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The article does not try to solve the debate around the causes and appropriate responses to climate change. Instead it focuses on the ongoing impact of that debate on law and business. As UVA Law School Dean Paul Mahoney says in his forward to this edition, "while academic researchers can wait to draw conclusions until we have adequate evidence [about the causes of climate change], lawyers and clients do not have that luxury. They must anticipate and adapt to evolving regulations and even shape industry standards."
As demonstrated by the increasing use of the Arctic and its waters, Alaska is on the cutting edge of climate evolution, regardless of its cause. As I am quoted as saying in the article, there have been "three 'huge changes' in the [oil and gas] industry" since I graduated from the Law School.
First, the end of the Cold War opened access to many areas of the world, notably China, the Soviet Union and large parts of Africa. Second, advanced technology allows the industry to develop resources that it previously never considered. And the third, the advent of development in the Arctic. 'It's the emerging story of untapped resources. But it's very challenging trying to access it in the right way to minimize risk and avoid huge costs.'I have been fortunate to be a part of the legal, regulatory and commercial response to all three developments. It is an honor to be included in an article discussing the most recent, certainly the most challenging, and most importantly, the most significant to Alaska of the three.