What is Energy Law?
Energy Law relates to the laws that govern the use, regulation, and conservation of energy. Energy laws are typically designed to both ensure the safety of energy consumers as well as to provide for increasingly efficient electronics and appliances.
Technology and Energy
As society advances technologically, its energy needs increase, as well. As a result, energy laws are becoming more and more important. Similarly, as new energy sources emerge, such as nuclear and fusion, the laws that apply to energy must combat the issues and dangers inherent in the production and distribution of these types of energy and their underlying technology.
Energy laws also relate to the taxation of energy services, both renewable and non-renewable. These tax laws include both utility taxes as well as the taxes paid at the pump for a gallon of gasoline. They also include taxes imposed upon entities that remove fossil fuels from the ground.
Energy law practitioners are also called upon, as with other industry driven specialty fields, to provide advice on a broad range of other legal matters that touch on the energy industry. For example, contracts, employment disputes, land acquisition, intellectual property rights, and many others.
For more information on energy law, please refer to the resources found below or, for an attorney in your area, please check out our Law Firms page.
Articles on HG.org Related to Energy Law
- Remediation of PCE Contaminated Dry Cleaning SitesDry cleaners have been using a chlorinated solvent called perchloroethylene (PCE), also known as tetrachloroethylene, since 1934.
- The EPA's Coal Ash Regulation and Proposed LitigationNew coal ash regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December, 2014 classify coal ash as solid waste, rather than hazardous waste. [“Docket No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2009-0640”].
- If You See Your Company Polluting, Who Do You Call?It is a sad fact, but every day thousands of companies around the world violate laws designed to protect the environment in order to cut costs and increase profits. If you suspect your company is doing so, or if you have witnessed the pollution yourself, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent it and whether there are any laws in place to protect you from the company's wrath after you do so.
- The Environmental Protection Agency's Focus on Compliance ResultsAlthough the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been bringing fewer criminal prosecutions against U.S. corporations, and their officers, for their failure to comply with environmental laws and regulations, the penalties imposed in these cases have become more severe.
- Environmental Claims LawEnvironmental claims law is highly specialized and if a person is seeking to build a case and potentially seek damages for issues, a qualified and experienced attorney in the field of environmental claims law is a must.
- Dust Up Between Surfers and Kholsa Could Spell the End of Private Beach Access in CaliforniaShould a property owner have to get a coastal development permit before he can close the gate to his private property? The Surfrider Foundation thinks so, and if it wins its current lawsuit against Vinod Khosla that could soon be the law of the land in California.
- Georgia Water LawWater rights in Georgia vary according to the amount of water withdrawn from the water source, whether it is a surface water source (river, stream, reservoir) or a groundwater source (aquifer).
- How Arbitrary and Nasty the Power of Eminent Domain Can BeSeizure of the Barries' Colorado dream cabin shows how arbitrary and nasty the power of eminent domain can be.
- The Coastal Commission’s support for AB 976 Shows Due Process ApathyEvery monthly meeting the California Coastal Commission releases a list of bills in the current legislative session that it is supporting. It can be a time consuming effort to review all these bills, but sometimes you find a gem that sheds light on the nature of the Commission’s long-term goals, and the read becomes worth it. Last week, the Commission’s monthly report was well worth the read.
- The California Coastal Commission Reviews Fracking Along the California CoastWhether the California Coastal Commission Eventually Regulates Fracking On the Outer Continental Shelf Will Have More to Do with Federalism than Science
- All Environmental and Natural Resources Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Environmental and Natural Resources including: agricultural law, animal law, energy, environmental law, equine law, forestry and fisheries, natural resources, oil and gas.
Energy Law – US
- ABA - Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
The Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is the premier forum for lawyers working in areas related to environmental law, natural resources law, and energy law. The Section is committed to providing members with opportunities to enhance professional skills, stay on top of current developments, and dialogue in these substantive areas. Section membership will add to your professional skill set and broaden your knowledge.
- ACEEE National and State Energy Policy
This page by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is dedicated to policies that can improve energy efficiency, reduce oil imports, improve the reliability of the U.S. electric grid, save consumers money, reduce air pollution, create jobs, and reduce prices.
- American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454)
This legislation, introduced by Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Edward J. Markey, is a comprehensive approach to America's energy policy that will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America's energy independence, and cut global warming pollution. The legislation has received wide support from electric utilities; energy companies; manufacturing, industry, and corporate companies; labor unions; and community and environmental organizations.
- Committee on Energy and Commerce
The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce is one of the oldest standing committees of the U.S. House of Representatives. Established in 1795, it has operated continuously, with the exception of various name changes and jurisdictional changes, for more than 200 years. The only other House standing committees with 200 years of continuous operation are the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Rules Committee. It has served as the principal guide for the House in matters relating to the promotion of commerce and to the public’s health and marketplace interests.
