College of Law Center for Energy and Sustainable Development

Speakers and Panelists

Robert M. Bastress, Jr.

Professor of Law
West Virginia University
College of Law

Robert M. Bastress, Jr., is the John W. Fisher, II Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law, where he has taught since 1978 . He holds B.A., J.D, and L.L.M. degrees from Wesleyan, Vanderbilt, and Temple Universities, respectively. Bastress’s teaching and scholarly interests have concentrated on constitutional law, employment law, and local government law. His scholarship includes two books, THE WEST VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION: A REFERENCE GUIDE (Greenwood Press 1995) and INTERVIEWING, COUNSELING & NEGOTIATING: SKILLS FOR EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION (Little, Brown 1991) (with Joseph Harbaugh), as well as numerous articles, course materials, and presentations.

Kathy Beckett Photo Kathy Beckett

Jackson Kelly PLLC

Kathy G. Beckett is a member of the law firm of Jackson Kelly PLLC. She is the environmental practice group manager for the firm and is located in the Charleston, WV office. Kathy’s career has been dominated by regulatory and appellate work she has done for the energy sector. She has worked directly with the extractive energy sources of oil, gas and coal. Kathy has also work with the power generation sector in the context of non-renewable and renewable sources of energy. She serves on the Board of Directors for both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the WV Chamber of Commerce. Kathy is a graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law and the University of Kentucky, College of Arts and Sciences. She holds law licenses in both West Virginia and Kentucky.

Armando Benincasa Photo Armando F. Benincasa

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Armando Benincasa concentrates his practice in the areas of energy law, environmental law, environmental litigation, administrative law, government affairs and lobbying. His practice consists of cases involving permitting and regulatory requirements for solid waste, water resources, underground storage tanks, and voluntary remediation, and the drafting of rules and statutes related to the environment. He has extensive experience in governmental matters, as well as representing various energy companies before state agencies and the West Virginia Legislature.

Mark K. Boling

Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Southwestern Energy

Prior to joining Southwestern in January of 2002, Mark K. Boling was in private practice in Houston, Texas, specializing in oil and gas transactional work. Mr. Boling was a partner with the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. where he practiced in the firm’s Oil & Gas/Real Estate Section from 1982 to 1993. Mr. Boling holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from DePauw University.

He is a member of the American (Environment, Energy and Resources and Business Law Sections), Arkansas (Natural Resources Law Section) and Texas (Oil, Gas & Mineral Law and Corporate Counsel Sections) Bar Associations.

Elizabeth Burleson

Associate Professor of Law
Pace Law School
Pace University

Professor Elizabeth Burleson has an LL.M. in International Law from the London School of Economics (LSE) and is a Fulbright Senior Specialist. She is a faculty member of Pace Law School. As a National University of Singapore Centre for International Law Senior Visiting Fellow, she researched energy and water security. She teaches Energy Law, Public International Law, International Environmental Law, Property Law, Water Law, and Environmental Law.

Hanna Chang


Hannah Chang is an attorney in the Northeast office of Earthjustice, where she represents clients and advocates on matters ranging from energy regulation to environmental justice. Hannah graduated magna cum laude from Yale College and received her J.D. from Yale Law School, after which she served as a clerk for Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before joining Earthjustice, she was an associate in the environment and general litigation groups of Arnold & Porter and served as Fellow and Deputy Director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law.

Heather Corken

Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

Heather Corken practices all aspects of environmental law, advising clients on regulatory requirements, assisting them in the evaluation and negotiation of corporate and real estate transactions and representing them in environmental litigation and enforcement matters. Heather advises clients on a wide range of environmental issues impacting the oil and gas, petrochemical and pipeline industries, including permitting, spill prevention, water supply, water rights, and wastewater treatment, storage, recycling and disposal in connection with hydraulic fracturing activities. In addition, she counsels clients on allocating environmental liabilities in connection with the acquisition and divestiture of oil and gas properties in the major shale plays in North America, including the Barnett, Marcellus, Haynesville, Eagle Ford, and Bakken Shales.

