Energy law


Energy law

Energy law is the law of the use and taxation of energy, both renewable and non-renewable. It is distinct from energy policy in that it consists of the primary authorities such as caselaw, statutes, rules, regulations and edicts about energy, rather than the policy and politics about energy.

Historically, energy law has focused on oil and gas law, but has expanded to include "all other areas of domestic and international energy law as well." [http://www.cailaw.org/iel/about.html The Institute for Energy Law official website About page] . Accessed August 6, 2008.]

International law

United States

In the United States, energy is regulated extensively through the United States Department of Energy, as well as state secretaries of state or corporation commissions.Fact|date=August 2008

The practice of energy law has been the domain of law firms working on behalf of utility companies, rather than legal scholars or other legal actors (such as private lawyers and paralegals), [ [http://energylawwisconsin.com/ Energy Law Wisconsin website] . Accessed August 6, 2008.] [ [http://www.mahaffeygorelaw.com/ Mahaffey Gore law firm website] . Accessed August 6, 2008.] [ [http://www.lawinfo.com/attorney/Energy-Law LawInfo.com website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.] especially in Texas, [http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22Texas+energy+law%22 Google Search for "Texas energy law"] . Accessed August 21, 2008.] but this is changing. Some officials from energy agencies may take jobs in the utilities or other companies they regulate, such as the former FERC chairman did in 2008. ["Former FERC Chairman Joins Husch Blackwell Sanders", August 4, 2008, found at [http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/former-ferc-chairman-joins-husch/story.aspx?guid=%7B1C27F35B-C132-4AC9-81EC-2CEED947C3FE%7D&dist=hppr Marketwatch story] . Accessed August 21, 2008.]

The American Bar Association (ABA) has a "Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources", which is a "forum for lawyers working in areas related to environmental law, natural resources law, and energy law." [ [http://www.abanet.org/environ/ Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources of the American Bar Association website] . Accessed August 22, 2008.] The ABA offers fellowships to law students and recent graduates of law schools, for work in "environmental, energy or resources law." [ [http://www.abanet.org/environ/committees/lawstudents/fellowship_home.shtml Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources of the American Bar Association website Fellowships in Environmental Law page] . Accessed August 22, 2008.]

Common law

Under the common law, persons who owned real property owned "from the depths to the heavens".Thomas Merrill, "Establishing Ownership: First Possession versus Accession," p. 14, fn. 22-23, Law and Economics Workshop (University of California, Berkeley 2007 Paper 3), found at [http://repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1174&context=berkeley_law_econ CDLib website] . Retrieved September 17, 2008.] [Written as "cjus est solum, ejus est usque ad coelum et ad inferos." This has been translated as “To whomever the soil belongs, he owns also to the sky and the depths.” Black’s Law Dictionary (6th ed. 1990). From Merrill, fn. 22, "q.v.".]

Therefore, real estate traditionally has included all rights to water, oil, gas, and other minerals underground. The United States Supreme Court has held that "this doctrine has no place in the modern world," ["United States v. Causby," 328 U.S. 256, 261 (1942), see ussc|328|256|1946. From Merrill, fn. 23, "q.v.".] at least as far as air rights are concerned, [ [http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1117/can-i-declare-a-no-flight-zone-over-my-house The Straight Dope website] . Retrieved September 17, 2008.] but it remains as a source of law to this day, or "fundamental to property rights in land."

An easement or license to drill for oil, gas, or minerals generally runs with the land, and thus is an appurtenant easement.Fact|date=August 2008 However, a utility easement generally runs with the owner of the easement, rather than running with the land, and as such, is an example of an easement in gross.Fact|date=August 2008

Federal laws

Until the 1920s, "the federal government did not play an active role in the energy industries," due to "the widespread belief in the unlimited supply of energy." [http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/energy Cornell Law School website] . Accessed August 6, 2008.] The first US law was the Federal Power Act of 1920 (later amended in 1935 and 1986). [ [http://www.kannerandassoc.com Federal Energy Law Summaries online] .] [ [http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/fedpowr.html Federal Power laws online] .] [ [http://www.theorator.com/bills108/s716.html Federal Power Act Amendments Act of 2003 at The Orator website] .] The Manhattan Project of the 1940s "initiated the era of nuclear regulation." In 1946, the Atomic Energy Act was passed. [Pub.L. 1946, ch. 724, 60 Stat. 755, USPL|60|755.]

