Robert B. McKinstry, Jr.

Senior Counsel
Tel 215.864.8208
Fax 215.864.8999

Robert B. McKinstry, Jr., is the Leader of Ballard Spahr's Climate Change and Sustainability Initiative. Bobby rejoined the firm in 2007 after a six-year term as the Maurice K. Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resources Conservation in the Pennsylvania State University School of Forest Resources. He co-founded the firm's Environment and Natural Resources Group and, before his appointment to the Goddard Chair, co-chaired that group. He has also taught climate change and other environmental law topics at Penn State as an adjunct professor of law.

As the Goddard Professor, Bobby focused on the roles of state and local governments and private organizations in addressing global environmental issues, including climate change, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development. He has also focused on enterprising or market-based approaches to environmental regulation. Although his practice spans the full range of environmental areas, he has focused his practice particularly on issues relating to climate change and the other areas of his focus while serving as the Goddard Professor.

Bobby has assisted clients on preparing comments on federal and state rules relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and other major air rules affecting the utility industry. He served as counsel of record representing (with several co-counsel) a group of 18 of the leading climate-change scientists who submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting petitioners in Massachusetts v. EPA, where the court reversed the EPA's refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. He represents utility clients supporting major air rules in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court in EPA v. EME Homer City Generation and Michigan v. EPA. He serves as a Senior Advisor for the Center for Climate Strategies and served as General Counsel to Carbon Trap Technologies, LLP, a startup company developing a proprietary process for chemical sequestration of carbon dioxide emissions.

Bobby has been involved in advising clients and litigating the full range of environmental statutes. He has been involved in all aspects of site remediation and associated litigation under CERCLA, RCRA, and state solid waste and remediation statutes. He successfully defeated liability under CERCLA in the 10th Circuit in ASARCO v. Raytheon and was liaison counsel for 55 municipalities in United States v. Helen Kramer. He has been involved in permitting procedures and litigation involving landfills, resource recovery facilities, pipelines, and other industrial facilities under state and federal solid waste, water, wetlands, and air pollution laws as well as issues involving endangered species and environmental assessment. He is regularly involved in the environmental aspects of business transactions.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. James L. Latchum, then-Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

Professional Activities

American Bar Association, Vice Chair and former Co-Chair, SEER Committee on Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems; Member, Section on Environmental, Energy and Resources (SEER)

Pennsylvania Bar Association, Section on Environmental, Mineral and Natural Resources Law

Chester County Bar Association, founding member, Environmental Law Committee

Center for Climate Strategies, Senior Advisor

Delaware Valley Environmental Inn of Court, Master

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, past Adjunct Professor, teaching biodiversity and land conservation, and climate-change law and policy

Pennsylvania Environmental Resources Consortium, Chair, Climate Change and Energy Committee

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named to the Lawyers Worldwide Awards Magazine's "Innovative Lawyers," 2017

Law360, MVP in environmental law, 2014

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business,environmental law, 2008-2017; national ranking, climate change law, 2009-2017

The Best Lawyers in America, environmental law, environmental litigation, 2009-2018

Who's Who Legal: Environment, 2014-2016

"Pennsylvania Super Lawyers" for 2011 through 2016

Recipient, Pennsylvania Bar Association Environment and Energy Law Section's 2010 Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, for his "extensive academic and professional work and scholarship in the field of environmental law, climate change, and sustainable development"


Bobby has written and spoken extensively on environmental topics before academic, professional, and industry groups. He is the editor and co-author of the Biodiversity Conservation Handbook: State, Local, and Private Protection of Biological Diversity(ELI 2006), and he has authored numerous published articles on climate-change law, biodiversity and land conservation law, market-based mechanisms for environmental regulation, habitat banking, ecosystem restoration practices and federal lands, municipal waste regulation, environmental audits, site remediation, wetlands regulation, and coastal zone management.

