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2019

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Energy and Utilities Law

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Articles 1 - 19 of 19

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Quiet Undoing: How Regional Electricity Market Reforms Threaten Clean Energy Goals, Shelley Welton, Danny Cullenward Nov 2019

The Quiet Undoing: How Regional Electricity Market Reforms Threaten Clean Energy Goals, Shelley Welton, Danny Cullenward

Faculty Publications

In a series of largely unnoticed but extremely consequential moves, two regional electricity market operators are pursuing reforms to make it more difficult for states to achieve their clean energy goals. The federal energy regulator, FERC, has already approved one such reform and ordered a second market operator to go farther in punishing state-supported clean energy resources than it had initially proposed. In this Essay, we bring to light the ways in which the intricate, technical reforms underway in regional electricity markets threaten state climate change objectives and the durability of FERC’s regional market constructs. If FERC allows private market …


Quantifying The Resilience Value Of Distributed Energy Resources, James M. Van Nostrand Oct 2019

Quantifying The Resilience Value Of Distributed Energy Resources, James M. Van Nostrand

Law Faculty Scholarship

Extreme weather events, which are occurring with increasing frequency as a result of climate change, threaten the reliability and resilience of the nation's electricity grid. Increased flooding due to intense rainfall, hurricane damage fueled in part by a warmer atmosphere and warmer, higher seas, and widespread wildfires caused by extended drought conditions constitute potential hazards for utility infrastructure and delivery of essential electricity service. As a possible adaptation strategy, increased deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs), which are small-scale generating resources located near-and connected to-a load being served with or without grid interconnection, can improve the resilience of the electric …


Clean Energy Equity, Felix Mormann May 2019

Clean Energy Equity, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Solar, wind, and other clean, renewable sources of energy promise to mitigate climate change, enhance energy security, and foster economic growth. But many of the policies in place to promote clean energy today are marred by an uneven distribution of economic opportunities and associated financial burdens. Tax incentives for renewables cost American taxpayers billions of dollars every year, yet the tax code effectively precludes all but the largest banks and most profitable corporations from reaping the benefits of these tax breaks. Other policies, such as renewable portfolio standards that set minimum quota to create demand for renewable electricity require such …


The Brave New World Of Energy And Natural Resources Development, Donald N. Zillman Jan 2019

The Brave New World Of Energy And Natural Resources Development, Donald N. Zillman

Faculty Publications

The world of energy and natural resources development has changed a great deal over the past 30 months, perhaps more so than in the preceding 30 years. Beginning with the June 2016 vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and continuing through today, there are global signs of increasing emphasis on protecting national sovereignty and less on world efforts to address major environmental and energy issues. Admittedly, the United Nations-based effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continues to move forward. However, more than a few nations are hinting that they may not live up to their commitments …


Clean Energy Justice: Charting An Emerging Agenda, Joel B. Eisen, Shelley Welton Jan 2019

Clean Energy Justice: Charting An Emerging Agenda, Joel B. Eisen, Shelley Welton

Law Faculty Publications

The rapid transition to clean energy is fraught with potential inequities. As clean energy policies ramp up in scale and ambition, they confront challenging new questions: Who should pay for the transition? Who should live next to the industrial-scale wind and solar farms these policies promote? Will the new “green” economy be a fairer one, with more widespread opportunity, than the fossil fuel economy it is replacing? Who gets to decide what kinds of resources power our decarbonized world? In this article, we frame these challenges as part of an emerging agenda of “clean energy justice.” Mapping this agenda highlights …


Live Local, Renew Local: Community Sourced Solar Energy In New Mexico, Alexandra Vk Iturralde, Elizabeth Brooke Holland, Coleman Piburn Jan 2019

Live Local, Renew Local: Community Sourced Solar Energy In New Mexico, Alexandra Vk Iturralde, Elizabeth Brooke Holland, Coleman Piburn

2020 Award Winners

No abstract provided.


