Posted: September 28th, 2017 | By: Emily Eisert
Professor Alan Palmiter, Wake Forest University’s presidential chair for Business Law, presented the Abraham L. Pomerantz Lecture at Brooklyn Law School on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. The lecture, which was hosted by the school’s Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation (CSBLR) and Brooklyn Law Review, is titled “Corporate Triplespeak: Responses by Investor-Owned Utilities to the EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan.”
This lecture, according to the event flyer, will examine the question of corporate sustainability in the electric utility industry and consider what lawyers and policy makers should make of the industry’s moral “triplespeak.”
Following Professor Palmiter’s lecture, there will be a discussion moderated by Brooklyn Law Professor James A. Fanto, CSBLR co-director, with commentators Professor Tamara C. Belinfanti, co-director of New York Law School’s Center for Business and Financial Law, and Professor Daniel J. H. Greenwood of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.
More information regarding the lecture follows:
“During the year following the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan to regulate CO2emissions, the largest investor-owned electric utilities engaged in a curious triplespeak. Employing the moral language of political conservatives, the utilities focused on whether and how the EPA had transgressed its “traditional” regulatory role, thus altering the “structure” of energy federalism and potentially “degrading” orderly power supplies. In their filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the utilities used the moral language of political libertarians, focusing on the “financial risks” that federal government “intervention” poses to efficient power “markets” and to the “freedom” of utilities to match energy supplies and customer demand. Meanwhile, in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports, the utilities used the moral language of political progressives, highlighting their concern for the “well-being” of their customers and other stakeholders, their desire to “protect” the environment from the “threat” of climate change, and their “conscientious efforts” to shift away from fossil fuels toward renewables. In many instances the same utility company took all of these seemingly inconsistent stances at about the same time.”
Professor Palmiter previously spoke at Brooklyn Law School on the topic of “The Mutual Fund Board: A Failed Experiment in Regulatory Outsourcing,” as part of the school’s Securities Enforcement Symposium in March 2006.
To RSVP before Tuesday, Sept. 26, click here.