Energy & Environment

Saturday, 8:30 AM – The Future of Water

Amy Hardberger

Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund

Amy Hardberger is a professor at St. Mary’s School of Law who teaches property and land use planning. Before joining St. Mary’s, Hardberger worked at the Texas office of the Environmental Defense Fund. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Western District of Texas and is a professional registered geologist in the state of Texas.

Lyle Larson

State Representative, R-San Antonio

State Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, was elected in 2010. Larson currently serves on the House Natural Resources Committee; the Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee; and the Local and Consent Calendars Committee. Larson previously served as a San Antonio city councilman and as Bexar County commissioner from 1997 to 2008.

Rebecca Motal

General Manager, Lower Colorado River Authority

Becky Motal became the Lower Colorado River Authority’s general manager in 2011. She began working for LCRA in 1972 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. She left to pursue a law degree before returning to LCRA in 1987 as manager of economic and financial planning. Motal also serves on the board of the Texas Public Power Association.

Andy Sansom

Executive Director, River Systems Institute; Former Executive Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Andrew Sansom is a former executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, executive director of the Texas Nature Conservancy and founder of the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas. His published works have appeared in Texas Monthly, The Texas Observer, Houston City Magazine, Politics Today, Texas Highways, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas Town & City.

Saturday, 9:45 AM – Can We Solve Our Electricity Problem?

David A. Campbell

CEO, Luminant

David A. Campbell is the CEO of Luminant, a power generation subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp. Campbell previously served as Energy Future Holdings' CFO. In that role, he and his team were responsible for the company’s overall financial strategy, corporate planning, enterprise risk management, treasury, tax, accounting and investor relations.

Donna Nelson

Chairwoman, Public Utility Commission

Donna L. Nelson was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Public Utility Commission in 2008. Nelson previously served as a special assistant and adviser to Gov. Rick Perry on energy, telecommunications and cable budget and policy issues. She has also served as director of the commission's telecommunications section and legal adviser to the commission's chairman.

Michael Webber

Associate Director, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin

Michael Webber is the associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, co-director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator and an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

Pat Wood

Former Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Former Chairman, Public Utility Commission of Texas

Pat Wood III is an energy infrastructure developer and former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Wood also serves as a strategic adviser to Natural Gas Partners, a private equity firm, and is an independent director of the infrastructure companies SunPower, Quanta Services and Xtreme Power Solutions.

Saturday, 11:00 AM – One on One with Al Armendariz

Al Armendariz

Former regional EPA official; Senior Campaign Representative, Sierra Club

Dr. Alfredo “Al” Armendariz is the senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. Armendariz is also the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 6, which includes Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and 66 tribal nations. At the EPA, he was closely involved in the response to the BP oil disaster and in updates to the Texas air pollution permitting system.

Saturday, 1:15 PM – An 83rd Legislative Session Preview

Craig L. Estes

State Senator, R-Wichita Falls; Chair, Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee

State Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, was first elected to the Senate in a 2001 special election and then re-elected in 2002, 2004 and 2008. Estes is the chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee as well as vice chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. He also serves on the Senate Finance, Business and Commerce and Veterans Affairs and Military Installations committees.

James Keffer

State Representative, R-Eastland; Chairman, House Energy Resource Committee

State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, has represented District 60 in the Legislature since 1997. Keffer previously served as Republican county chairman for Eastland County. Keffer currently serves as chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee. He also serves on the House Calendars Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, the Redistricting Committee and Texas House Republican Caucus.

Mark Strama

State Representative, D-Austin

In his fourth term in the Texas House, state Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, is a member of the Public Education Committee and the Energy Resources Committee. Strama also serves on the advisory boards of the Clean Energy Incubator and the Environmental Sciences Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

Carlos Uresti

D-San Antonio; Vice Chair, Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee

State Sen. Carlos Uresti represents Senate District 19, the largest geographical senate district in the contiguous 48 states. Uresti has held his Senate seat since 2006, previously serving in the Texas House from 1997-2006. He serves as vice chair of two Senate committees — Administration and Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Additional panelist to be announced soon.

Saturday, 2:30 PM – Eminent Domain: The Great Debate

James Mann

Legal Adviser, Texas Pipeline Association

James Mann represents most major intrastate natural gas and pipeline distribution companies in Texas. His practice is focused on representation of pipeline companies, LNG facilities, gas gathering and processing companies, underground storage companies, and gas marketers in regulatory matters. He has been a legal adviser for members of the Texas Pipeline Association for over 25 years.

Debra Medina

Chairwoman, We Texans; former gubernatorial candidate

Debra Medina is the executive director of We Texans, a nonprofit organization advocating for liberty, justice and integrity in Texas public policy. Medina has a 20-year history of political activism, including a run for governor in the 2010 Republican primary, in which she won almost 20 percent of the vote.

René Oliveira

State Representative, D-Brownsville; Chair, House Land & Resource Management

State Rep. René Oliveira, D-Brownsville, has represented South Texas' District 37 since 1991 and is the current chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He is also a member of the State Affairs Committee and has in past sessions served on the House Corrections and Regulated Industries committees.

Bill Stevens

Government Relations Consultant, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers

Bill Stevens is the government relations consultant for Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, where he has also served as vice president. In previous roles, Stevens has worked with Pride Refining and Westico Energy and served as executive vice president of the West Central Texas Oil and Gas Association.

Saturday, 3:45 PM – A Land Plan for Texas

Kip Averitt

Former State Senator, former chair, Senate Natural Resources Committee

Senator Kip Averitt is a certified public accountant and a state and local tax consultant for Ryan & Company. Averitt was elected to represent SD-22 in 2002. He previously served in the Texas House of Representatives for nearly 10 years. Averitt is the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and also served on the Senate Business and Commerce, Education, Finance and Higher Education committees.

Laura Huffman

Executive Director, Nature Conservancy of Texas

Laura Huffman is the state director of the Nature Conservancy of Texas, where she heads a team of more than 80 scientists, conservation experts and support staff. She served as deputy city manager for the city of San Marcos from 1994 to 2002 and as assistant city manager for the city of Austin from 2002 to 2008, leading watershed protection and economic development initiatives for both cities.

Jerry Patterson

Texas Land Commissioner

Jerry Patterson was elected the 27th Texas land commissioner in November 2002. He was re-elected to a third term in 2010. From 1993 to 1999, Patterson served as a state senator for District 11, which included Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties, and chaired the first Veterans Affairs Committee in the Senate.

Carter Smith

Executive Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife

Carter Smith has served as the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department since 2008. As a biologist, he has worked on a variety of research projects ranging from studying moose in the boreal forests of Saskatchewan to mule deer and pronghorn antelope in West Texas to waterfowl in the Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas, Mexico.