Posted by William Nunnelley on 2006-02-01


Birmingham, Ala.---With fossil fuels continuing to climb in price, what are the practical current and future possibilities of other energy sources? How do environmental concerns (including global warming), increasing demand, and limited supplies impact our future energy economy?

These timely topics take center stage at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law on Friday, Feb. 10. The school's Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics is hosting "Biofuels and the New Energy Economy," a free-admission conference featuring six noted national energy experts currently involved in research, public policy and development of traditional and alternative energy sources.

Topics include the traditional energy economy, the development of alternative electric energy, the national security and environmental implications of bioenergy, global climate change and energy policy, and challenges and opportunities in developing bioenergy alternatives.

Conference speakers include:

  • Michael Dworkin, Director, Vermont Law School Institute for Energy & the Environment
  • Jacqueline Lang Weaver, Professor of Law, University of Houston
  • John R. Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science, UAH
  • Michael J. Smolin, Principal, EXL Group, a process, energy & environmental consulting firm
  • Karl R. Rabago, Group Director, Houston Advanced Research Center
  • David M. Smolin, Director, Center for Biotechnology, Law & Ethics, Cumberland School of Law

David Smolin is host professor for the conference, and will also discuss the topic of "Energy Policy: A Human Rights Perspective."

"We are honored to host such distinguished and cutting-edge researchers from around the country at this conference, and we want to open this discussion to the general public," Smolin said. "Raising awareness of what's happening with traditional and alternative energy sources can help us as a society make more informed choices."

"Biofuels and the New Energy Economy" will be held in the Moot Courtroom in Robinson Hall at Samford, beginning at 8:45 a.m. and concluding at 5 p.m. The conference is free and open to the public. For more information, call (205) 726-2418.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.