Professor Jacobs's work focuses on the effects of administrative process and agency design on energy law and policy. Today’s energy system faces pressures from rapid technological and environmental change. What was once considered an insulated, technocratic field is also rapidly becoming a key arena for the expression of public values including equity and environmental protection. These various pressures require a fundamental re-thinking of the way that we generate, distribute, and use energy. They also require that our energy regulatory system adapt alongside physical systems. Methodologically, I use detailed case studies to identify ways in which the structures, processes, and doctrines of energy law may be ill-adapted to the realities of the current moment.
LAWS 5205 - Legislation and Regulation
Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
Introduces lawmaking in the modern administrative state. Examines the way Congress and administrative agencies adopt binding rules of law (statutes and regulations, respectively) and the way that implementing institutions, courts and administrative agencies, interpret and apply these laws. Considers the structure of the modern administrative state, the incentives that influence the behavior of the various actors, and the legal rules that help to structure the relationships among Congress, the agencies and the courts.
LAWS 6722 - Energy Law and Regulation
Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
Provides an introduction to energy law and regulation in the United States. Covers basic principles of rate regulation and public utilities, the division of jurisdiction between federal and state governments and the key federal statutes and regulatory regimes governing natural gas, electricity and nuclear power. Focuses on the basic federal frameworks for natural gas and electricity regulation, with an emphasis on understanding the messy and uneven transition to wholesale competition in these sectors and, in the electricity context, the experience with state restructuring and retail competition.
LAWS 7202 - Environmental Law
Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2021
Examines and analyzes important federal pollution control statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, Solid Waste Act, and Superfund. Considers related economic theory, ethics and policy issues.