Comprehensive Rezonings, Sara C. Bronin Jan 2019

Comprehensive Rezonings, Sara C. Bronin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Of all powers given to local governments, the power to zone is one of the most significant. Zoning dictates everything that gets built in a locality—and thus effectively dictates all of the key activities that take place within it. Nationwide, most zoning codes were adopted in the first half of the twentieth century. Many, including the zoning codes of New York City and Chicago, were significantly revised in the 1960s. While these codes have been revised piecemeal, just a few American cities have undergone a comprehensive revision: replacing the old code with a completely new one.

A comprehensive rezoning can …


Clean Energy Justice: Charting An Emerging Agenda, Shelley Welton, Joel Eisen Jan 2019

Clean Energy Justice: Charting An Emerging Agenda, Shelley Welton, Joel Eisen

Faculty Publications

The rapid transition to clean energy is fraught with potential inequities. As clean energy policies ramp up in scale and ambition, they confront challenging new questions: Who should pay for the transition? Who should live next to the industrial-scale wind and solar farms these policies promote? Will the new “green” economy be a fairer one, with more widespread opportunity, than the fossil fuel economy it is replacing? Who gets to decide what kinds of resources power our decarbonized world? In this article, we assert that it is useful to understand these challenges collectively, as part of an emerging agenda of …


Energy Re-Investment, Hari M. Osofsky, Jacqueline Peel, Brett H. Mcdonnell, Anita Foerster Jan 2019

Energy Re-Investment, Hari M. Osofsky, Jacqueline Peel, Brett H. Mcdonnell, Anita Foerster

Journal Articles

Despite worsening climate change threats, investment in energy — in the United States and globally — is dominated by fossil fuels. This Article provides a novel analysis of two pathways in corporate and securities law that together have the potential to shift patterns of energy investment.

The first pathway targets current investments and corporate decision-making. It includes efforts to influence investors to divest from owning shares in fossil fuel companies and to influence companies to address climate change risks in their internal decision-making processes. This pathway has received increasing attention, especially in light of the Paris Agreement and the Trump …


Energy Competition: From Commodity To Boutique & Back, James W. Coleman Jan 2019

Energy Competition: From Commodity To Boutique & Back, James W. Coleman

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Energy products such as power, gas, and oil have long been the world’s premier commodities. Consumers demand that power and fuel are available when they want it and they prefer to pay less for it. Few know or care where their fuel or power comes from. So for years energy companies believed that efforts to differentiate their products were mostly ineffective — they were re-signed to compete on price in fierce global commodity markets. But in recent years, a new focus on regulating how energy commodities are produced has begun to splinter previously integrated energy markets, creating markets for boutique …


Distributed Renewable Energy, K.K. Duvivier Jan 2019

Distributed Renewable Energy, K.K. Duvivier

Sturm College of Law: Faculty Scholarship

For individuals, the heating and cooling of buildings is the second largest source of U.S. CO2 emissions after transportation. This chapter suggests pathways to help deploy the two most promising categories of U.S. distrib­uted renewable energy resources to reduce these emissions—photovoltaic solar matched with storage and ther­mal sources for hot water and for heating and cooling buildings. Distributed generation is probably the energy source most impacted by different levels of government and nongovernmental actors. However, distributed generation is also most immediate to consumers, especially with new technologies or rate structures that give them feedback about their own individual generation and …


Pipelines & Power-Lines: Building The Energy Transport Future, James W. Coleman Jan 2019

Pipelines & Power-Lines: Building The Energy Transport Future, James W. Coleman

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

The United States is in the middle of three profound energy revolutions — with booming production of renewable power, natural gas, and oil. The country is replacing coal power with renewable and natural gas power, reducing pollution while saving consumers money. And it has dramatically cut its oil imports while becoming, for the first time in half a century, an important oil exporter. The U.S. is on the cusp of an energy transformation that will provide immense economic and environmental benefits.

