Energy Law

Course Description

This course will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with the development and use of energy resources, both nationally and in Maryland. In recent years, energy issues have had a prominent place in national and regional debates regarding the economy, the environment and national security, among other areas. Energy law includes many different topics, from the jurisdiction of federal and state authorities over energy matters, to the role of energy resources in transportation, the regulation of public utilities, economic considerations associated with the use of energy resources, and the development of wholesale and retail energy markets.

A primary focus of this course will be the generation and distribution of electricity, including a look at the various sources of fuel (coal, natural gas, oil, hydro, nuclear, solar, wind) used for power generation and the regulatory systems in place to oversee the electric business. This course covers a wide variety of energy law concepts, including but not limited to the structure of public utility regulation, energy efficiency and renewable energy mandates, and the operation of wholesale and retail electricity markets. The course will also examine state and federal energy policy options, and the effect of different energy choices on the environment, including the pollution of air and water resources, and climate change concerns. Finally, this course will expose students to some of the career options available to the energy law practitioner and the day-to-day experiences of the energy law practitioner. Although the course will involve at times the integration of complex technical and financial concepts associated with the energy business, students do not need to have a background in engineering or economics to understand the topics addressed in this course.

The primary text for the course will be Energy, Economics and the Environment (Foundation Press, latest edition), by Joel Eisen, Emily Hammond, Jim Rossi, David Spence, Jacqueline Weaver, and Hannah Wiseman. The course will also utilize supplemental materials handed out in class or posted on the School of Law’s Blackboard system. The course will primarily consist of lectures and teacher-student discussions, but we also seek out one or two guest speakers from the energy sector to come and address the class and answer questions about the practice of energy law and the energy business. The class grade will be based on class participation and a written final exam.

Current and Previous Instructors

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions

P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course

Currently Scheduled Sections

CRN: 98209

  • Fall '24
  • 2
  • 405
  • Thurs: 7:35-9:35


  • Brent A. Bolea

    Ransom E. Davis

  • 3 openings. (Limit 15).