- Conservation of Power and Water Resources
Title 18 presents regulations governing the Department of Energy and other agencies overseeing the conservation of power and water resources. Agencies covered include: the Water Resources Council, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and other similar agencies. This title includes the Federal Power Act, Public Utility Regulatory Act, Natural Gas Act, Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Act, and the Interstate Commerce Act.
- DOE - Energy Innovation Hubs
President Obama has committed to doubling America’s investment in science – and to pursue transformative breakthroughs in technology that can help us meet our energy and climate challenges. He has tasked Energy Secretary Steven Chu with developing a broad-based research strategy to harness America’s innovation machine to make the discoveries we need.
- Energy Information Administration (EIA)
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.
- Energy Law - Overview
The energy crises of the 1970s forced the federal government to consolidate its scattered regulatory framework that had developed piecemeal in the previous decades. With the creation of the Department of Energy in 1977, a national energy plan emerged for the first time. The stated purpose of federal energy laws and regulations is to provide affordable energy by sustaining competitive markets, while protecting the economic, environmental, and security interests of the United States.
- Energy Legislation - NEMA
NEMA believes and supports an energy policy that is comprehensive in scope and application. Energy policy must address energy efficiency and conservation, energy production and supply, energy transmission and distribution, as well as promotion of new technologies that promise greater efficiency and environmental protection. NEMA members are at all stages of the electrical energy process – from turbines and generators, to transformers and power cable, to lighting, motors, circuit breakers, and controls at the consumer and end-user points.
- Environmental, Natural Resource and Energy Law
On May 29, 1999, the original creator of the Internet Law Library, the U.S. House, removed it from their site after providing copies of the InLL's contents to others interested in hosting the site. We at the 'Lectric Law Library were one of those. There are a large number of individuals and organizations that are attempting to come together and work out some model for cooperation. As one of the current host sites, we're working with them to help keep the Internet Law Library a publicly available resource.
- Federal Energy Legislation
A collection of links to federal legislative documents on energy issues, compiled by the Washington State Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development.
- Federal Power Act of 1920
Early regulation began with the Federal Power Act of 1920, which created the Federal Power Commission. Amended in 1935, and 1986, the Federal Power Act allowed a regulatory framework to develop.
- NRC Regulations - US Energy Law
The NRC is headed by a five-member Commission. The President designates one member to serve as Chairman and official spokesperson. The Commission as a whole formulates policies and regulations governing nuclear reactor and materials safety, issues orders to licensees, and adjudicates legal matters brought before it. The Executive Director for Operations (EDO) carries out the policies and decisions of the Commission and directs the activities of the program offices.
- US Department of Energy
The Department of Energy's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex.
- US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Since its creation, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and its predecessors have considered, reported, and overseen some of the most important legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress.
Energy Law – International
- ABA - International Energy and Resources Transactions Committee
Our Committee aims to bring together domestic and international attorneys, policymakers, consultants and other business interests to explore global energy and resources development opportunities in a wide range of topics.
- Australian Nuclear Energy Law Resources
This page, maintained by the Library of the Parliament of Australia, contains links to internet resources and documents in the area of Australian nuclear energy law, as well as providing links to other guides and directories which contain material on State and Territory and overseas law, as well as some more general scientific, political and statistical information.
- Energy Policy of the European Union
The Institute for Energy (IE) provides scientific and technical support on energy issues to policy makers of the European Union (EU). Special emphasis is given to the security of energy supply and to more sustainable, safer and cleaner energy production and use for the future. The IE is one of the seven Institutes of the Joint Research Centre, a Directorate General (DG) of the European Commission. The JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the EU. Close to the policy-making process, it serves the common interest of the Member States, while being independent of special interests, whether commercial or national.
- Global Energy Law and Regulation Portal
Oil, Gas, Energy Law Intelligence (OGEL, ISSN 1875-418X) started publishing in January 2003 and has since gained popularity with a large number of (international) energy companies, governmental organisations, law firms (mainly those with a claim to special competence in international oil, gas and energy regulation), international agencies, academic and think-tank institutions in the field of energy policy and various NGOs.
- International Energy Agency (IEA)
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an intergovernmental organisation which acts as energy policy advisor to 28 member countries in their effort to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for their citizens. Founded during the oil crisis of 1973-74, the IEA’s initial role was to co-ordinate measures in times of oil supply emergencies. As energy markets have changed, so has the IEA. Its mandate has broadened to incorporate the “Three E’s” of balanced energy policy making: energy security, economic development and environmental protection.