The Department of Energy and its constituent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) were created in 1977, through the Department of Energy Organization Act. [Pub.L. 95-238, 92 Stat. 47, USPL|95|238.] The stated purposes of these "federal energy laws and regulations is to provide affordable energy by sustaining competitive markets, while protecting the economic, environmental, and security interests of the United States." The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulates the use of atomic energy and its uses as a defense weaponry.

Other statutes are the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act [PURPA, at USPL|95|617] , the Energy Security Act, [USPL|96|294.] , the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act, and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 [USPL|102|486] Most of these laws are codified at U.S. Code, Title 16, Chapter 12 - Federal regulation and development of power.

Energy Policy Act of 2005

The most recent major law is the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was an attempt to combat growing energy problems, changed the energy policy of the United States by providing tax incentives and loan guarantees for energy production of various types. [(USPL|109|58).] [http://www.epa.gov/oust/fedlaws/publ_109-058.pdf] [cite web
url= http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c109:6:./temp/~c109fE8GRZ:e496969:
title=Sec. 388
accessdate=2008-07-11
publisher=U.S.LibraryofCongress
date=2005-08-08
] There were various criticisms of the Act. [Grunwald, Michael and Juliet Eilperin. " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/29/AR2005072901128.html Energy Bill Raises Fears About Pollution, Fraud Critics Point to Perks for Industry] ." "Washington Post". July 30, 2005.] [" [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8870039/ Bush signs $12.3 billion energy bill into law] ." "MSNBC". Aug. 8, 2005.] One of the most controversial provisions of that Act was to change daylight saving time by four to five weeks, depending upon the year; [cite news|url=http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2005/07/26/dim_witted_proposal_for_daylight_time/|title=Dim-witted proposal for daylight time|work=Boston Globe|author=Alex Beam|date=2005-07-26] some scholars have questioned whether daylight saving results in a net energy savings, [cite paper|author=Ryan Kellogg; Hendrik Wolff|title=Does extending daylight saving time save energy? Evidence from an Australian experiment|version=CSEM WP 163|publisher=University of California Energy Institute|date=2007-01|url=http://www.ucei.berkeley.edu/PDF/csemwp163.pdf] and it creates the Year 2007 problem. It also directs a study for the development of oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands especially in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.cite web | publisher= Oil Shale and Tar Sands Leasing Programmatic EIS Information Center | url= http://ostseis.anl.gov/eis/what/index.cfm | title = What's in the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Leasing Programmatic EIS | accessdate=2007-07-10] The Act further sets Federal reliability standards regulating the electrical grid (done in response to the Blackout of 2003). [Ken Belsen and Matthew L. Wald, " ’03 Blackout Is Recalled, Amid Lessons Learned", "New York Times", August 13, 2008, found at [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/nyregion/14blackout.html?_r=1&oref=slogin NY Times website] . Accessed August 27, 2008.] [David Freedlander, "It could happen again: On fifth anniversary of blackout, nation still vulnerable", "A.M. N.Y.", August 12, 2008. See response at [http://www.amny.com/news/opinion/am-letters0815,0,1329107.story Letter to the Editor] , accessed August 27, 2008.] [Report, Energy and Commerce Committee, "Blackout 2003: How Did It Happen and Why? Full Committee on Energy and Commerce, September 4, 2003, found at [http://energycommerce.house.gov/reparchives/108/Hearings/09042003hearing1062/print.htm Energy and Commerce Committee website] . Accessed August 27, 2008.] There was also criticism of what was "not" included: the bill did not include provisions for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) even though some Republicans claim "access to the abundant oil reserves in ANWR would strengthen America's energy independence without harming the environment." [Knight, Peyton. " [http://www.nationalcenter.org/TSR111005.html Small Group of House Republicans Derails ANWR Drilling] ." Washington, DC: [http://www.nationalcenter.org/ The National Center for Public Policy Research] . November 10, 2005.]

Recent developments

Two recent Federal laws are the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, [ Pub.L. 110-140, 121 Stat. 1492 USPL110|140] and the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007. [("2007 Farm Bill"), Pub.L. 110-234, 122 Stat. 923 USPL|110|234.]

