Article in NAAG Journal
Reprinted with permission from National Association of Attorneys General
Symposium article in neej-2004-october.pdf
"Law School Hosts Environmental Conference"
The Record, Columbia University
October 15, 2004
Law School Hosts State AGs for Environment Conference
by Hayley Miller
The current lawsuit against five giant utilities by state attorneys general and New York City officials was a major topic of discussion at "The Role of State Attorneys General in National Environmental Policy" conference September 20 at Columbia Law School. The lawsuit, analyzed at the conference by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Columbia Law Professor Thomas Merrill, seeks a court order requiring the utilities to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide (which most scientific authorities agree is a key contributor to global warming). Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia's Earth Institute also attended, at the invitation of Columbia Law Dean David Schizer. Sachs indicated he is looking forward to working with state attorneys general on the problem of climate change.
The global warming lawsuit is being compared in its potential impact to the early legal actions against tobacco companies. In both the successful tobacco settlements and new global warming case, state attorneys general led the efforts.
Providing an opportunity for frank discussion by state attorneys general, their key staff, academics and important stakeholders in national environmental topics was the motivation for this conference by Columbia Law's State AGs Program, the only program of its kind at a major law school. The program drew representatives from a majority of the states, several law schools and important non-governmental organizations, as did a previous conference on corporate governance.
Left to Right:
Lawrence Wasden (ID), Peter Heed (former NH), Dean David Schizer, Peg Lautenschlager(WI), William Sorrell (VT), Terry Goddard (AZ), Richard Blumenthal, (CT), Patrick Lynch (RI)
AGs also in attendence: Thomas Miller (IA), Steven Rowe (ME), Mike McGrath (MT), Jim Hood (MS)
And assistant attorneys general from: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, IL, IN, LA, MA, MT, NC, NJ, NH, NY, OH, VT, WA, WI