Of the many laws and governing regulations in existence, energy law poses some of the most impactful and far-reaching parameters in our society. What exactly is this type of law all about? Let’s take look at energy laws as we know them today in the US and the international community alike.
What Are Energy Laws?
Energy governance is law and regulation that specifically pertains to energy. This can pertain to its use, generation, distribution, pricing, market availability, and much more. Essentially, nearly every aspect of energy that can have an effect on another party can be and likely is governed by energy laws.
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Why go to so much trouble to regulate energy and the industries dealing in it? What’s the point? These are good questions also.
Energy production and use runs into all types of territory that, when unregulated, can pose all types of problems for all of society. Some energy laws manage competition and thus keep prices and supply fair to the consumer. Other energy laws handle the production of energy where it might otherwise cause great ecological imbalances or health detriments to entire regions. Yet even more governance is necessary in making sure that distribution is physically safe in a world full of potential hazards and safety conflicts. With so many elements involved, governance is actually quite important from one end of the energy supply to the other.
Federal, State Regulation
Federal law has traditionally been that arm which handles the vast majority of energy governance, with the Federal Energy Management Program being one of its chief tools in the endeavor. However, many states have gone on to carry federal energy regulations to an even greater level by instituting their very own programs and policies. California, a leading state when it comes to proactive environmental and human health approaches, has been seen at the forefront of this arena quite a bit.
US, International Regulation
Having discussed state and federal efforts as separate endeavors, it’s certainly appropriate to touch on some of the larger, international efforts at hand. In agreement, many nations have come together over recent years to form international policies and acceptable parameters to which they will hold their respective energy industries accountable. Purposes for such partnerships involve many reasons, from dwindling global resources, to concerns for a healthy and sustainable ecosystem.
2000s Energy Crisis
Many events and trends have influenced energy law in the US. One of the most noteworthy and most recent was that of the 2000s Energy Crisis. It was during this time, a variety of elements came together to create a terrible energy crisis born within the petroleum industry. Prices skyrocketed, markets trembled, gas stations shuttered and limited purchases, and consumers struggled to fuel vehicles, get to work everyday, and subsist like normal. As a result, a whole new set of energy regulations were passed into law, with the chief among them being the Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008.
Energy is a crucial resource to all modernized people and civilizations. For this and many other reasons, its regulation is also quite important. Such regulation can be quite extensive and complex, but for our purposes, these are the basics of energy law today at the federal, state, and international level.