Many of the negative externalities of energy development—including fossil fuel extraction and renewable energy development—fall primarily at the local level, whereas the benefits accrue more broadly. Yet local governments in the United States have varied regulatory authority over this development, in part because state governments increasingly preempt local control—particularly in the area of oil and gas. This lecture explores alternatives to local regulation that may be more palatable to state governments wary of local control, including limited local taxation authority and local government-industry negotiation. A panel discussion addresses how these tools might be beneficial complements to local regulation for reasons of political economy and federalism concerns, and for more practical purposes—such as the effectiveness of these tools on the ground.
About the Speaker
Hannah Wiseman is a Kleinman Center Visiting Scholar and Attorneys' Title Professor and Associate Dean for Environmental Programs at the Florida State University College of Law. She teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, oil and gas law, environmental law, and land use. Her scholarship spans these areas, focusing on multi-level governance challenges associated with energy and other forms of development. She has published articles in the NYU Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Duke Law Journal (co-authored), and Environmental Science & Technology, among other journals, and she is a co-author of the textbook Energy, Economics, and the Environment and other energy books.
About the Panelists
R. Brent Alderfer is CEO and Founder of Community Energy, Inc. Under his leadership the company led the introduction of first wind and then solar generation at scale in new markets across the U.S. Prior to Community Energy, Alderfer served as a Utility Commissioner on the Colorado Public Utility Commission and chaired the Energy Resources Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners during the restructuring of electric markets.
John M. Smith, Esq. is a member, partner, and co-founder of the law firm of Smith Butz, LLC in Washington County, Pennsylvania. He focuses his practice in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Zoning and Land Use Law, Municipal Law matters, and Energy Law. He is at the forefront of Gas Lease Negotiations, Local Zoning regulations on drilling, and the Litigation of Ownership of oil and gas rights.