Texas Energy Law

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE 5:55 - 7:45 pm TNH 3.126

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Floating take-home exam (administered by Faculty Coordinator)
Midterm exam


This course divides the semester into roughly four parts.  In the first quarter of the semester, we start by examining oil production, globally, within OPEC and OPEC+, the US, and particularly in Texas.  We will discuss the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC), its constitutional and statutory underpinnings, along with noteworthy Texas Supreme Ct. cases involving the RRC and significant oil, natural gas, and pipeline-related issues .  We finish this section by examing several interesting RRC rules and orders.  

The second quarter of the semester explores energy delivery in Texas, particularly regulated transmission and distribution of natural gas and electricity. We examine the elements of a successful rate case and review numerous cases examining Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), and RRC treatment of various elements of a rate case. We'll also examine the competitive electric market in ERCOT, and discuss several court cases arising from the events of Winter Storm Uri.

In the third quarter, we will discuss renewable energy development in Texas. We'll focus on transmission development in the context of the CREZ (competitive renewable energy zones). We'll also discuss the potential for geothermal energy development in Texas.

The final quarter of the semester will focus on federal cases related to energy and the environment.  In particular, we will examine the role of Chevron deference (Chevron v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837, 1984),  as interpreted by past and present Supreme Courts, in federal agency (i.e. EPA) decision making.  

We will occasionally have guest lecturers from the RRC, PUCT, and ERCOT. 

Your performance in this course will be evaluated on the basis of an open book, take home, mid-term exam (administered over spring break), a closed book, take home, final exam (administered during finals weeks, with 24 hours to compete), and in-class active participation; the percentages are 30%, 60% and 10%, respectively.  There is no textbook for this class.  Reading assignments and discussion material will be posted on Canvas in advance of the pertinent class. You should assume that the reading requirement is moderate.  No more than two absences will be allowed (without express prior approval of the instructor.)  

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
04/08/2024 Exam information updated
03/29/2024 Exam information updated