REN21 is a global policy network that provides a forum for international leadership on renewable energy. Its goal is to bolster policy development for the rapid expansion of renewable energies in developing and industrialised economies.
Organizations Related to Energy Law
- Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP)
AESP provides professional development programs, a network of energy practitioners, and promotes the transfer of knowledge and experience. Our members work in the energy services industry and represent electric and natural gas utilities, public benefits associations, regulatory and non-profit entities, vendors, manufacturers and consulting firms.
- Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO)
CICERO’s mission is to conduct research and provide reports, information and expert advice about issues related to global climate change and international climate policy with the aim of acquiring knowledge that can help mitigate the climate problem and enhance international climate cooperation.
- EnviroLink Network
EnviroLink is a non-profit organization... a grassroots online community that unites hundreds of organizations and volunteers around the world with millions of people in more than 150 countries. EnviroLink is dedicated to providing comprehensive, up-to-date environmental information and news. At EnviroLink we're committed to promoting a sustainable society by connecting individuals and organizations through communications technologies. We recognize that our technologies are just tools, and that the solutions to our ecological challenges lie within our communities and their connection to the Earth itself.
- Institute for Energy Law
Formerly named the International Oil and Gas Educational Center, the Institute for Energy Law provides advanced education for lawyers and other professionals in the energy industry. Through it's educational programs, scholarly publications and membership activities, the Institute for Energy Law serves as an important forum in which contemporary issues affecting the energy industry can be examined.
- International Atomic Energy Agency
The IAEA is the world´s center of cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as the world´s "Atoms for Peace" organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
- Oil, Gas, Energy Law Intelligence
GEL Global Energy Law & Regulation Portal Oil, Gas, Energy Law Intelligence started publishing in January 2003 and has since gained popularity with a large number of (international) energy companies, governmental organisations, law firms (mainly those with a claim to special competence in international oil, gas and energy regulation), international agencies, academic and think-tank institutions in the field of energy policy and various NGOs.
- Resources and Energy Law Association
AMPLA is a not-for-profit association established in 1976 to advance the knowledge of law relating to mineral and petroleum resources. Over recent years the interests of AMPLA have extended to include climate change, emissions trading, the environment, native title and all legal aspects of energy production and marketing.
- World Energy Council
The World Energy Council is the most representative body of the energy industry with members in more than ninety countries. Its mission is to promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all. The London-based organization has official consultative status with the United Nations.
Publications Related to Energy Law
- Energy Law Journal
Published by the Energy Bar Association, the Energy Law Journal has become a preeminent energy publication, providing thought-provoking and deeply researched articles by practitioners, internationally known academics, Federal judges, high ranking government officials and members of FERC. It publishes legal, policy, and economic articles and other materials of lasting interest with significant research value on subjects dealing with the energy industries. The Journal also welcomes articles and other materials on emerging issues and significant developments affecting the energy industries.
- Environmental and Energy Law and Policy Journal
The Environmental & Energy Law & Policy Journal publishes two issues a year. One issue includes feature articles, casenotes and comments concerning current issues dealing with energy and the environment. The second issue includes topical articles drawn from our annual symposium. Both publications include articles covering recent developments that provide brief and timely discussions on interesting cases, administrative actions, publications, and events
- Internet Journal of the Centre For Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy
The CEPMLP Internet Journal provides a forum to publish ongoing work in the areas of interest to CEPMLP and its global constituency. This is a non-refereed journal that seeks to give quick and advanced access to selected articles, reports and book reviews to keep readers informed about recent developments and to allow authors to receive feedback on their work and ideas.
- Journal of World Energy Law and Business
The Journal of World Energy Law is the new official journal of the AIPN. It is a peer-reviewed journal of record providing objective coverage of relevant issues. It provides high-quality articles that combine academic excellence with professional relevance and will benefit from the expertise of a Board of internationally respected academic, lawyers and other energy professionals. The Journal publishes articles on legal, business and policy issues in the international energy industry. This includes upstream oil and gas transactions, finance, taxation, regulation, dispute management, alternative energy resources, energy policy and security and international energy organizations.
- New Energy Focus - UK
NewEnergyFocus.com is a daily news service providing topical and essential news and information about renewable energy and low carbon developments in the UK. We include expert coverage of policy and industry developments taking into consideration the international context and particularly developments in Europe which have a direct impact on the UK market.
- Resources and Energy Law Association - Publications
One of the major roles of AMPLA is to provide relevant information regarding resources and energy law to its members. To this end AMPLA produces a number of publications. AMPLA publications provide the largest and most comprehensive source of information and comment on resources and energy law in Australia.