Energy Law and Policy Course

EPIC offers a three (3) credit Energy Law and Policy course every fall, which focuses on the electricity and natural gas industries. Download sample course syllabus (pdf).

Course Description

Energy is the lifeblood of the modern economy. Its production, conversion, and consumption affect nearly every aspect of our lives. Recognizing the increasing importance of energy and its role in global climate change, this course introduces students to the legal, regulatory, and environmental concepts relevant to the changing electricity and natural gas industries in the U.S. The course examines the historical and legal origins of energy regulation and ratemaking and provides an introduction to the natural gas and electrical industries, including basic terms and concepts, regulatory trends and emerging issues. The course will explore the rise of competition in both industries and will cover California’s energy crisis of 2000-2001 and its aftermath, and trends in renewable and distributed electricity generation. Students also will examine the rapidly evolving regulation of greenhouse gas emissions in California and the United States.

International Energy Regulation Course

EPIC offers a 3-credit International Energy Law and Policy each Spring semester that provides an overview of international law perspectives of global energy regulation.

Course Description

Acknowledging the importance of energy on a global scale, this contemporary topic will introduce students to international legal principles (sovereignty, territoriality, principles of compensation, liability etc) and relevant treaties, especially the Energy Charter Treaty, that govern the interaction between states and other potential subjects of international law relevant to energy. We will explore the agreements/contracts/treaties and negotiations between states (public) and multinationals (private) in the exploration, supply of, and investment in energy resources. The course will examine the role of major players in energy resources including international organizations in the energy sector, such as OPEC, the OECD, the IEA, the UN, the EU as well as NGOs. International energy investment disputes are most often resolved by arbitration as the preferred mode, with ICSID the forum of choice. International energy disputes can also be environmental and human rights disputes, litigated in international courts and national courts. While using oil, natural gas and nuclear power as examples for the course, we will look toward the future and evaluate the international legal and policy (regulatory) issues facing the development and expansion of renewable energy, such as biofuels.

See the USD School of Law Course Information site for more information on class schedules and registration. 


Energy Policy Initiatives Center
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (619) 260-4589
Fax: (619) 260-4753