There has been much debate and discussion about the use of Federal laws to regulate energy. In fact, a whole area of jurisprudence, Law and economics, has developed from this debate. Today, this is more relevant that ever:

As the USA's oil runs out, and the nation is in an economic crisis, even more laws are likely in the near future. The Biomass Research and Development Board is expected to release a report in late 2008 about biomass as fuel. In August 2008, it was revealed that oil speculators had increased the volatility of the price of oil; Congressman John Dingell criticized the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for failing to scrutinize oil futures traders, in particular the Swiss company Vitol. [David Cho, "Sway of oil speculators revealed", "Washington Post", August 21, 2008, synidated at the "Albany Times Union", found at [http://timesunion.com/ASPStories/Story.asp?StoryID=713783&LinkFrom=RSS Albany Times Union website] . Accessed August 27, 2008.]

California law

The largest state in the United States, California has gone through a series of energy crises, and has reacted with several laws concerning energy.fact|date=August 2008

Massachusetts law

Massachusetts has an energy law. Governor Deval Patrick pushed for "clean energy initiatives" in the 2008 legislative session, calling it "one of the most productive in a long, long time." [Matt Viser, "Patrick touts clean energy, economic initiatives, "Boston Globe", August 5, 2008 found at [http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/08/patrick_touts_c.html Boston Globe website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.]

New Hampshire law

New Hampshire passed a new energy law, signed by Governor John Lynch, which "provides guidelines for residential wind energy systems.... such as height, noise, setbacks and aesthetics and outlines a process for input from neighbors." AP, "UNH student research leads to new wind energy law", "Boston Globe", July 23, 2008, found at [http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2008/07/23/unh_student_research_leads_to_new_wind_energy_law/ Boston Globe article on new New Hampshire energy law] . Accesssed August 21, 2008.] This was found necessary because a University of New Hampshire student, Laura Carpenter, found that "most communities had no ordinances or zoning rules that specifically address small residential wind turbines."

New York law

New York has an Energy Law. [N.Y. Energy Law § 1-101, found at [http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS New York State Legislature official web site] , go to "ENG", then "Article 1", finally "1-101 - Short title". Accessed August 6, 2008.] Under New York law, "energy" and "energy resources" are defined as:

The chief regulator is the "Commissioner" or "president" of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (also called NYSERDA). [N.Y. Energy Law § 1-103 (4), found at [http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS New York State Legislature official website] , go to "ENG", then "Article 1", finally "1-103 - Definitions". Accessed August 6, 2008.] [http://www.nyserda.org/About/default.asp NYSERDA official website About webpage] . Accessed August 6, 2008.] The board of directors of NYSERDA includes -- as a matter of law -- several utility insiders, as well as "ex officio" commissioners. [ [http://www.nyserda.org/about/board/default.asp NYSERDA official website Board of Directors webpage] . Accessed August 6, 2008.] Vincent DeIorio, a lawyer, is chairman of the board, [ [http://www.nyserda.org/About/Board/deiorio.asp NYSERDA official website Chairman's webpage] . Accessed August 6, 2008.] and Robert Callender has been acting President and CEO since Paul Tonko resigned to run for Congress in 2008. [ [http://www.nyserda.org/Press_Releases/2008/PressRelease20082504.asp NYSERDA press release] . Accessed August 26, 2008.] NYSERDA was created as a public benefit corporation under NY law. N.Y. Public Authorities Law §§ 1850 "", found at [http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS New York State Legislature official website] , go to "PBA", then "Article 8", finally "Title 9 - (1850 - 1883) NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY". Accessed August 6, 2008.] [http://www.nyserda.org/About/TITLE_9_NYSERDA.pdf NYSERDA law from its official website] (pdf document). Accessed August 6, 2008.]

