The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

APIEL, the 13th Appalachian Public Interest and Environmental Law conference is set for Saturday, October 1

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ELOlogoELO is a student-run organization at the University of Tennessee College of Law. It is not directly affiliated with the University of Tennesse or any particular non-profit organization. It is dedicated to providing students and attorneys with learning opportunities and leadership experiences.

Networking environmental leaders across Appalachia and the State of Tennessee

Knoxville — APIEL is a relative newcomer to the small circle of inclusive U.S. public interest environmental law conferences. Because it is organized by law school student volunteers, APIEL is affordable to attend for students as well as citizens from all walks of life.

APIEL is much loved and considered essential by regional nonprofit leaders and activists. It is also highly acclaimed by seasoned environmental lawyers. With just 12 conferences under its belt, APIEL has risen to rank among leading peer conferences with a much longer track record, such as the  Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) at the University of Oregon School of Law (39 events), the Red Clay Conference at the University of Georgia School of Law (34) and the Public Interest Environmental Conference (PIEC) at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law (28).

As always, this year’s APIEL conference will critically investigate emerging trends and long-term consequences of diverse environmental issues with complex scientific, ethic, legal, public health and social justice dimensions. A particularly hot session topic, “Greenhouse Gaslighting: TVA’s Proposed Gas Plants and Pipelines,” will dissect TVA plans to replace coal with natural gas. That would not only disregard Federal climate-change directions, but also saddle us with even more stranded assets that have a snowball’s chance in hell to repay their investments.

The keynote presentation by Dean Rivkin and John Rosenberg — our region’s doyens of public interest and environmental law — is titled “Re-Examining the Meaning and Mission of Public Interest Lawyering in Appalachia: What Would Sisyphus Do?(Dean Rivkin also was a frequent contributor to Hellbender Press during its hardcopy publication days. — Ed.)

The registration fee is a mere $20, including lunch! Even free registration is possible by volunteering to help with tasks during the event. Persons in a financial pinch may apply for a waiver of the registration fee. That option is made possible by contributions from conference sponsors and by an extra registration fee for Tennessee-licensed attorneys who want to earn Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit hours toward their annual CLE requirement mandated by the Supreme Court of Tennessee’s Board of Professional Responsibility.

Those who cannot attend in person may register to attend virtually via Zoom (of course they’ll miss networking opportunities including the post conference social at Albright Grove Brewing).

 

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