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Alternative Energy and the Energy-Environment Disconnect

Lincoln L. Davies

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

April 10, 2010

Idaho Law Review, Vol. 46, pp. 473-507, 2010

It is one of the most important - and unspoken - paradoxes of the modern American regulatory state: Energy and the environment, though intertwined in life, are disconnected in law. This has important implications, not the least of which is that the two fields tend to undermine each other. For serious students of energy, this should come as no surprise. The energy-environmental law disconnect is rooted in the fields' histories. Nevertheless, if society is to become more sustainable, the disconnect must be mended. Energy law and environmental law must merge. This article traces the historical disconnect between energy law and environmental law, from an energy perspective. It then explains, conceptually, how that disconnect manifests in energy today. Finally, the article concludes by identifying the problems that the disconnect creates for alternative energy development and, consequently, suggests some ways in which energy and environmental law might be better coordinated going forward.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: Alternative Energy, Renewable Energy, Energy Law, Energy Policy, Energy Regulation, Public Utilities, Environmental Law, Sustainable Development, Sustainability

JEL Classification: K10, K20, K23, K32, N70, N72, Q40, Q42

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Date posted: April 17, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Davies, Lincoln L., Alternative Energy and the Energy-Environment Disconnect (April 10, 2010). Idaho Law Review, Vol. 46, pp. 473-507, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1591306

Contact Information

Lincoln L. Davies (Contact Author)
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )
383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.utah.edu

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