Under New York law, both the New York Attorney General or a district attorney may prosecute alleged polluters who make oil spills. [Mark Fass, "Panel Finds D.A. Can Prosecute Polluter Under N.Y. Law", "New York Law Journal" (N.Y.L.J.), August 22, 2008, may be found at [http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PLL/2008_8_22 Bloglines website] or [http://www.law.com/jsp/nylj/PubArticleNY.jsp?hubtype=TopStories&id=1202423964488 N.Y.L.J. website] (Subscription Required). Citing "People v. Quadrozzi", No. 2006-065575 (2d dep't 2008), which cited N.Y. ECL §§ 71-0403 and 71-1933 (9), see [http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS NY Laws at the Assembly official website] , go to "ENV - Environmental Conservation", then "ARTICLE 71 - ENFORCEMENT". Links accessed August 27, 2008.] The state has enacted a number of recent laws to control carbon emissions. [ [http://assembly.state.ny.us/member_files/090/20070921/ website of Member of Assembly Sandy Galef] . Accessed August 27, 2008.]

Ohio law

Ohio has passed a new energy law, and is requiring utilities to meet regulatory goals for conservation. [AEP Ohio Meets Goal of New Ohio Energy Law by Filing Electric Security Plan Below Market Rates; Continues Lowest Rates in the State; Balanced and progressive plan demonstrates "AEP's Commitment to Ohio's Future", found at [http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/aep-ohio-meets-goal-new/story.aspx?guid=%7B7BBCE3DC-CC50-4393-90BC-CED9965F862E%7D&dist=hppr Market Watch website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.]

Texas law

Texas energy law remains the domain of a few law firms that represent utilities and independent providers. Oil, gas, and other energy resources are actually regulated by the powerful Texas Railroad Commission. [ [http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/ Texas Railroad Commission official website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.] It is the oldest such regulatory agency, having been created in 1891. [http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/about/index.html About the RRC Web page, on the Texas Railroad Commission official website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.] It "oversee [s] the Texas oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and the surface mining of coal."

Vermont law

The state of Vermont has a comprehensive law concerning energy and siting, Act 250.

Wyoming law

Wyoming is the top coal producer of the 50 states in the United States, and has significant oil and gas reserves, so its government and laws would naturally reflect an interest in energy production, especially fossil fuels.Press release, "UW Energy Research Diversifies", July 17, 2008, found at [http://www.uwyo.edu/news/showrelease.asp?id=24502 University of Wyoming official website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.] The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulates many aspects of oil, coal, and gas development in this resource-rich state. [ [http://wogcc.state.wy.us/ Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission official website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.] There is an annual state Gas Fair. [ [https://www.wyogasfair.org/WNGFA.htm Wyoming Natural Gas Fair Association official website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.] The University of Wyoming is well-known for its research on energy development. The University sponsored a symposium on coal gasification in 2007. [Press release, "School of Energy Resources Symposium Will Explore Coal Gasification in Wyoming", February 14, 2007, found at [http://www.uwyo.edu/news/showrelease.asp?id=13362 University of Wyoming official website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.] [Symposium agenda, "Coal Gasification: What Does It Mean for Wyoming?" found at [http://www.westernresearch.org/SERSymposia/coalgas4wy/index_files/Page312.htm Western Research of the University of Wyoming official website] . Accessed August 21, 2008.]

Canada

Canada has an extensive energy law, both through the confederation and the provinces, especially Alberta. [ [http://www.lexadin.nl/wlg/legis/nofr/oeur/lxwecan.htm Lexadin website] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.] [ [http://cirl.ca/CELS Canada Energy Law Service website] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.] [ [http://albertacanada.com/investlocate/1031.html Alberta Canada government website page on energy law] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.] These include:
* Alternative Fuels Act ( 1995, c. 20 ) [ [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showtdm/cs/A-10.7 Canada Department of Justice government website page on Alternative Fuels Act] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]
* Cooperative Energy Act ( 1980-81-82-83, c. 108 ) [ [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-41.5/index.html Canada Department of Justice government website page on Cooperative Energy Act] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]
* Energy Administration Act ( R.S., 1985, c. E-6 ) [ [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/E-6/index.html Canada Department of Justice government website page on Energy Administration Act] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]
* Energy Monitoring Act ( R.S., 1985, c. E-8 ) [ [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/E-8/index.html Canada Department of Justice government website page on Energy Monitoring Act] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]
* Nuclear Energy Act ( R.S., 1985, c. A-16 ) [ [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/A-16/index.html Canada Department of Justice government website page on Nuclear Energy Act] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]
* Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act ( R.S., 1985, c. O-7 ) [ [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/O-7/index.html Canada Department of Justice government website page on Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]
* Canada Petroleum Resources Act ( 1985, c. 36 (2nd Supp.) ) [ [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-8.5/index.html Canada Department of Justice government website page on Canada Petroleum Resources Act ( 1985, c. 36 (2nd Supp.) )] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]
* National Energy Board Act ( R.S., 1985, c. N-7 ) [ [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/N-7/index.html Canada Department of Justice government website page on National Energy Board Act ( R.S., 1985, c. N-7 )] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]
* Electricity and Gas Inspection Act ( R.S., 1985, c. E-4 ) [ [http://lois.justice.gc.ca/en/E-4/index.html Canada Department of Justice government website page on Electricity and Gas Inspection Act ( R.S., 1985, c. E-4 )] . Retrieved September 29, 2008.]

