Renewable Energy through Agency Action
Amy L. Stein
Tulane University Law School
May 1, 2013
University of Colorado Law Review, Vol. 84, 2013
Tulane Public Law Research Paper No. 13-9
Despite the many societal benefits associated with renewable energy, it is used to generate only about five percent of our nation’s electricity needs. The bulk of governmental efforts to rectify this situation have disproportionately impacted private actors. This Article argues that the federal government should expand its efforts to more fully capture the gains that can be achieved by targeting both private and public actors, particularly federal agencies. Federal agencies have enormous purchasing power that can be channeled toward using electricity and fuels derived from renewable energy. Federal agencies are some of the largest consumers of electricity. Federal agencies manage millions of acres of lands with ample renewable energy potential. Federal agencies stand to serve as models for the rest of the country through their support of renewable energy. Perhaps most importantly, the government is able to direct agencies to promote renewable energy with a power that it cannot exert on states or private actors. This Article evaluates a number of recent efforts to direct federal agencies to consume, produce, or facilitate the development of renewable energy, and highlights significant considerations associated with enlisting federal agencies to advance the nation’s ambitious renewable energy goals.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 79
Keywords: renewable energy, administrative law, energy, positive externalitiesAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 3, 2013 ; Last revised: June 11, 2013
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