Prepare to be Blown Away...

Wind Energy Law Symposium 

The Texas A&M School of Law is hosting a symposium on November 15, 2013 in Fort Worth, TX. The symposium is 
the third in a series of conferences organized by the Real Property Law Journal. Two years ago, the Journal began 
with a discussion of important and timely issues 
surrounding wildfires. Last year, experts gathered from around the continent to address challenging water law and policy issues. This year’s symposium on wind energy will 
serve as a catalyst to discuss the dynamics of the wind industry, recognizing the importance that wind has in the growing discussion of renewable energy and green jobs. All presenters will have an opportunity to publish their work in the Spring 2014 issue of the Journal.


Featuring Special Guest Speakers:

Bob Beckage: VP Engineering- Pike Energy

Bob Beckage has been the Vice President of Pike and UC Synergetic Engineering groups in the Western US for the past year.  In that capacity, he supports the development of electric infrastructure to support the Renewables, Electric Utility, and Petrochem industries in a variety of settings.  Prior to that, Bob was the Program Director of Wind Energy Transmission Texas, LLC for two years.  Mr. Beckage spent the previous four years organically building a fully staffed EPC Consulting office for Pike Energy Solutions and handling all P&L, Business Development, and Operating responsibilities of running a consulting business during that time, acting as the Vice President of Engineering for the Southwest Region.   

Prior to his time at Pike and WETT, Bob worked at the Lower Colorado River Authority for seven years, where he headed the Project Management group in charge of all LCRA Transmission infrastructure build outs, among other responsibilities.  From 1992-2001, Bob’s responsibilities at PacifiCorp carried a variety of responsibilities, culminating in the Manager of Engineering role over all Substation and Transmission for both their Pacific Power and Utah Power Divisions.  Mr. Beckage started his career at Pacific Gas & Electric as a project engineer working on capital projects in areas of substation and control. A registered Professional Engineer in over 15 states, including Texas, Mr. Beckage holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from UTEP, an MS Engineering Management from Santa Clara, and an MBA from the University of Texas.  He is also a certified Project Management Professional.

Steven DeWolf: Partner- Bellinger, DeWolf and Suberg

Steve DeWolf has over 30 years of experience as a lawyer. He is licensed to practice in both Texas and California. He has tried cases in state and federal courts in Texas and has successfully argued appeals in both the state and federal judicial systems. His litigation experience spans real estate, personal injury, commercial disputes, employment and civil rights issues. He has participated in numerous mediations and arbitrations, ranging from small amounts in controversy to significant, complex matters.

DeWolf began practicing law in 1978 and, ever since, endeavored to provide quality, responsive legal services to clients at an affordable price.

DeWolf is “AV” peer-review rated by Martindale-Hubbell. DeWolf has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer, a Thomason Reuters service, every year since 2005.

DeWolf co-authored the first Texas wind law textbook published by LexisNexis-Matthew Bender in April of 2011. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Texas Law School, teaching a seminar in Wind law in the fall of 2011.

 Dennis Donley: Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee

Before joining the firm of Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee in Austin, Texas, Mr. Donley earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and his JD from the University of Texas at Austin, finishing both degrees in just over five years.  In addition, Mr. Donley clerked for Justice James A. Baker of the Texas Supreme Court, Judge Paul Davis of the 200th District Court, and Congressman Frank Lucas. His current practice focuses on energy, litigation, public utilities, commercial litigation, condemnation and government relations and political law. In these roles, Dennis has successfully represented clients and litigated cases across Texas, as well as worked on billion dollar regulatory cases.

  Mr. Donley’s accolades include receiving the Texas Rising Star Award from Texas Monthly, and being named General Counsel for the Republican Party of Texas, Convention Council for the Republican State Convention, Marquis Who's Who in American Law, and the Austin Under 40 Award Winner in the Legal Category. 

Mr. Donley ‘s professional activities include membership in the Texas Young Lawyers Association Voter Education Committee; the Texas Young Lawyers Association Dropout Prevention Committee; the Austin Young Lawyers Association Bench-Bar Committee; the Austin Young Lawyers Association Community Service Committee; the Austin Young Lawyers Association Teen Court Committee; and the Travis County Bar Association.  In addition, Mr. Donley serves on the Board of Directors for Austin Under 40 Awards and as President of Young Men's Business League of Austin and Austin Area Texas Exes. 

In his spare time, Mr. Donley enjoys volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Teen Court and the Adopt-a-School Program.  

Elizabeth Drews: Partner- Husch Blackwell

Ms. Drews is a partner at Husch Blackwell, focusing on electric regulatory law, including client counseling, contract negotiation and drafting, and representation in matters such as those involving the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Independent Market Monitor for the ERCOT region, the Texas Reliability Entity, the Southwest Power Pool, and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), and related appeals. She also represents clients before the Attorney General of Texas concerning Public Information Act requests.  Her clients have included owners of cogeneration, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, storage, and distributed generation facilities, power marketers, transmission and retail electric providers, qualified scheduling entities, retail electric customers, and landowners in transmission line cases.

Before entering private practice in 1996, Ms. Drews was assistant director of the PUC General Counsel and Hearings Divisions, legal counselor to the PUC Chairman, senior administrative law judge at the PUC and at Texas’ State Office of Administrative Hearings, and an energy and environmental law attorney with Radian Corporation.  She has been an expert witness at the PUC and the Railroad Commission of Texas and in court.

Ms. Drews is serving a three-year term on the Council of the State Bar of Texas Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section.

