at World Renewable Energy Forum

June 18, 2012

PORTLAND, Maine – Prof. Jeffrey Thaler, Visiting Professor of Energy, Law & Ethics at the University of Maine and the University of Maine School of Law, gave a presentation in May at the World Renewable Energy Forum in Denver, Colo., which was attended by about 2,000 people from around the world.

Professor Thaler’s presentation, “U.S. Renewable Energy Law and Policy: Catch Up or The Clock Strikes Midnight,” provided an overview of existing and predicted impacts from the still-increasing carbon dioxide emissions accumulating in our air and oceans; a comparison of the direct and indirect costs of different fossil fuel and renewable energy sources; a summary of the permitting and regulatory hurdles facing renewable energy projects; and a roadmap to tilt the regulatory playing field to help renewables catch up.

Professor Thaler also participated as a commenter in other Forum sessions. He questioned U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu following his plenary address, concerning Prof. Thaler’s suggestions for faster and more predictable federal review of clean, renewable energy projects. Improving that review process would help reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the costs to the U.S. of more than $200 billion each year from our use of carbon-based energy sources.

To read some of Prof. Thaler’s thoughts on the issues, check out his blog post at the website of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He begins the post with a question that some would argue is the most important question of our time: How can each of us leave the world to our children and grandchildren at least as healthy as when we were born?

Also this spring, Prof. Thaler co-authored an opinion piece that was published in the Portland Press Herald. The piece took a Press Herald columnist to task for overstating the debate among scientists about human impacts on climate change.

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Media contact: Trevor Maxwell, communications director at Maine Law
Office: 207-228-8037/ Cell: 207-286-4431/ email: tmaxwell@usm.maine.edu