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Federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Laws

LAW OF CLEAN ENERGY: EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLES, Michael B Gerrard ed., Forthcoming

Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-30

32 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2010 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Marianne Tyrrell

Vermont Law School

Date Written: September 19, 2010

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of U.S. law and policy concerning energy efficiency and conservation. The United States appears torn between two narratives - one expressing the abundant demonstrated opportunities provided by energy savings and the other based on a fear of deprivation from using less energy. Rather than choosing between the two, U.S. law and policy splits the difference - embracing efficiency and conservation more or less halfheartedly. Energy efficiency and conservation policy thus has a Groundhog Day aspect, in which the same or similar arguments are made year after year, decade after decade, and often (it appears) to little effect. In recent years, however, the federal government has strengthened the nation’s commitment to efficiency and conservation.

The paper first discusses federal laws and policies that are intended to support efficiency and conservation as well as laws that are antagonistic to those goals. It then describes energy efficiency and conservation features of proposed climate change and clean energy legislation. Finally, this paper discusses energy conservation under the Framework Convention on Climate Change and in the European Union.

Keywords: energy efficiency, energy conservation, climate change, sustainable development, sustainability, greenhouse gas emissions, Energy Policy and Conservation Act, Clean Air Act, cap-and-trade, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Framework Convention on Climate Change

JEL Classification: K10, K20, K29, K32, K33, Q20, Q21, Q28, Q30, Q31, Q38, Q40, Q41, Q43, Q48, Q54, Q58, Q01

Suggested Citation

Dernbach, John C. and Tyrrell, Marianne, Federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Laws (September 19, 2010). LAW OF CLEAN ENERGY: EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLES, Michael B Gerrard ed., Forthcoming; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1684201 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1684201

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

Marianne Tyrrell

Vermont Law School ( email )

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

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