As administrative law faculty with the National Judicial College during 1990-2007, Ms. Drews taught courses on discovery, evidence, contested case procedures, trade secrets, enforcement, and other subjects.  She has published articles and spoken at many conferences on electric regulatory and administrative law topics.She has a B.A. in Economics and Public Policy Studies from Duke University and a J.D. from the University of Texas.

Professor K.K. DuVivier

Before becoming a Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Professor DuVivier earned her undergraduate degree cum laude from Williams College. She interned in the mineral departments of the Smithsonian Institution and the Hudson River Museum and then joined the American subsidiary of the French company COGEMA (currently Areva NC) as an exploration geologist.  For three and a half years, she mapped, logged core, and coordinated field operations in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico, before leaving to attend law school at the University of Denver. She received the Order of St. Ives when she graduated in 1982 and immediately started practice in natural resources law, first at Sherman & Howard and then at Arnold & Porter.  

While her children were young, Professor DuVivier worked as an Assistant City Attorney for the City and County of Denver and as the Reporter of Decisions for the Colorado Court of Appeals. She started full-time teaching at the University of Colorado School of Law in 1990, and she joined the faculty at the University of Denver in 2000. Professor DuVivier has taught a variety of subjects, including Civil Procedure, Legal Research & Writing, Local Government, Wills & Trusts, and Environmental Law.

Professor DuVivier’s accolades include presenting at several national conferences and being selected for numerous publications on topics including but not limited to “Think Globally, Act Locally: The Role of State and Local Ballot Initiatives in International Environmental Law,” “Retain Solar Access In Code,” “Jousting at Wind Mills: When Wind Power Development Collides With Oil, Gas, and Mineral Development ,” and “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral - Wind? The Severed Wind Power Rights Conundrum.”

Professor DuVivier’s current professional activities include serving as Vice-Chair of Public Service for the Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources (RADER) Committee of the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) and serving as Treasurer of the AALS Natural Resources Section. Her past service includes six years as Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association, Hard Minerals Committee, and ten years as Chair or Vice-Chair of the Appellate Practice Subcommittee of the Litigation Section of the Colorado Bar Association. In 2006, she was inducted as a member of the American Law Institute.

In 2008, Prof. DuVivier and her husband, Lance Wright, designed and built a near zero energy home following German Passive House principles.

Josh Linn

Josh Linn’s research centers on the effect of environmental regulation and market incentives on technology, with particular focus on the electricity sector and markets for new vehicles. Through his research on the electricity sector, he has compared the effectiveness of cap and trade and alternative policy instruments in promoting new technology, including renewable electricity technologies.  

Several of his studies on new vehicles markets investigate the effect of CAFE standards on new vehicle characteristics and the effect of gasoline prices on new vehicle fuel economy. Past research on the manufacturing and pharmaceuticals sectors has explored the effect on new technology of price and consumer demand incentives. He has published in leading general interest and field journals in environmental, energy, and health economics.

Linn, who joined RFF (Research For the Future) in March 2010, was an assistant professor in the economics department at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a research scientist at MIT. At MIT, he served as executive director of the MIT Study of the Future of Solar Energy.

Mr. Linn holds a BA in astronomy and physics from Yale University and a Ph.D. in economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

John Pappas

   John Pappas is the Interim Director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and the            Director of the Texas A&M Wind Energy Center. He is also the academic co-chair of    The Wind Alliance technical committee and he serves on the National Academy of      Sciences Committee on Workforce Issues in the Energy and Mining Industries and      on the on Advisory board for the NSF CREST Center for Energy & Environmental        Sustainability (CEES) at Prairie View A&M University.

   Pappas holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of            Texas at Austin and is a registered professional engineer. He previously was part of     the Center for Electromechanics, one of the largest research institutes at the University of Texas. Pappas served as program manager and director of business development as well as a principal investigator on numerous projects.

He has experience in private industry, in the federal government, and as a principal in a start-up company, which has led him to a wide range of experiences, including research and development, organization management and business development. Pappas helped develop multi-gigawatt generators for electric accelerators, novel high-power converter systems, controls and measurement systems for high voltage power supplies, and advanced manufacturing processes for the oil and specialty materials industries.

He is a member of the American Wind Energy Association and the IEEE and is the author of various research paper.

Roderick Wetsel: Partner- Wetsel& Carmichael

Before becoming a Partner in the firm of Wetsel & Carmichael in Sweetwater, Texas, Mr. Wetsel earned his undergraduate degree with high honors and his JD from the University of Texas at Austin and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most widely known academic honor society, in 1974.  Mr. Wetsel is Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

        Mr. Wetsel’s accolades include authoring material for and speaking across the             country at over thirty five seminars on topics including but not limited to “How           to Obtain a Receivership Oil and Gas Lease,” “ Anatomy of a Wind Energy Lease,” “Solar Energy-Toward a Unified Energy Land Lease,” “Jousting at Windmills: When Wind Power Development Collides with Oil, Gas and Mineral Development,” “Special Legal Issues when Renewables and Oil and Gas Projects are Jointly Developed,” “Legal Issues Related to Wind, Solar and Geothermal Development,” and “Conflicts between Wind Developers and Oil and Gas Companies.” In addition, Mr. Wetsel was the Program Director for the 32nd Annual Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, has co-authored a work entitled Texas Wind Law (published by Lexis Nexis Matthew Bender) and is an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law. 

Mr. Wetsel’s professional activities include membership in the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Council; the Grievance Committee of District 14C; Nolan County Bar Association; American Bar Association; and the College of the State Bar of Texas. Mr. Wetsel has also served as Assistant Editor for the Title Standards Joint Editorial Board, and as Chairman of District 16C. Mr. Wetsel has been practicing law for over 35 years.