Joshua Fershee Joshua P. Fershee

Associate Professor of Law
and Associate Dean for Academic
Affairs and Research
University of North Dakota School of Law

Joshua P. Fershee joined the UND Law School faculty in 2007, where he serves as Associate Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research. He teaches Business Associations I & II and Energy Law & Policy. His research and scholarship take a comprehensive view of energy and energy-related law and policy, including the law, politics, and regulation of traditional fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), alternative transportation fuels, electric transmission policy, renewable portfolio standards, and deepwater drilling. More broadly, his research discusses the role of law and regulation as they impact business and corporate governance issues. Fershee’s recent articles have appeared in a variety of journals, including the Harvard Journal on Legislation, Energy Law Journal, Connecticut Law Review, and Environmental Law. He also contributed the Energy Subsidies section to the Encyclopedia of Sustainability and the chapter on Renewables Mandates and Goals in The Law of Clean Energy, a book published by the American Bar Association. Fershee received his JD magna cum laude from Tulane Law School, where he was elected Order of the Coif and editor in chief of the Tulane Law Review.

Stuart F. Gruskin

Gruskin Gordon

Stuart F. Gruskin’s career has spanned both the public and private sectors. Prior to forming Gruskin Gordon, a government relations and consulting firm specializing in environmental, energy, and economic development issues, from 2007 through 2010, Stu served as Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Department. In that capacity, he was responsible for supervising New York State’s environmental quality and natural resource policy and regulatory initiatives, including addressing the potential use of high volume hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling for natural gas exploration. Among other things, Stu conducted the statewide hearings on the 2009 draft sGEIS, and was DEC’s primary liaison with other state agencies, environmental groups, industry, local government officials, landowner coalitions, and other stakeholders.

Stu also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), a public benefit corporation responsible for financing drinking water and clean water infrastructure projects throughout New York State, administering the State Revolving Fund program, providing technical assistance to municipalities and businesses, and funding other types of environmental programs. Before entering government service, Stu had a twenty-five year legal and business career in New York City. His areas of practice included commercial and real estate litigation, real estate acquisitions, sales, and financing, and government relations. Stu was also a principal of a company that provided structured financing services for real estate development projects nationally. Stu is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and Albany Law School of Union College.

Randy C. Huffman Photo Randy C. Huffman

Cabinet Secretary, State of West Virginia
Department of Environmental Protection

Randy C. Huffman, Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, brings a wide variety of experience to the top regulatory post.

After having served over three years as the DEP’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Mining Director, Governor Manchin appointed Huffman as Cabinet Secretary May 1, 2008.

Huffman brings nearly 25 years of experience with the agency to the job. He has worked in the Abandoned Mine Lands Program, the Division of Water and Waste Management, the Office of Administration, and the Mining Division. For most of the past 14 years, he has also served in various capacities on the Executive Staff.

Huffman graduated from West Virginia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering Technology and received a Master of Business Administration degree from West Virginia Graduate College.

He is a Colonel and serves as the Support Group Commander in the 130th Airlift Wing, Charleston, West Virginia.

He is married to Sheila and they have three sons.

T_Kinneman Thomas Kinnaman

Department Chair and Professor of Economics
Bucknell University

Thomas Kinnaman received his Ph.D. In economics from the University if Virginia in 1994. Since then he has served as assistant and associate professor at Buckell University. Over the past decade he has researched the economics of solid waste and recycling. His work has been published in among others the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and The National Tax Journal. He has also edited two volumes of literature on the economics of solid waste on invitation from Kluwer and Ashgate publishers.

Most recently (spring of 2009) he has served as visiting fellow in American Studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. While at Doshisha, he began collaborative research with Japanese economists on various waste issues. One such effort considered various policy options for the international trade in used durable goods such as computers and television sets. These goods are increasingly imported to developing countries but often contain hazardous waste materials that developing countries may be unable to manage. A second research initiative examined the costs of recycling specific materials (paper, plastic, metal, etc.) in Japan. This study represents the first to estimate recycling costs of individual materials.

In the summer of 2010, Prof. Kinnaman began research on the economic and environmental consequences of drilling for natural gas in central Pennsylvania. Bucknell students majoring in economics and environmental studies are collaborating in this research.