Russia

United Kingdom

European Union

Germany

Germany's Renewable Energy Law mandates the use of renewable energy through its taxes and tariffs. It promotes the development of renewable energy sources via a system of feed-in tariffs. It regulates the amount of energy generated by the producer and the type of renwable energy source. It also creates an incentive to encourage technological advancements and costs. [ [http://www.bmu.de/files/pdfs/allgemein/application/pdf/eeg_en.pdf English translation of EEG legislation] . Accessed August 2008.]

The German government has abandoned "its planned phase-out of nuclear energy to help rein in surging electricity prices and protect the environment, according to proposals drawn up byan energy taskforce under Economy Minister Michael Glos." [ [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601100&sid=aEeSfgPAenzk&refer=germany Bllomverg News story about German proposal] . Accessed August 12, 2008.] The German Green Party has opposed nuclear energy, as well as the market power of German utilities, claiming the "energy shortfall" has been artificially created. [Interview, "Green Party Energy Expert HÖHN: 'The Nuclear Industry Has Invented the Energy Shortfall'" Spiegel, found at [http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,569929,00.html Spiegel Online] . Accessed August 21, 2008.]

China

Africa

Uganda has adopted a new Atomic energy law, which it hopes "will boost technical cooperation between the country and the International Atomic Energy Agency," according to "a senior agency official" from that African country. [ [http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/641046 Uganda’S new atomic energy law, from New Vision (UK) website] . Accessed August 12, 2008.]

Australia

ee also

Energy topics

* Energy
* Conservation of energy
* Mass–energy equivalence
* Special relativity
* Energy form
* Energy conservation
* Energy density
* Energy economics
* Energy markets and energy derivatives
* Introduction to entropy
* Entropy (energy dispersal)

pecific laws and policies

* Atomic Energy Basic Law
* Competition law
* Correlative rights doctrine
* "Cuius est solum eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos"
* Easement
* Energy policy of the European Union
* Energy Charter Treaty
* Energy Manager Training
* Energy Information Administration
* Energy Star
* Nuclear energy policy

Academic think-tanks and associations

* Alliance to Save Energy
* Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy
* Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership
* Université Laval
* University of Wyoming

Renewable energy sources

* Geothermal power
* Hydro One
* Intermittent power source
* Renewable energy commercialization
* SSME energy and power relationships
* Wind power

References

External links

* [http://www.cailaw.org/iel/about.html The Institute for Energy Law website]
* [http://www.abanet.org/environ/ Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources of the American Bar Association website]
* [http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/energy Energy law at Cornell Law School website]
* [http://www.eba-net.org/journal.php Energy Law Journal website]
* [http://renewableenergylaw.blogspot.com/ The Renewable Energy Law Blog]
* [http://windpowerlaw.wordpress.com/ Wind Power Law Blog]
* [http://jwelb.oxfordjournals.org/ The Journal of World Energy Law, the peer-reviewed official journal of the AIPN, website]
* [http://www.energylawnet.com/ Energy Law Net, an interactive website for energy lawyers]
* [http://www.pace.edu/page.cfm?doc_id=23241 Pace University Energy & Climate Center website]
* [http://www.findlaw.com/01topics/42energy/index.html United States energy law, from FindLaw.com website]
* [http://corporate.findlaw.com/industry/energy/index.html Energy industry listings for United States, from FindLaw.com website]


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