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Law Courses Catalog

Energy Resources: Law & Policy

Energy is fundamental to the operation of modern economies and to everyday life. It is a highly evolving and fast-changing area of law and policy, and therefore an exciting topic in modern legal studies. This course covers energy resource law and policy in the United States governing the production, transportation, consumption, and disposal of a broad variety of energy resources.

From this course students will be able to: 1. Identify critical issues concerning the extraction and consumption of the world’s primary sources of energy: coal, oil, biofuels, natural gas, hydropower, nuclear, wind, solar, and geothermal energy; 2. Assess the basic tension between free market trading of energy and government regulation; 3. Analyse federalism issues and the division of U.S. regulatory authority governing energy production and use among federal, state, and local government authorities; 4. Apply the energy trilemma of security, equity and sustainability to a variety of energy sources and their use.

The first half of this course will focus on a broad range of energy sources, their extraction, production, transportation, consumption and disposal. The second half of this course will focus on hot topics in energy law and policy that highlight the complexity of energy transactions involved in the clean energy transition, such as smart grid technology, development and siting of clean energy, and the role of nuclear energy. While the course provides a basic introduction to the electricity grid and looks at smart grid technology, it focuses on a broad range of energy resources. The course does not focus on the electricity grid or electricity ratemaking, as these issues are covered in other courses such as LAW-336 Energy LaW: Electricity Regulation.