This seminar integrates traditional U.S. energy law with U.S. climate law. Topics covered include: federal and state laws governing electricity regulation and transmission; coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewable power; energy efficiency; federal climate policy under the Clean Air Act; oil and alternatives to oil for the transportation sector; state clean energy programs; and energy “security”. The materials will raise interesting questions about the federalism, regulatory design, economic, and technological challenges in this space, and will push students to confront the obstacles to aligning the (sometimes) conflicting goals of energy and environmental policy. The animating question for the course is: what legal infrastructure is necessary to facilitate a transition to cleaner energy, while controlling costs, ensuring system resilience, and protecting national security?
Readings will include traditional legal materials such as cases and statutes (we will use a casebook on energy law) but also a variety of supplementary policy documents drawn from government, nonprofit, academic and private sector sources.
Course evaluation will consist of substantive and rigorous weekly commentaries on the readings.
There are no prior course prerequisites, although the survey course in environmental law would be helpful.