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    09.28.17 Pomerantz Lecture: Corporate Triplespeak

    Thursday, September 28
    5 to 7 p.m.
    Reception to follow

    Brooklyn Law School
    Subotnick Center
    250 Joralemon Street
    Brooklyn, NY

    RSVP before September 26

    Alan R. Palmiter
    William T. Wilson III
    Presidential Chair for Business Law
    Wake Forest University School of Law

    About the Lecture
    This lecture 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.”

    During the year following the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan to regulate CO2 emissions, 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.

    Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation and the Brooklyn Law Review

    James A. Fanto, Gerald Baylin Professor of Law and Co-Director, Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation, Brooklyn Law School

    Tamara C. Belinfanti, Professor of Law and Co-Director, Center for Business and Financial Law, New York Law School

    Daniel J. H. Greenwood, Professor of Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

    The Pomerantz Lecture honors the life and work of Abraham L. Pomerantz, a 1924 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. The lecture series focuses on topics of corporate securities law and related issues of professional responsibility. The law firm of Pomerantz LLP, of which Abraham Pomerantz was the founding partner, provides continuing support for this series.


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