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A Comprehensive Conference on Offshore Energy Development: Get Current and Get Connected

Those of you now planning your professional development seminars or continuing legal education opportunities for the New Year, consider a comprehensive two day conference to be held in Boston in early March if you have an interest in offshore energy development, coastal regulation, or ocean zoning.

Law Seminars International is sponsoring “A Comprehensive Conference on Offshore Energy Development” to be held at Seaport Boston Hotel on March 3rd and 4th.

Twenty-four speakers are scheduled for the two full day event, including

  •      state and federal officials influential in offshore alternative energy policy and oversight
  • ·    lawyers knowledgeable about the regulatory process, and
  • ·    industry executives taking leading roles in the development of offshore energy projects.

I will be speaking on “Zoning the Oceans”,  and specifically on Rhode Island’s marine spatial planning initiative, which resulted, after two years and over $8 million dollars,  in the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council’s (CRMC) recent completion of its Ocean Special Area Management Plan or Ocean SAMP. That plan provides a comprehensive approach to regulation of nearly 1,500 square miles of offshore waters, the most ambitious and comprehensive special area management plan ever produced by the CRMC.

CRMC’s Ocean SAMP has drawn national attention as an innovative approach to zoning extensive ocean areas to foster uses compatible with marine resource protection, and more specifically, to facilitate the development of offshore energy facilities.  While the effectiveness of the Ocean SAMP for the entire area sought to be regulated (i.e. federal waters beyond Rhode Island state waters) is pending federal review and oversight, CRMC’s Ocean SAMP is an extremely important effort which requires detailed examination.

In addition to ocean zoning, some of the other topics include

  • ·federal energy policies impacting offshore alternative energy development
  • ·federal policy priorities in regulating offshore energy development
  • ·federal and state policy coordination
  • ·current technological issues in generating offshore electricity
  • ·case study of a recently permitted offshore liquefied natural gas project

Given the rapidity with which federal and state regulations, litigation, and policies have been moving in this area, this conference should provide an exceptional opportunity to “get current” and “get connected”.

Seminar sponsors suggest lawyers, business executives, environmental professionals and government officials should consider attending if they are involved with:

  • shipping
  • aquaculture
  • electric energy generation
  • natural resource extraction
  • other uses of the ocean surface and floor

A current program brochure and registration information may be found at: http://www.lawseminars.com/seminars/11OCEANMA.phb

I hope to see you there!