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Energy experts, scholars and policy makers will debate the future of energy at April 1 University of Richmond School of Law conference

What is the future of energy in the United States and Virginia? How will climate change impact the economy and national security? What role will alternative energy sources play in meeting our future needs?

Scholars, energy experts and policy makers will address those questions April 1 at Vision 2020: A View of Our Energy Future, at the University of Richmond’s Jepson Alumni Center. Speakers include Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change (invited); former Virginia Gov. George Allen; Eric Finkbeiner, senior advisor for policy to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell; Cale Jaffe, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center; and Christopher Paine, director of the nuclear program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Speakers will debate a broad range of controversial issues including energy regulation and climate change, the future of coal and nuclear power, the role of emerging technologies, and the interplay of energy and national security. With Congress debating whether to pass major climate change legislation or a scaled-back package of incentives for energy production, the conference will provide an examination of the options.

Co-sponsored by the Merhige Center for Environmental Studies at the University of Richmond School of Law, the University of Richmond Law Review and the Environmental Law Section of the Virginia State Bar, the conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The daylong program begins at 8:30 a.m. To register or for more information visit: http://lawreview.richmond.edu/2010conference.

Noah Sachs, associate professor of law and director of the Merhige Center, said, “Vision 2020 brings together top experts to debate the major energy challenges faced by the United States. We expect a fierce exchange of ideas with leaders who are shaping energy law and technology.”

“We are excited to contribute to the discussion of our energy future with a group of such prominent speakers and panelists,” added Stephen Taylor, Allen Chair editor of the University of Richmond Law Review.