Decarbonization – 2013 Villanova Environmental Law Journal Symposium: 4/13

Despite alarming evidence that global warming is already having a profound effect on human life and nature, governmental and international climate change policy has been almost entirely ineffectual. Comprehensive climate change legislation lacks political support in Congress, and conventional emissions-reduction programs would allow aggregate greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere to increase steadily for decades and centuries to come.

The 2013 Villanova Environmental Law Journal Annual Blank Rome LLP Symposium will address the science, law, and policy of decarbonization, a strategy for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by replacing major fossil fuel uses with non-carbon alternative technologies. Scientists, legal scholars, economists, and policy experts will assess whether a combination of new “clean” replacement technologies is a realistic and feasible way to maintain our standard of living while eliminating or sharply reducing the major sources of greenhouse gases that are causing climate change.

The Symposium takes place on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., in Room 101 of Villanova University School of Law. This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 3.5 substantive CLE credits.

To register, visit


  • Howard Latin, Distinguished Professor of Law and Justice John J. Francis Scholar, Rutgers University School of Law at Newark, and author of Climate Change Policy Failures: Why Conventional Mitigation Approaches Cannot Succeed (2012).


  • David Driesen, University Professor, Syracuse University College of Law
  • Dr. Frank A. Felder, Director, Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy, Rutgers University
  • Kenneth Gillingham, Assistant Professor of Economics, Yale University
  • Dr. Stewart Prager, Director, Princeton Plasma Lab
  • Dr. Ajay K. Prasad, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Director, Center for Fuel Cell Research, University of Delaware
  • Matthew Stepp, Senior Policy Analyst, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
  • Dr. Michael Trachtenberg, Managing Director, Greenhouse Gas Industries, LLC


Howard Latin

Howard A. Latin is a Distinguished Professor of Law and Justice John J. Francis Scholar at Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.  A leading environmental law scholar, Professor Latin’s recent work focuses on climate change mitigation policy alternatives from a multi-disciplinary perspective, using law, economics, diverse physical and social sciences, and international relations..  Professor Latin’s 2012 book, Climate Change Policy Failures: Why Conventional Mitigation Approaches Cannot Succeed, contends that current national and international mitigation programs would achieve insufficient greenhouse gas reductions over too long of a period of time, and consequently are inadequate to address steadily increasing climate change risks.

Professor Latin joined the Rutgers faculty in 1976 after earning a B.A. from Brandeis and a J.D. from the Law School of the University of California at Berkeley.  He has been a Fulbright Scholar twice; a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and UCLA School of Law; a visiting scholar at the Rockefeller Institute in Lake Como, Italy, the Law School of the University of California at Berkeley, and the Richardson School of Law of the University of Hawaii; and a Distinguished Visiting Environmental Law Scholar at Lewis & Clark Law School. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served as a consultant on environmental and torts issues to government agencies and public advocacy groups.

David Driesen

David Driesen is a University Professor at Syracuse University College of Law.  He researches and has taught environmental law, law and economics, and constitutional law, including scholarship that examines the relationship among environmental law, economics, and technological innovation.  Professor Driesen joined the Syracuse faculty in 1995 after earning a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory, a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music, and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Olin Fellow and Editor of the International Law Journal. He has been a Distinguished Summer Scholar at Vermont Law School and a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan Law School. Professor Driesen clerked for Justice Robert Utter of the Washington State Supreme Court and worked in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office and for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Frank Felder

Dr. Frank Felder is the Director of the Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy at Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.  Dr. Felder is an expert in energy policy and electricity markets.  His research and teaching interests include the reliability and economics of electricity markets, state energy policy, energy efficiency and renewable energy evaluation, and integrated energy modeling.  Dr. Felder holds doctoral and master degrees from MIT in Technology, Management and Policy and completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Before joining the Bloustein School faculty, Professor Felder was an assistant professor of Management at the Manhattan College School of Business, an economic consultant, and a nuclear engineer in the U.S. Navy.

Kenneth Gillingham

Kenneth Gillingham is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale University’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.  He specializes in using the tools of economics and statistics, along with expertise in energy and systems engineering, to rigorously analyze policies to address the great energy challenges facing the world.  His research includes modeling energy innovation and technological change, both at the micro-level and in the large-scale energy-climate models used to examine the effects of climate change mitigation policies.  Prior to joining the Yale faculty, Professor Gillingham worked at the California Air Resources Board, White House Council of Economic Advisers, Stanford Energy Modeling Forum, Resources for the Future, and the Joint Global Change Research Institute of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  His Ph.D. is from Stanford University, where he studied management science & engineering and economics.

Stewart Prager

Stewart Prager is the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.  His research is in the field of plasma physics, where his experiments have contributed to both fundamental knowledge and the design of future reactors.  Dr. Prager holds bachelor’s degrees from Queens College of the City University of New York and from Columbia University.  He earned his Ph.D. in plasma physics from Columbia.  Dr. Prager joined the Princeton faculty in 2009 after teaching and running a plasma center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and before that conducting research with the Fusion Energy Group at the General Atomic Company, now known as General Atomics.

Ajay K. Prasad

Ajay Prasad is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware, and directs the University’s Center for Fuel Cell Research.  His research interests include fuel cell technology, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, wind and ocean current energy and vehicle-to-grid Technology.  Dr. Prasad earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Miami, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Matthew Stepp

Matthew Stepp is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, D.C., specializing in climate change and clean energy policy. His research interests include energy technology development, the intersection of climate science and policymaking, transportation policy, and the role of innovation in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. He has served as a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellow at the National Academies of Science and a Fellow at the Breakthrough Institute, a think tank located in Oakland, California.  Mr. Stepp holds a M.Sc. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a B.Sc. in Meteorology from Millersville University.

Michael Trachtenberg

Michael Trachtenberg is the Managing Director of Greenhouse Gas Industries, a research, development, and engineering company that focuses on the development of novel and highly efficient chemical and biochemical engineering processes targeted to the capture and conversion of greenhouse gases.  He is also the President of Strategic Critical Thinking, an organization that uses systems and risk based analyses to identify, understand and model the logic and relationships that underlie apparently complex problem sets.  Dr. Trachtenberg’s research focuses on science, engineering and behavioral psychology.  He attended college at the City College of New York and received his Ph.D. in Anatomy & Neurobiology at UCLA.  He has held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Zurich, Boston University School of Medicine, and Rutgers University.


Leave a Comment