Tough Lessons From Oil

Hi All!

There is a great lecture being held tomorrow (10/26) in Stone Science Building (675 Comm ave) in room 453 at 12:30!

The Lecturer is Zygmunt Plate, of Boston College's Law School. Below is more detailed information:

As a White House staffer once said, “A disaster is a terrible thing to waste.” The BP Deepwater Horizon blowout will be a doubly disastrous calamity if it doesn’t produce systemic changes for the future, as the 1989 wreck of the Exxon Valdez markedly failed to do. Twenty years ago the State of Alaska Oil Spill Commission discovered that pervasive systemic flaws made that disaster not just possible but probable — but the lessons were largely cloaked behind the figure of a captain with a drinking problem. This year, after suffering another terrible oil incident—this one almost 20 times larger than the Exxon Valdez spill—the question for national energy law and policy is whether, this time around, we’ll rediscover and implement the hard systemic lessons largely avoided two decades ago.

About the Speaker

Zygmunt Jan BroĆ«l Plater, Professor, Boston College Law School. A.B., Princeton University; J.D., Yale University; LL.M., S.J.D., University of Michigan. Professor Plater is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and Tennessee, and teaches and writes in the fields of environmental law, property and land use law, and administrative process, with further interests in comparative international law and public interest litigation. He has taught on seven law faculties; has been a consultant on environmental and land use law issues in Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Nepal, and Japan; and has worked on national endangered species legislation and litigation in the USA -- most notoriously six years spent litigating the case of the endangered snail darter fish vs. TVA’s Tellico Dam in federal district court, appeals court, and in the Supreme Court, and through extended administrative and congressional hearings. Professor Plater worked as chair of the State of Alaska’s Oil Spill Commission legal research task force responding to the Exxon-Valdez disaster, 1989-1990, has been a legal consultant in many environmental law cases, has authored many law review articles, and is lead author of the widely-adopted environmental law coursebook ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY: NATURE, LAW, AND SOCIETY (3d edition 2004 from Aspen Publishing). In 2000, by vote of Boston College Law School’s graduating senior class, he won the school’s Faculty Excellence Award. In 2005 he was awarded the 2005 David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award at the 23d International Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, Eugene Oregon.

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