HD Future Proofing Energy Transport Law - Lecture by Prof. Alexandra B. Klass
On 3/24/16 at the UNC School of Law CE3 and the Coastal Resilience Center presented «Future Proofing Energy Transport Law» — Lecture by Prof. Alexandra B. KlassThe U.S. energy system is critical to every aspect of the nation’s economy and daily life. That energy system, in turn, is completely dependent on U.S. energy transport infrastructure—the oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, and import and export facilities that allow for the cost-effective and rapidtransportation and distribution of the energy resources that power the country. This Article explores how the law can influence the billions of dollars in private sector energy transport investments necessary to meet current energy needs, address the technological and market shifts in the energy sector, and implement present and future clean energy goals and mandates. In other words, it considers how policymakers can attempt to “future-proof” energy transport laws to deliver the growing array of present and future fossil fuels and renewable energy resources to consumers. Part I describes the rapidly changing nature of the U.S. energy economy as well as the development, current status, and key challenges of the U.S. energy transport infrastructure. Part II analyzes in greater detail a select group of federal and state laws that regulate the planning, permitting, and construction of energy transport infrastructure—(1) the federal laws governing siting and eminent domain for interstate natural gas pipelines and for liquefied natural gas import and export terminals; and (2) the state laws governing siting and eminent domain for interstate electric transmission lines. Finally, Part III draws on the examples in Part II to set forth criteria policymakers should consider in creating laws and regulations to govern energy transport infrastructure that focus on federalism principles, flexibility in the location and amount of energy resources, and clean energy goals. It then analyzes two current energy transport debates to apply these criteria—whether to transfer more siting authority for interstate electric transmission lines to the federal government and whether to transport new sources of North American oil primarily by an upgraded rail system or by expanded pipeline infrastructure.