The Fourth Edition of Energy, Economics and the Environment focuses on the unifying characteristics of energy law, while also emphasizing its connections to environmental and economic issues affecting energy industries. The casebook covers the full range of energy resources, as well as an in-depth examination of issues related to electric power.

Like previous editions, this casebook is intended to be used in an Energy Law survey course, but the materials in the book are rich enough that they can also be adapted to a course or seminar covering renewable energy, oil & gas, electricity regulation, or advanced topics in environmental law. Previous editions of the casebook have been used in law school classrooms for nearly two decades. The new edition of the casebook provides a pedagogical window that can readily be adapted to a variety of courses and teaching styles as issues in energy continue to change. Materials in the casebook include extended problems, case studies, and other practice-oriented materials to allow students to learn important concepts in a practical context.

We emphasize four recurring and cross-cutting themes throughout the casebook: (1) public versus private ownership of energy resources; (2) monopoly vs. competition; (3) externalities and risk concepts; and (4) public governance, including federalism issues. These four themes have defined energy law since the early twentieth century—and they are at play in every energy resource arena today. The Table of Contents is as follows:

Chapter 1: Introduction: Themes in Energy Law
Chapter 2: Public Utility Principles and an Overview of the Electric Power Industry
Chapter 3: Coal Production
Chapter 4: Oil and Gas Production
Chapter 5: Controlling the Externalities of Fossil-Fueled Generation
Chapter 6: Hydroelectric Power
Chapter 7: Nuclear Energy
Chapter 8: Rate Regulation Principles
Chapter 9: Oil and Gas Pipelines: Opening Markets
Chapter 10: Electric Power Markets
Chapter 11: Renewable Power
Chapter 12: Renewable Power Case Studies
Chapter 13: Conservation, Efficiency, and the “Smart Grid”
Chapter 14: International Energy Markets
Chapter 15: Transportation

For more information and additional teaching materials, visit the companion site.

Imprint: Foundation Press
Series: University Casebook Series
Publication Date: 06/05/2015


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Energy law is a dynamic field, and new developments since the book’s Third Edition have significantly impacted its landscape. Although every chapter of the book has been reorganized and updated, significant changes to content in the Fourth Edition include:

  • A new introduction chapter that identifies the recurring themes that define energy law and recognizes the primary historical eras in which energy law was developed.
  • An expanded emphasis on externality issues related to coal, including the implications of regulation of emissions from existing coal plants for energy supply and reliability.
  • A detailed focus on energy production and environmental issues related to hydraulic fracturing, including state-federal preemption.
  • A fully rewritten chapter on nuclear power, including in-depth coverage of the latest developments in each step of the fuel cycle.
  • Expansion of materials related to renewable energy, including case studies that focus on project development for both distributed generation and utility-scale projects and discuss financing, permitting, siting, and contracting issues.
  • A ratemaking case study, designed to tie together basic concepts and principles related to cost-of-service ratemaking.
  • Detailed discussion of issues related to legal challenges to gas and oil pipelines and electric power transmission lines.
  • A new international chapter, emphasizing the increasing role that energy imports and exports are playing in international energy markets.
  • Major updates to and restructuring of materials related to electric power markets, conservation, and efficiency.
  • An emphasis in every chapter in the book on the legal and regulatory connections between energy and environmental law.
The casebook includes a range of recently-released cases, including cases affirming the validity of FERC Order 1000 (addressing regional transmission planning), addressing FERC’s approach to demand response resources, and whether distributed renewable resources are not “public utilities.” The book also includes timely discussion of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants, Department of Energy’s ongoing approvals of liquefied natural gas exports, the Army Corp of Engineer’s consideration of coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, the State Department’s and State of Nebraska’s review of the Keystone XL pipeline, and other ongoing regulatory and legislative issues.

Learn more about this series.