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Environmental Law and Energy Infrastructure

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[Smart Grid - National Research Energy Laboratory]


- Overview

Environmental law and energy law work together to ensure that energy is supplied without disruption while also protecting the environment from pollution. 

Environmental law focuses on ensuring that the process of creating energy does not create too much pollution. This includes regulating emissions from vehicles, factories, and power plants to protect air and water quality. 

Energy law focuses on ensuring that energy is supplied without disruption at an affordable price.

Environmental and energy law also attempts to bridge the gap between legal developments and the practical, scientific, and technical considerations of environmental problems. 

Green infrastructure is a range of systems and technologies that enable a more sustainable way of living. The Energy Infrastructure Act of 2021-2022 established new programs or expanded existing programs to support energy infrastructure, including the electric grid and nuclear energy.


- Environmental Law

Protecting the environment is the right thing to do for people and the planet, and it's the law. Environmental law regulates environmental protection, from air and water quality to waste management, pollution, chemical safety, and hunting and fishing. Legal cases that alter the physical and political landscape of the environment emerge every year.

Environmental legal issues present ongoing compliance challenges for all businesses. Regulators around the world continue to impose new and stricter requirements on businesses to meet higher environmental standards. This is driven by a number of global trends, such as increased chemical regulation, product stewardship and environmental responsibility, as well as public concerns about climate change and sustainability. 

In the U.S., the federal government appears poised to reverse this trend by removing environmental regulation, ushering in an era of regulatory uncertainty and patchwork regulation among states.

Environmental law is a collective term covering all aspects of law that provide protection for the environment. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes is now strongly influenced by principles of environmental law, focusing on the management of specific natural resources, such as forests, minerals or fisheries. Other fields, such as environmental impact assessment, may not fit neatly into either category, but are still an important part of environmental law.


- Energy Law

Energy law includes legal provisions for oil, gasoline and "extraction taxes". Energy law practice includes site selection, extraction contracts, acquisition and title permitting of oil and gas beneath soil before exploration and post-capture, and the adjudication of those rights. 

Energy law is the area of ​​law concerned with the creation, enforcement and challenging of laws regulating the use of energy. Laws exist that regulate the creation and harvesting of energy. 

There are laws that impose taxes on energy use. Both energy companies and the public must comply with energy laws related to the sale, use and conservation of energy resources. 

Many people don’t realize how much energy laws and regulations impact their daily lives. You pay energy tax every time you add gasoline to your vehicle. When you sell your vehicle or renew your license plate, you'll pay a fee to the state where you live. When you use electricity in your home, you are using energy from a code-compliant power plant to run your business.


- Energy Infrastructure

Energy infrastructure is a system of facilities and equipment used for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, and the production of fossil fuels. It also includes oil and natural gas pipelines, oil refineries, and other transportation elements. 

Energy infrastructure is the backbone of society and the economy, but it has historically been the root of many environmental and social problems in the United States. For example, without a stable electricity supply, health and welfare are threatened, and virtually all economic activity depends on a reliable electricity to function.


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