Co-author, "Unlocking Willpower and Ambition to Meet the Goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (Part Two): The Potential for Legal Reform and Revision," Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis, 47 E.L.R, January, 2017

Co-author, "Unlocking Willpower and Ambition to Meet the Goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (Part One): Shifting Needs of Law, Policy, and Economics," Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis, 46 E.L.R, December, 2016

Co-author, "Pa. Should Implement Carbon Trading Program," The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 9, 2015

Co-author, "State Implementation of the Clean Power Plan: Why It Matters to Industries Outside the Power Sector," Environmental Law Reporter, November 2015

Co-author, "Pennsylvania Common Pleas Court Turns Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility," Catalyst Magazine, Winter 2014/2015

Co-author,"Regulation of Non-Hazardous Waste Under RCRA," Chapter 15, The RCRA Practice Manual, Third Edition, ABA Section of N. R. & Energy & Envt'l Law, Theodore L. Garrett, ed., American Bar Association.Chicago,2014

"Obama's EPA Memorandum Follows the Law, Does Not Make It," Vol. 30, Natural Gas Electricity, No. 3, published by Wiley, October 2013

Co-author, "Unpave a Parking Lot and Put Up a Paradise: Using Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services To Achieve Cost-Effective Compliance," Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis, August 22, 2012

"Abundant Win-Wins for Law Offices," Environmental Law Forum 39, May/June 2012

Co-author, "Energy Efficiency and Conservation: New Legal Tools and Opportunities," Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 25, No. 4, Spring 2011

"The Clean Air Act: A Suitable Tool for Addressing the Challenges of Climate Change," Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis,41 E.L.R., April 2011

"Race to Regulation of Greenhouse Gases Accelerates Without Clear Destination," 133 BNA World Climate Change Report, July 12, 2010

Co-author, "Making the States Full Partners in a National Climate Change Effort: A Necessary Element for Sustainable Economic Development," Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis,40 E.L.R., June 2010

Co-author, "The New Climate World: Achieving Economic Efficiency in a Federal System for Greenhouse Gas Control Through State Planning Combined with Federal Programs," 34 N.C. J. Intl L. & Commercial Reg. 102, 2009

Co-author, "Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Climate Change Mitigation Policy in the United States: Integrating Levels of Government and Economic Sectors," Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review, 39 E.L.R., 2009

"Energy Projects Make Sense," The Arizona Republic, March 21, 2009

Co-author, "Federal Climate Change Legislation as if the States Matter," 22 Nat’l Res. & Env. No. 3 at 3, 2008

Co-author, "EBA Climate Change Primer: Financing a Renewable Energy Project," 29 Energy L.J. 195, 2008

Co-author,"Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Climate Change Policy in the United States that Fully Integrates Levels of Government and Economic Sectors," 26 U. Va Envtl L.J. 227, 2008

Co-author,"The Implications of the New 'Old' Federalism in Climate Change Legislation: How to Function in a Global Marketplace When States Take the Lead," 20 PAC. McGeorge Global Bus. & Dev. J. 61, 2007

Co-author, "Coordination and Planning Tools that can be Applied to Biodiversity Conservation," 16 Widener L.J. 879, and 37 E.L.R. News & Analysis 10070, 2007

Co-author, "Legal Tools that Provide Direct Protection for Elements of Biodiversity," 16 Widener L.J. 879, and Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 10152, 37 E.L.R., 2007

Blog for Philadelphia Inquirer concerning Mass. v. EPA, 2007

"Opportunities For Regulation of Land Use and Development As a Legal Tool To Protect Biodiversity," Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 10653, 37 E.L.R., 2007

Contributing author, "White Paper on the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change," The Pennsylvania State University Rock Ethics Institute, 2006

"Ecosystem Restoration and Federal Land Policy: Reexamination in Light of The American Chestnut Restoration Effort, Restoration of American Chestnut To Forest Lands," proceedings of a conference and workshop, eds. John Carlson & Kim Steiner (The North Carolina Arboretum, Natural Resources Report NPS/NCR/CUE/NRR - 2006/001), National Park Service, Washington, D.C., 2006

