April 21, 2014
The McGeorge Law Review hosted its annual symposium on April 11, 2014, with the topic of "Growing, Growing, Gone: Innovative Ideas in Resource Management for a Growing Population." The symposium was organized by professor Rachael Salcido, Faculty Adviser, McGeorge Law Review and Natalie Kuffel, '14, Chief Symposium Editor.
The McGeorge Law Review board utilized its location in California's capital to pull together key policy makers, experts, and scholars to discuss California's future. By 2050, California is estimated to reach a population of 50 million residents. The annual symposium discussed how California might respond to a growing population through legal reform and careful planning to ensure that the state's natural resources are not overburdened.
Professor Leslie Gielow Jacobs, Director of the McGeorge Capital Center for Law & Policy, welcomed everyone to the event and introduced Ken Alex, Senior Policy Adviser to the Governor and Director of the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR). The work that OPR is doing on the State's Environmental Goals and Policy Report is what inspired the topic for this symposium. Natalie Kuffel stated, "It was an honor to have Ken Alex at the event. His remarks on smart growth, high-speed rail and renewable energy really set the stage for the symposium."
Next, the symposium delved into the topic of "Limited Land: How We Develop." Moderator James "Jim" Andrew, Assistant Chief Counsel, California High-Speed Rail Authority, moderated the discussion about how building "smarter": higher densities, more compact development, more mixed uses, and less vehicle dependence, would benefit California. The panelists were professor Dorothy Glancy, Santa Clara University School of Law; Jeffrey Michael, University of the Pacific; and Martha Dina Arguello, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility.
The second panel covered the topic "Limited Land: How We Conserve," moderated by Phil Pogledich, Senior Deputy County Counsel, Yolo County. The panel explored how to balance the competing uses of California's fixed amount of land as the population expands. The panelists were professor Kalyani Robbins, University of Akron School of Law; Braiden Chadwick, Founding Partner, Mitchell Chadwick; and Aimee Rutledge, Executive Director, Sacramento Valley Conservancy.
John Sprankling, Distinguished Professor of Law at McGeorge, introduced the lunchtime Capital Lecture Keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute, who presented "Water & Sustainability." Dr. Gleick shared his insight into the problem of supplying clean affordable water to growing population. He reviewed the many competing interests all vying for their share of California's limited water resources, and ways that the more powerful interests have drowned out the individual. Dr. Gleick discussed how water pricing, human rights, and an international perspective can help to provide water for the growing California population.
"The Virtual River and the Importance of Conservation," was the topic of the third panel. The Honorable Ronald Robie, '67, Associate Justice on the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, moderated the discussion about ways to efficiently use California's existing water sources. The panelists were professor Paul Stanton Kibel, Golden Gate University School of Law, professor Jennifer Harder, UC Davis School of Law and McGeorge School of Law, and Alf Brandt, Legislative Director, Assemblyman Anthony Rendon.
The final panel covered the topic of "Renewable Energy: What Is Possible?" and was moderated by Sue Kateley, Chief Consultant, California State Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce. Panelists professor K.K. DuVivier, University of Denver, Strum College of Law, Michael J. Levy, Chief Counsel, California Energy Commission and Kristen Castaños, Partner, Stoel Rives discussed ways to provide power for a growing population without contributing to global climate change. Professor Rachael Salcido gave concluding remarks at the symposium, emphasizing that "the fate of the environment is our fate" and that "planning is a way to bring consensus among people with different values toward common goals."
"The symposium was really great because it gave me a chance to hear about current, local issues and how those issue overlap with the law," said Erika Lewis, '16. "I enjoyed that the speakers weren't just lawyers but also political figures, scientists and representatives of non-profits."
For many years, the McGeorge Law Review has hosted legal symposia centered on issues of timely legal importance. Through topics like the legalization of marijuana, the jurisprudence of Justice Anthony Kennedy, and the future of legal education, the McGeorge Law Review continues to bring together prominent scholars and practitioners to discuss diverse and fascinating legal topics.
The 2014 symposium was sponsored by Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, the McGeorge Law Review, and the Witkin Legal Institute. The symposium presenters will publish their papers in the fall 2014 issue of the McGeorge Law Review.