Energy Law Update

GW Law’s Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) welcomed its new advisory board this spring. The board, composed of alumni and other prominent energy practitioners, provides financial support and strategic direction for SEI. 

Through the board’s contributions and other generous alumni gifts, SEI is backing a new international comparative energy law course, GW’s Journal of Energy and Environmental Law, and a newly established Energy Law Advisory Board Scholarship. The first scholarship was awarded in May to Adrienne Thompson (see page 19), who will assist in implementing the SEI research agenda. 

With the arrival of Professor Emily Hammond and the addition of a new comparative energy law course, GW Law is redesigning several of its energy courses. Pending curriculum committee review, it is anticipated that by the 2015–16 academic year students will have nine energy law classes to choose from plus a practicum course in which students work with nonprofit organizations to write papers addressing real-world issues. 

SEI’s research agenda continues to move forward. Through a collaborative stakeholder process, the e21 Initiative is developing alternative business and regulatory models for Minnesota and its investor-owned utilities to better enable the state to meet its sustainability goals and adapt to evolving consumer expectations. e21 is a joint project of Great Plains Institute, the Center for Energy and the Environment, and SEI. 

In collaboration with Berkeley Law, SEI is developing a proposal—for which it will seek grant funding—to identify improved processes for integrated resource planning for the electric sector. SEI is also addressing the legal challenges of implementing the U.S. EPA’s newly proposed greenhouse gas reduction targets for power plants with a proposed carbon adder to be administered through the existing wholesale electric markets.

SEI’s Donna Attanasio is leading an effort by the Energy Bar Association to develop a report on energy law education for issue next year. These efforts will help ensure that GW Law, with its 30-plus- year tradition of teaching energy law, remains at the forefront of the field.

For more information about SEI visit