"Putting the Market to Work for Conservation: The Evolving Use of Market-Based Mechanisms to Achieve Environmental Improvement in and Across Multiple Media," 14 Penn State Envtl. L.Rev.151, 2006

Co-author,"Incentive-Based Approaches to Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in Pennsylvania: Protecting the Environment and Promoting Fiscal Reform," 14 Widener L. J. 205, 2004

"Local Solutions for Global Problems: The Debate over Causes and Effects of Climate Change and Emerging Mitigation Strategies for States, Localities and Private Parties," 12 Penn State Envtl. L.Rev.1, 2004

"Laboratories for Local Solutions for Global Problems: State, Local and Private Leadership in Developing Strategies to Mitigate the Causes and Effects of Climate Change," 12 Penn St. Envtl. L.Rev. 15, 2004

"Regulation of Non-Hazardous Waste Under RCRA," Chapter 15, The RCRA Practice Manual,Second Edition, ABA Section of N.R. & Energy & Envt'l Law, Theodore L. Garrett, ed., American Bar Association, Chicago,2004

Co-author, "Regulation of Non-Hazardous Waste Under RCRA," The RCRA Practice Manual, ABA Section of N. R. & Energy & Envt’l Law, Theodore L. Garrett, ed., American Bar Association, 1994

Speaking Engagements

Bobby has presented at numerous forums on climate-change policies and has testified before legislatures. His presentations include:

"Microgrids: What, Why, and How? Enhancing Energy Efficiency, Utilizing Clean and Secure Energy, and Generating Revenue," Ballard Spahr seminar co-sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, and the Health Resources Network, Philadelphia, November 10, 2014

"Understanding the Science of Climate Change," Philadelphia Bar Association, Philadelphia, November 6, 2014

"Beyond the News: The Clean Power Plan Proposal – Early Returns from the States," Ballard Spahr program, Washington, D.C., September 23, 2014

Panelist, "Defining the Best System of Emission Reduction," Edison Electric Institute, Environmental Law Institute, and American Bar Association, EEI-ABA-ELI Climate Conference – GHG Emissions Regulations for the Power Sector, Washington, D.C., January 30, 2014

"New Opportunities and Trends," Second Annual Green Infrastructure Seminar, Ballard Spahr CLE program co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute and Bioengineering Group, Philadelphia, October 28, 2013

"Green Paradise: Improving Combined Sewer Overflow Systems with Green Infrastructure," Ballard Spahr seminar co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute and Pennoni Associates Inc., Philadelphia, October 2, 2012

"U.S. Emission Regulation Panel: Impact Upon Electric Generation," 24th Annual Energy Conference, Phoenix, May 11, 2012

Moderator, "Lessons Learned from On-the-Ground Projects," Bio-Sequestration and Climate Law and Policy Conference, The Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School and the American Bar Association, New York, October 23, 2009

"Financing Climate Change Response for Local Governments," Financing Renewable Energy in the Mid-Atlantic Symposium, University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, September 22, 2009

"Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Who Will Regulate, How Will it be Done, and Who Will Pay?" ABA National Convention, Chicago, July 31, 2009

Co-course planner and presenter, "Climate Change Law for Pennsylvania Lawyers," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Mechanicsburg, May 28, 21, and 13, 2009, respectively

"Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Climate Change Mitigation Policy in the United States: Integrating Levels of Government and Economic Sectors," Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review, ELI and Vanderbilt University Law School, April 10, 2009

"Integrating State and Regional Programs into an Emerging Federal System for GHG Regulation: The Critical Role of State Planning," ABA SEER Annual Environmental Law Conference, Keystone, Colorado, March 13, 2009

Presenter, testimony before the North Carolina Legislative Commission on Climate Change, January 13, 2009

Workshop participant, "How Ecosystem Services Can be Incorporated in Law & Politics," Multistate Working Group, Chicago, December 8-9, 2008

"The New Climate World: Achieving Economic Efficiency in a Federal System for Greenhouse Gas Control Through State Planning Combined with Federal Programs," Conference on state climate-change law at University of North Carolina School of Law, November 15, 2008

