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Stegner Center Young Scholar – Felix Mormann

November 1, 2017 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Clean Energy Equity

13th Annual Stegner Center Young Scholar

12:15-1:15 p.m., S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom (Level 6)
Solar, wind, and other renewable sources of energy promise to mitigate climate change, enhance energy security, and foster economic growth. But many of today’s policies promote renewable energy at the expense of equity and distributional fairness. Tax incentives for renewables cost American taxpayers billions of dollars every year, yet the tax code effectively precludes all but the largest banks and most profitable corporations from reaping the benefits of these tax breaks. Other policies, such as renewable portfolio standards that set minimum quota to create demand for renewable electricity require such high levels of market expertise and financial acumen that they engender similar social inequities—all in the name of an environmentally sustainable energy future.

This Article undertakes an empirical assessment and qualitative analysis of today’s leading clean energy policies to identify and evaluate issues related to equity and distributional fairness. To facilitate a meaningful rating and comparison across jurisdictions and policies, the Article proposes a set of proxy criteria to assess policy impacts on equity. Application of these criteria to a representative sampling of the global potpourri of clean energy policies yields critical insights and design recommendations for the next generation of renewable energy policies—a generation of policies tasked with the simultaneous advancement of both environmental and social sustainability.

Drawing on these empirical and qualitative insights, the Article develops a theoretical framework to address the challenges and trade-offs at the intersection of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The proposed framework combines elements of a polycentric approach with a heightened focus on pass-through economics.

1 hour of CLE . Lunch provided. No registration required. Free and open to the public. This event will be streamed and recorded on the S.J. Quinney College of Law YouTube Channel »

Felix Mormann is Associate Professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law and Faculty Fellow at Stanford University’s Steyer–Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
Professor Mormann’s research interests lie at the intersection of law and innovation in the context of environmental and energy law and policy.  Drawing on his background as an internationally trained corporate and energy lawyer, Mormann currently investigates domestic and international regulation and policy related to clean-energy technologies.  His often–comparative research starts from the premise that environmentally sustainable energy solutions require an economically sustainable policy landscape to leverage necessary investment.

Professor Mormann’s recent publications include Constitutional Challenges and Regulatory Opportunities for State Climate Policy Innovation, 41 Harvard Envtl. L. Rev. 189 (2017), Clean Energy Federalism, 67 Fla. L. Rev. 1621 (2015), Beyond Tax Credits – Smarter Tax Policy for a Cleaner, More Democratic Energy Future, 31 Yale J. Reg. 303 (2014), and Enhancing the Investor Appeal of Renewable Energy, 42 Envtl. L. 681 (2012). Professor Mormann’s work has been widely cited, including before the U.S. Senate. He advises federal policymakers on clean energy and energy efficiency.

Previously, Mormann was a research fellow and lecturer-in-law at Stanford Law School and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he conducted research for his doctoral dissertation. Mormann worked as a corporate and energy lawyer for some of Germany’s premiere law firms. As a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, he advised international clients from the high-tech sector. Professor Mormann holds a German JD and a JSD from the University of Passau School of Law as well as an LLM from UC Berkeley School of Law.

Funding provided by the Cultural Vision Fund.

For questions about this event contact Kris (801) 585-3440.

The Young Scholars Program is designed to recognize and establish a relationship with promising scholars early in their academic careers. Recipients are selected based on their accomplishments, the quality of their academic work, and their promise in the field of environmental and natural resources law and policy. The Young Scholars Program was founded in 2005, with the generous support of the Cultural Vision Fund, which has provided annual support for this program. Young Scholars join the S.J. Quinney College of Law to deliver a Young Scholar Lecture at the College of Law, a Downtown CLE to practicing attorneys, and to meet with students. The Young Scholar lecture is published in the student-edited Utah Law Review.

Paid parking is available at the Rice-Eccles Stadium using the pay-by-phone app. We encourage you to use public transportation to our events. Take TRAX University line to the Stadium stop and walk a half block north. For other public transit options use UTA’s Trip Planner. The law school is on the Red Route for the University’s free campus shuttles (College of Law stop).


November 1, 2017
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
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College of Law


S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
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