This new energy economy will require massive investment in energy transport — especially power lines to bring wind and …


Clean Energy Justice: Charting An Emerging Agenda, Shelley Welton, Joel B. Eisen Jan 2019

Clean Energy Justice: Charting An Emerging Agenda, Shelley Welton, Joel B. Eisen

All Faculty Scholarship

The rapid transition to clean energy is fraught with potential inequities. As clean energy policies ramp up in scale and ambition, they confront challenging new questions: Who should pay for the transition? Who should live next to the industrial-scale wind and solar farms these policies promote? Will the new “green” economy be a fairer one, with more widespread opportunity, than the fossil fuel economy it is replacing? Who gets to decide what kinds of resources power our decarbonized world? In this article, we assert that it is useful to understand these challenges collectively, as part of an emerging agenda of …


Sustainable Development: Energy, Justice, And Women, Lakshman Guruswamy Jan 2019

Sustainable Development: Energy, Justice, And Women, Lakshman Guruswamy

Publications

This article will first offer a functional synopsis relevant to its remit, of the concept of sustainable development (SD) embodied in international law and policy that reflects a tension between economic and social claims as contrasted with environmental protection. While the dominant place acquired by the economic and social dimensions of SD will be recognized, it will argue consistent with the predicate of justice discussed in the article, that the protection of the human environment encompasses the plight of the energy poor and their women and children. Second, the article will delineate the contours of one of the great developmental …


Trump, Energy Policy, And Hard Look Review, Lincoln L. Davies, Tyler Hubbard, Christopher Sanders Jan 2019

Trump, Energy Policy, And Hard Look Review, Lincoln L. Davies, Tyler Hubbard, Christopher Sanders

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

For those concerned about climate change, the Trump administration’s energy policy is alarming. It aims to unravel every corner of the Obama administration’s climate legacy, consistent with an overall sweep of deregulation. Substantively, the Trump policy also departs starkly from the approach of the last decade, embracing traditional energy sources—fossil fuels and nuclear power—above all else. The Trump administration’s moves on energy beg the question: What limits, if any, does this policy approach face? This chapter begins to answer that question. Employing the lens of arbitrary and capricious, or “hard look,” review from administrative law, the chapter outlines principles that …


Energy And Eminent Domain, James W. Coleman, Alexandra B. Klass Jan 2019

Energy And Eminent Domain, James W. Coleman, Alexandra B. Klass

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

This Article examines the growing opposition to the use of eminent domain for energy transport projects such as oil pipelines, gas pipelines, and electric transmission lines. Such projects were protected from the state legislative reforms that restricted eminent domain following the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Kelo v. City of New London in 2005 but are now under increased scrutiny. This Article evaluates why U.S. energy transport projects have become so controversial and suggests how states and the federal government should evaluate the need for eminent domain for these projects and enact appropriate reforms. We first detail the significant changes …


An Analysis Of Mandatory Hookup Law: Cases & Statutes, Jesse Richardson Jan 2019

An Analysis Of Mandatory Hookup Law: Cases & Statutes, Jesse Richardson

Law Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Pledging, Populism, And The Paris Agreement: The Paradox Of A Management-Based Approach To Global Governance, Cary Coglianese Jan 2019

Pledging, Populism, And The Paris Agreement: The Paradox Of A Management-Based Approach To Global Governance, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

For many observers, the Paris Agreement signaled a historic breakthrough in addressing the problem of global warming. In its basic design, however, the Agreement is far from novel. Its dependence on each nation’s self-determined pledge to reduce greenhouse gases mirrors the domestic policy strategy called management-based regulation—a flexible regulatory approach that has been used to address problems as varied as food safety and toxic air pollution. In this article, I connect insights from research on management-based regulation to the international governance of climate change. Unfortunately, management-based regulation’s track-record at the domestic level gives little reason to expect that the Paris …


The Statutory Separation Of Powers, Sharon B. Jacobs Jan 2019

The Statutory Separation Of Powers, Sharon B. Jacobs

Publications

Separation of powers forms the backbone of our constitutional democracy. But it also operates as an underappreciated structural principle in subconstitutional domains. This Article argues that Congress constructs statutory schemes of separation, checks, and balances through its delegations to administrative agencies. Like its constitutional counterpart, the “statutory separation of powers” seeks to prevent the dominance of factions and ensure policy stability. But separating and balancing statutory authority is a delicate business: the optimal balance is difficult to calibrate ex ante, the balance is unstable, and there are risks that executive agencies in particular might seek expansion of their authority vis-à-vis …