Presenter, 6th Annual Wall Street Energy Briefing (Ballard Spahr seminar), New York City, October 29, 2008

Presenter before the Arkansas Climate Planning Committee, September 8, 2008

"Climate Change, Trading and Green Investment Opportunities," Wharton Club Green Business Summit, Falls Church, Virginia, June 2008

Presenter, Tulane University Law School 13th Annual Environmental Conference, April 5, 2008

"A Climate of Disruption: Legal Measures for Adaptation and Mitigation," Journal of International Law Symposium, Michigan State University College of Law, February 15, 2008

"New Old Federalism, Fitting State Climate Action into a Federal Framework," Yale University, December 4, 2007

"Ethical Issues in Carbon Sequestration," Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2007

"Carbon: The Elephant in the Power Sector," BSAI's 5th Annual Energy Investment and Development Seminar, New York, October 2007

"Climate Change Litigation Relating to Federal Agencies and Regulations," CLE International Climate Change Law Conference, September 2007

Co-course planner and presenter, "Climate Change Law for Pennsylvania Lawyers," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, Mechanicsburg, and Pittsburgh, 2007

"Advising Clients about Doing Well and Doing Good," BSAI CLE for Clients on Global Climate Change and New Business Opportunities, Philadelphia, April 2007

"Filling the Void: Individual, Private Sector and State Responses to Global Climate Change," University of Virginia Environmental Law Review, Charlottesville, 2007

"Mass v. EPA," Pennsylvania Bar Institute Twelfth Annual Environmental Forum, Harrisburg, 2007

"Common Ground Lobby Talks: Climate Change, Climate Justice," WPSU-TV program, 2007

Presentation on climate change before Charlestown Citizens Forum carried on local access TV, 2006

"The Business of Climate Change," Pacific/McGeorge Institute for Sustainable Development and Center for Collaborative Policy, McGeorge Law School, University of the Pacific, Sacramento, 2006

Presenter, SEERIL Section Biennial Conference, International Bar Association, Rome, Italy, 2006

Presenter, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Eleventh Annual Environmental Forum, Harrisburg, 2006

Keynote speaker, "Global Warming 2006: An Activist's Primer," Climate Change Campaign, Penn Future, Felician Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Province, and Pennsylvania Interfaith (co-sponsors), Pittsburgh, 2006

"Two Views on Global Warming," Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club, Philadelphia Free Library, 2006

DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, with video link to the NETL facility in Morgantown, West Virginia, January 2005

"K-12 Clean Energy: Buying Clean Energy for Schools," NSEA/NSF Workshop, Radnor, Pennsylvania, 2005

Presenter, Eleventh Conference of the Parties Under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Pennsylvania State University Rock Ethics Institute Workgroup Meeting, Montreal,2005

"Why State Climate Change Programs Matter," testimony to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, 2005

Presentation of Environmental Priorities to the Rendell Administration Joint Conservation Committee, Pennsylvania General Assembly, 2003

Community Activities

Chester County (Pennsylvania) Greenhouse Gas Task Force
Member, Steering Committee

Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Greenhouse Gas Reduction Task Force
Past Co-chair; member, Implementation Advisory Committee

Montgomery County Advisory Committee on Climate Change

Montgomery County Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change, past Co-chair

PADCNR Carbon Management Advisory Group, past member

PADCNR Ecosystem Management Advisory Committee, past member

Board Memberships

Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Past Board Member:

Children's Country Week Association (1994-2001)

Clearwater Conservancy (2002-2005)

East Bradford Township Environmental Committee (Chair and member) (1989-2001)

The Nature Conservancy, Pennsylvania Chapter (2001-2007)

Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education (2002-2006)

Pennsylvania Resources Council, Director (1984-2012),President (1989-1991)

Westtown School (1997-2009)

Yale Law School (J.D. 1979)

Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (M.F.S. 1979)
(first joint-degree program, forestry and environmental studies)

Swarthmore College (B.A. 1975, with honors)
Member, Phi Beta Kappa





U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court