This course provides an introduction to U.S. energy law. The first portion of the course introduces the nation’s sources of energy: coal, oil, biofuels, natural gas, hydropower, nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal energy, and energy efficiency. In doing so, it explores the physical, market, and legal structures within which these energy sources are extracted, transported, and converted into energy. The second portion of the course turns to the two major sectors of our energy economy—electricity and transportation—and the full range of federal and state regulation of each sector. The third portion of the course explores case studies of hot topics in energy law and policy that highlight the complex transitions taking place in the energy system. These topics include electric grid modernization, electric vehicles, risks and benefits associated with hydraulic fracturing and deepwater drilling for oil and gas, the development of offshore wind energy, and the continued role of nuclear energy. In addition to traditional textbook reading and class discussion, the course will include industry, government, and nonprofit guest speaker presentations. Grading will be based on a final exam given at the end of the semester as well as class discussion and weekly written postings on Canvas for the course.
Energy Law – 5062