Oil and Gas Law Seminar
This seminar studies the law and policy related to hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”), focusing especially on the principles of oil and gas law, local government law, and environmental law most applicable to fracking. The seminar explores: the principles of oil and gas law specifying when oil and gas are appropriated; whether and how fracking challenges traditional principles of trespass; what principles of tort law would govern if fracking were to contaminate drinking water and there were no other legal authority regulating liability; whether local governments can exclude or regulate fracking within their boundaries consistent with state oil regulation and home rule principles; and federal safety and environmental regulations applicable to fracking and its effects on drinking water. Students who take the seminar are expected to write a paper on some topic covered in the class. Students will be graded primarily on the final version of the written paper but also on class participation and an oral presentation and defense of the paper.