Professor Kinnaman regularly teaches course in environmental economics, mathematical microeconomics, law and economics, and principles of economics.

Kulander Christopher S. Kulander

Professor of Law
Texas Tech University
School of Law

Christopher S. Kulander joined the faculty in 2011. Before entering teaching, he practiced law in the Houston office of the firm of Haynes and Boone, LLP for four years and, before that, with the firm of Cotton & Bledsoe in Midland, Texas. His teaching and research interests include oil and gas law, general property and land use control, American Indian law, and energy law. Prior to entering law school, he served as a geophysicist for the United States Geological Survey in Denver and as a field geologist for the State of West Virginia.

While in law school, Assistant Professor Kulander served as Managing Editor for the Oklahoma Bar Mineral Law Newsletter, Note Editor and Assisting Managing Editor for the American Indian Law Review, and as research assistant for Owen L. Anderson, Eugene Kuntz Chair of Oil and Gas Law from 2002-2005.

Professor Kulander is admitted to practice in New Mexico and Texas.

J. Thomas Lane Photo J. Thomas Lane

Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love, LLP

J. Thomas Lane is a partner at Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love, LLP and an Energy and Mineral Law Foundation McClaugherty Award Recipient. A West Virginia University alumnus, he earned his Juris Doctorate degree from WVU College of Law and a B.A. degree from Jefferson College. Prior to his work at Bowles Rice, Lane worked as a WVU College of Law adjunct professor 1986-2007, specializing in Coal, Oil and Gas Law.

Named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” by Natural Resources Law since 1989, Lane also enjoys gardening and landscaping, tennis, and being a private pilot.

Tim Manchin Photo Timothy Manchin

House of Delegates
Co-Chair of Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale

Delegate Tim Manchin graduated from WVU College of Law in 1980. In 1984 he started the firm of Manchin & Aloi which continued for 27 years until recently when his partner and cousin became Judge Michael Aloi of the Circuit Court of Marion County. Taylor Downs has now joined the firm known as the Manchin Injury Law Group.

Tim Manchin has been active in many community and state activities and has also served on various boards. He is past president of the West Virginia Association for Justice. The Manchin Injury Law Group practices primarily in the area of person injury litigation, including medical malpractice and products liability.

Tim became a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2003. He is currently a member of the Finance Committee and serves as chairman of the Political Subdivisions Committee, Chairman of the Joint Water Resources Committee and for the past six months has been serving as Chairman of the Special Joint Legislative Committee for the study of Marcellus Shale legislation. His Water Resource Committee was the first legislative committee to study Marcellus Shale more than 3 years ago.

Dave McCurdy

President and CEO
American Gas Association (AGA)

Dave McCurdy joined the American Gas Association (AGA) in February of 2011. Founded in 1918, AGA is the preeminent representative before Congress, the Administration and state governments for natural gas utilities and companies that provide clean, abundant, affordable and efficient energy to over 175 million Americans. As president and CEO, McCurdy is responsible for representing and promoting the interests of 199 local energy utility companies that deliver natural gas throughout the nation. There are more than 70 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the United States, of which 91 percent—more than 64 million customers—receive their gas from AGA members.

McCurdy joined AGA after serving for four years as president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance). He led the Alliance during a period of unprecedented economic, environmental and regulatory challenges for the auto industry. During his tenure, the Alliance recorded significant achievements and McCurdy was instrumental in developing the historic agreement between automakers and the Obama administration establishing the national program to increase fuel economy by 40 percent and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2016.

Prior to his work at the Alliance, McCurdy served for eight years as president and CEO of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), where he helped promote the market development and competitiveness of the U.S. high-tech industry by crafting both domestic and international programs and policies for EIA’s nearly 1,300 member companies.

Before his tenure at EIA, McCurdy had a distinguished career in Congress, spending 14 years (1981-1995) in the House of Representatives as the Member from the Fourth Congressional District of Oklahoma. As chairman and CEO of the McCurdy Group, L.L.C., he also led a successful business consulting and investment practice.

