Conference will examine environmental impact of pipelines

The University of Tennessee College of Law will host the Oil and Gas Pipeline Legal Conference on Friday, Feb. 28.

The event, sponsored by the Native American Law Students Association and the Environmental Law Organization, will feature discussions about pipeline conflicts in the homelands of indigenous people and water pipeline construction in the Mojave Desert.

Angelique W. EagleWoman, a visiting professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and a former law school dean, will speak on the conflict with energy companies and government agencies that result from locating oil pipelines through indigenous homelands. 

EagleWoman will discuss the Dakota Access pipeline litigation, the Keystone XL pipeline litigation, and the proposed Enbridge Line 3 Project. EagleWoman will explain the tribal perspective, including the concerns over treaty rights and property protection, that are at the core of the resistance to these corporate activities.

David Lamfrom, the southeast regional director of the National Parks Conservation Association, will discuss the Mojave Water Pipeline Project which involves a 43-mile pipeline that would transport water from an aquifer in the Mojave Desert to the Colorado River aqueduct for the purpose of increasing the water supply to over-populated areas of Southern California. 

Lamfrom will discuss the legal victories in 2002 and 2015 that temporarily halted the project, and how political connections have allowed the project to resume momentum. Attendees will learn about the campaign to oppose this pipeline project, the science around the impacts, the legal effort that supported the campaign, and the political movement that resulted in the State of California passing legislation to restrict the project.

To learn more about the event or register to attend, visit the APIEL website at

In addition, two hours of CLE credit is being offered by the College of Law in conjunction with the event. To register to receive CLE credit, contact Micki Fox at and include your name, address, contact information, and BPR number.