IMG.displayed { display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto }
  • Bill McKibben to Low Carbon Keynote at PIELC 2015

    EUGENE, Ore. –(February 26, 2015)—Bill McKibben will give a keynote presentation remotely (via video) at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference 2015: Changing Currents, held at the University of Oregon.

    Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages. He is founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement.

    The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities; Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.” A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern.

    Bill McKibbin

  • PIELC 2015 to Feature Cyril Scott

    President Cyril Scott (second from right) at the People’s Climate March in New York City.

    EUGENE, Ore. –(February 26, 2015)–Changing Currents: the 33rd Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference will host Cyril Scott, President of the Rosebud Lakota Sioux, as a keynote speaker and panelist.

    President Scott was born and raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.  Upon graduating from high school, he travelled around the country, working in the private sector.  In 2005, he was elected to the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council as a representative for the Antelope District.  In 2014, President Scott was elected as president of the Tribal Council.  In his acceptance speech, President Scott said to the Rosebud Public: “I promised the people of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe ‘sustainable economic development’ and it’s a promise that I aim to keep!  Without a local, tribally-driven, self-sustaining economy our people, our elders and youth will always be subjected to the federal government in a bad way.”

    In pursuit of this promise, President Scott and his community are actively engaged in opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline.  In a November article President Scott proclaimed, “The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands.”

    President Scott will appear on the panel, “Indigenous Resistance of the Keystone XL,” which will share the Rosebud Tribe’s efforts to fight the pipeline development.  Paula Antoine will join President Scott from the Rosebud Tribe on the panel.  She is the coordinator of the Sicangu Oyate Land Office and a founding member of Oyate Wahacanka Woecun, Shielding the People, a project of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe which established the Sicangu Iyuksa Wicoti (Rosebud Spiritual Camp) on March 29, 2015 in opposition of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.  Tara Houska is a citizen of Couchiching First Nation and a tribal rights attorney in the Washington D.C. office of Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker LLP.

    Although President Obama has vetoed Congress’ Keystone XL bill, the permit for the pipeline looms in the State Department and the permit for the construction of the portion of the pipeline through South Dakota is up for renewal this year.  The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will participate in an evidentiary hearing before the Public Utilities Commission of South Dakota, scheduled May 5-8, 2015. Comments on the Keystone XL pipeline can be submitted to or PUC, 500 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

  • PIELC 2015 to Feature Rugemeleza Nshala


    EUGENE, Ore. –(February 25, 2015)– Rugemeleza Nshala will give a keynote address at Changing Currents: the 33rd Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon.

    Rugemeleza Nshala

    Photo credit:

    Nshala is the co-founder of Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team (LEAT), the first public interest environmental law organization in Tanzania, where he served as President and Executive Director from 1994-2003.

    In 2002, LEAT represented a group of small scale miners in Bulyanhulu who were forcibly evicted from their mines by the Tanzanian police. During the eviction, roughly 65 miners are alleged to have been buried alive. Nshala was charged with sedition for speaking out against the government’s human rights abuses.

    In 2013, LEAT helped communities in Ukonga-Mazizini win an order from the Ministry of the Environment to close a polluting abattoir. LEAT brought a case against the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) for its failure to enforce the Environmental Management Act of 2004, Tanzania’s framework environmental law, against polluting industries, including factories, mines, municipal authorities, and cut flower farms.

    Recently, Nshala has been working on behalf of communities fighting extractive industries in East Africa. He presented his expertise at the Law Society of Kenya’s Annual Conference in September 2014.

    Nshala has a L.L.M. and a Doctorate in Juridical Sciences in International Investment Law from Harvard Law School and a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He has researched and written widely on human rights, wildlife, and environmental protection.

    Changing Currents: Public Interest Environmental Law Conference 2015 will take place on March 5 – 8, 2015 at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon. More information can be found at


  • PIELC 2015 to Feature Derrick Evans

    Derrick Evans will give a keynote presentation at Changing Currents: Public Interest Environmental Law Conference 2015, held at the University of Oregon.Derrick Evans

    Derrick Christopher Evans is a sixth-generation native of coastal Mississippi’s historic African-American community of Turkey Creek, founded in 1866. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College, where he taught civil rights history as an adjunct professor from 1992 to 2005. Evans also taught middle-school American history and social studies in the Boston public school system from 1991 to 2001 and taught history and African-American studies at Roxbury Community College. In 1997, Evans co-founded Epiphany School, a full-service and tuition-free independent middle school for low-income children and families from Boston neighborhoods.

    Evans is the co-founder of the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health, which directs financial, technical and collegial support to grassroots community groups addressing the region’s challenges of poverty, racism, gender inequality and environmental destruction. He is also the co-founder of Turkey Creek Community Initiatives, which works to conserve and restore the culture and ecology of the Turkey Creek community and watershed.

    PIELC 2015: Changing Currents will take place March 5 – 8, 2015 at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon. More information can be found at For media inquiries, please contact