Energy, Environment, and National Security: Law and Policy

Credit Hours: 2

Energy issues have framed recent international security crises: the OPEC oil shock of 1973-74, both Gulf Wars, 9/11 and Afghanistan, Russian gas threats to Europe (including the Georgia invasion), China’s scramble for energy resources, the financial imbalance caused by oil imports, the threats posed by ISIS and its control of substantial oil revenues, and the security risks posed by climate change. Yet, US and EU energy policies have been driven primarily not by international security issues but by domestic law on traditional pollution control (including the consequences of the fracking revolution), private property protection and antitrust. This course will examine how these domestic legal and regulatory regimes have shaped energy policy internationally in ways that multilateral security entities like NATO and the UN cannot reach. The course will focus primarily on the EU and US, examining how their domestic regulatory differences affect international energy and climate policies (including fracking), often in unintended ways. It will also examine the implications of climate regulation, energy security policies, gas and oil export restrictions, and financial issues (most of the US current account deficit is due to oil imports theoretically displaceable by domestic alternatives that include cars and trucks powered by electricity, CNG and biofuels). The course necessarily requires considerable study of the Clean Air Act as the source of the US’ primary energy policy, and of aspects of administrative law as it effects the execution of that power by the EPA.