In 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appointed McCurdy to the Defense Policy Board, which provides the secretary with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy. McCurdy was reappointed to the Defense Policy Board in 2009 by the Obama Administration.

McCurdy is a 1972 graduate of the University of Oklahoma and received his J.D. in 1975 from Oklahoma Law School. As a Rotary International Graduate Fellow, he studied international economics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He also held a commission in the United States Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of major and serving as a Judge Advocate General (JAG).

McCurdy and his wife, Dr. Pam McCurdy, a physician specializing in child psychiatry, live in McLean, VA. They have three grown children, Josh, Cydney and Shannon and two sons-in-law.

Dave McMahon Photo David B. McMahon

Attorney at Law

David B. McMahon is originally from Wheeling, West Virginia. He graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, West Virginia in 1972. He went to law school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., from which he graduated in 1975. From 1975 to the present he has worked as a public interest lawyer representing and lobbying for low income people in civil legal matters such as consumer, landlord tenant, domestic relations law, and issues surface owners have with oil and gas drilling. In 2008 he started a part-time private practice representing small and medium mineral owners in leasing and royalty issues. He still works part-time for a public interest law firm for whom he is a registered lobbyist advocating for the same issues at the state Legislature.

During the drilling boom precipitated by the Arab Oil Embargo he was key in passage by the West Virginia Legislature of the Oil and Gas Production Damage Compensation Act and notice and comment rights of surface owner on gas well drilling permit applications. He negotiated the rule requiring the testing of water wells within 1000 feet of new oil and gas wells when the Groundwater Protection Act passed.

Since then he has authored a book called the West Virginia Surface Owners’ Guide to Oil and Gas, which is in its second edition. Most recently he is a co-founder of the West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization. That organization has a web site that educates surface owners on a variety of oil and gas issues, and has introduced legislation increasing surface owner’s rights.

Marcia Mulkey Photo Marcia E. Mulkey

Regional Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III

Marcia E. Mulkey is the Regional Counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III. As Regional Counsel—a position which Marcia has held from 1988 to 1998, and 2009 to the present -Marcia is responsible for the enforcement of U.S. environmental laws throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Marcia manages the 85-lawyer Office of Regional Counsel, which provides legal representation and counsel to EPA Region III programs on a wide range of enforcement, regulatory, permitting, contracts, grants, personnel, and other matters. Marcia works closely with senior officials at EPA, the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys Offices, and state environmental agencies on her agency’s top environmental and enforcement priorities – including clean air and water, land preservation and restoration, healthy communities, and compliance and environmental stewardship.

A Harvard Law School graduate, Marcia began her EPA career in the headquarters’ Office of General Counsel. Through the years, she served in senior positions in that office as well as serving as the Director of EPA’s Office of Pesticides Programs, Office of Site Remediation Enforcement, and National Enforcement Training Institute. During the recent transition of administrations, she was Acting Associate Administrator for Policy, Economics and Innovation and she has also served special assignments with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the government of the Netherlands, and Temple Law School. She has twice been recognized with Presidential Rank Awards.

Elizabeth A. Nolan

Assistant Counsel
Bureau of Regulatory Counsel
PA Department of Environmental Protection

Ms. Nolan is an Assistant Counsel in the Bureau of Regulatory Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in Harrisburg, P.A. She counsels the Bureau of Oil and Gas Management. Prior to joining the Department in 2010, Ms. Nolan served as a judicial law clerk to the New Hampshire Superior Court in Dover, N.H. She earned a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University in 2001 and a J.D. cum laude from Vermont Law School in 2008.

Ben Price

Projects Director
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Ben Price coordinates community organizing across Pennsylvania where over 100 communities have adopted Legal Defense Fund-drafted laws. He serves as adviser to Pittsburgh City Council members, assisted in drafting Pittsburgh’s Protection from Natural Gas Drilling Ordinance, and is working with other communities in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio to adopt community-rights ordinances that subordinate corporate privileges to human and civil rights. He offers free organizing assistance and training to municipal officials and residents for adoption of local laws that protect communities from corporate assaults. As Projects Director he assists strategic organizing in all areas of the country, and travels as needed to jump-start organizing and support movement-building. He is a certified first-chair Democracy School Lecturer.

