(from left to right) Dillon Olson, Meg Osswald, and Libby Park
S.J. Quinney College of Law students Dillon Olson, Meg Osswald, and Libby Park competed at the Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition in February 2016, adding another chapter to the University of Utah’s remarkable success at environmental, energy, and other national moot court competitions.
The Pace competition is the largest and oldest environmental law moot court in the U.S., with hundreds of students participating each year. The Pace competition is known for its cutting-edge problems. Students at this year’s competition were presented with a problem involving the question of whether an electric generation facility that uses biomass as its fuel source is a “major emitting facility” subject to PSD regulation under section 169(1) of the Clean Air Act. The problem also involved the issues of whether a biomass-fueled facility is subject to PSD review as an emitter of greenhouse gases and whether the state regulatory authority properly rejected consideration of a wood gasification and partial carbon capture plan as the best available control technology for the facility and permissibly imposed a sustainable forest plan instead.
In addition to writing an outstanding brief, the team performed superbly against eight other teams, several of which had participated in the final rounds of the competition the year before. The team advanced to the quarterfinal round.
The team was assisted before the competition by practice round judges, including professors Arnold Reitze, Lincoln Davies, Jaimie Pleune, Jared Bennett, John Ruple, Megan Houdeshel, and Ben Machlis, and practitioners, Mitch Longson, Kate Tipple, Melissa Reynolds, Doug Crapo and John Robinson, and national moot court team members (and fellow students), Sara Parker and Jon Williams. The Stegner Center would not be able to send a team to this competition without the support of our donors, which included ClydeSnow, the ENREL Section of the Utah State Bar, Lear & Lear, Holland & Hart, Doug Crapo, Jason Groenewold, Ben Machlis, Jim Moore & Kathryn Lindquist, John Robinson and Helen Serrassio.