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Energy Law

The supply of a reliable, low-cost, clean energy supply for the United States is a key determinant of current and future prosperity. Perhaps as a result, electricity suppliers are among the most heavily regulated of large firms. This regulation is composed of a complex patchwork of overlapping state and federal jurisdiction that has and is evolved to meet emerging challenges to the energy system.nIn this course, students will acquire a basic understanding of the law of rate based regulation of monopolies. We will then examine the history of natural gas regulation in the United States, concluding with restructuring and the introduction of market competition into transmission of natural gas. Next, we will cover the basics of the electricity system, including consumer demand, grid operations, and power plant technologies and economics. We will then revisit cost of service rate regulation as it has been applied in the electricity context. We will then focus on various attempts at reform of both rate-regulated and wholesale market-based structures. In particular, we will examine various attempts to introduce market competition into various aspects of the industry and to strengthen incentives for utility investment in energy efficiency. Finally, students will examine various approaches to subsidization of renewable energy.nThroughout, the course will focus on the sometimes cooperative, sometimes competing, but ever evolving federal and state roles in regulating the supply of electric power.nStudents will write two 1000 word response papers to questions related to readings and outside speakers in addition to taking a final exam.nElements used in grading: Class participation (20%), written assignments (40%), and final exam (40%).nThis course is open to first-year Law School students.

2013-2014 Winter
01/06/2014 - 03/10/2014 Tue ,Thu 11:10 AM - 12:40 PM at Law85
Instructors: Michael Wara
Notes: One-Day Take-Home Exam.

Instructors for this course

Michael Wara