This 3 credit hour seminar will focus on issues and problems associated with “decarbonizing” (reducing or eliminating fossil fuels from) the American energy system. We will explore various plans that propose relatively rapid, deep decarbonization of the electricity sector, including those proposed by the states of California and New York, “100% renewable” cities like Aspen, CO and Georgetown, TX, as well as academic proposals for rapid deep decarbonization. We will also look plans to decarbonize the transportation sector, including plans by European cities and nations to eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles within their borders within the next few decades. The seminar will meet weekly, with the bulk of the student’s grade based upon an individual research paper.
There are no prerequisites for this seminar, but, students who have taken one or more of the following classes will have an easier time with the readings: Regulating Energy Production (Spence), Texas Energy Law (Smitherman), or Regulating Energy Markets (Spence).