Jerry Richey

Executive Vice President – Corporate Affairs and Chief Legal Officer
CONSOL Energy and CNX Gas Company

Jerry Richey oversees the legal function at CONSOL Energy. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Richey leads the Government Relations, Investor Relations, Public Relations and Human Resources efforts of the company.

Jerry is on the Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Pennsylvania as well as The Pittsburgh Experiment. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Allegheny County Bar Association and Washington County Bar Association.

Mr. Richey is active at Southminster Presbyterian Church, having served as its Clerk of Session and Chair of the Trustees. Mr. Richey and his wife, Cynthia, have two sons, Keith (age 31) and Brett (age 28).

Matt Watson

Senior Energy Policy Manager
Environmental Defense Fund

Matt Watson’s key areas of work include natural gas production issues and clean energy policy in the electric power sector. He also provides support to project teams working on carbon capture and sequestration and electric transmission policy. He works with Congressional leaders and the Administration, industry partners and NGOs – and helps direct both strategic planning and analytic work at EDF. Prior to joining EDF, Matt worked on energy and environmental policy at the state and local levels in Texas. Most recently, he served as Policy Director for the Mayor of Austin, Texas – where he was responsible for launching several nationally-leading programs for energy efficiency and climate protection. Matt holds a BA in Law & Society from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Tom Witt Dr. Tom S. Witt

Director, Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER)
Associate Dean for Research and Outreach and Professor of Economics
College of Business and Economics
West Virginia University

Dr. Tom S. Witt joined the Department of Economics at WVU in 1970. He received his BA from Oklahoma State University and his MA and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University (St. Louis).

Dr. Witt’s research spans the areas of regional economics, public finance and policy, economic development, and energy economics. He has co-authored and edited two books, West Virginia in the Nineties: Policies for Economic Progress (WVU Press) and Power From the Appalachians (Greenwood Press) and has numerous publications in academic journals and research monographs.

He has served as principal investigator on nearly $7 million in sponsored research from organizations including West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, West Virginia Manufacturers Association, American Electric Power, Allegheny Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, West Virginia Development Office, West Virginia Division of Forestry, West Virginia High Technology Consortium, West Virginia Department of Transportation, National Institute of Justice and West Virginia Legislature. He was appointed by Governor Manchin to the Unemployment Compensation Solutions Taskforce in September 2008 and serves on the Governor’s Tax Modernization Project.

As BBER director he oversees a team of four Ph.D. economists/demographers, one masters level economists, and graduate/undergraduate assistants who conduct economic research, policy analysis and forecasts of the West Virginia economy. He organizes state and regional economic outlook conferences within West Virginia that attract upwards of 1,000 attendees annually.

In recognition of his economic research expertise, Dr. Witt was selected for Who’s Who in West Virginia 2000 by The State Journal, West Virginia’s leading weekly business newspaper. Dr. Witt is a member of many professional associations including the American Economic Association and the National Association for Business Economics. He is a past president of the Association for University Business and Economic Research, a national organization of academic research centers and serves as AUBER’s representative on the Council of Professional Organizations on Federal Statistics.

Jame_A_Walls James A. Walls

Member in Charge of the Morgantown Office
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC

James A. Walls has represented energy clients in litigation and commercial matters for more than 20 years, and he has tried numerous cases to verdict in state and federal courts in and around West Virginia. He is admitted to practice before all of the state and federal courts in West Virginia, as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Ohio and the federal courts of appeal for the 3rd, 4th and 6th Circuits. Jim has been recognized by Chambers USA as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers” for Litigation. He has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation and Employment Litigation, he was named a West Virginia “Super Lawyer,” and he is a Fellow in the Litigation Council of America.

Earlier this year, Jim represented Northeast Natural Energy in its legal challenge of the City of Morgantown, West Virginia’s ordinance banning horizontal drilling and fracturing in and around the City. In August, the Monongalia County, West Virginia Circuit struck down the ordinance on state preemption grounds.