This guide describes resources useful for researching Oil & Gas Law, Energy and Natural Resources Law, with particular focus on resources available in print or online at the Donald E. Pray Law Library.
The Department of Energy's mission is " to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions." DOE regulations are published in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Two agencies within the DOE are listed below.
"NNSA is responsible for the management and security of the nation’s nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation, and naval reactor programs. It also responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad. Additionally, NNSA federal agents provide safe and secure transportation of nuclear weapons and components and special nuclear materials along with other missions supporting the national security."
The mission of the DOI is to protect America’s natural resources and heritage, honor America's cultures and tribal communities, and supply the energy to power America's future.
Three bureaus or agencies within the DOI are listed below.
The BLM manages federal lands, including Indian lands, many of which contain energy resources. The BLM "reviews and approves permits and licenses from companies to explore, develop, and produce both renewable and non renewable energy" on Federal lands. BLM is involved with solar, biomass, wind, geothermal, oil, gas, coal, and renewable energy sources, as well as oil shale and tar sands, rights of way, electric transmission facilities and energy corridors, and rights of way. BLMregulations are in Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
IBLA is "an appellate review body that exercises the delegated authority of the Secretary of the Interior to issue final decisions for the Department of the Interior. Its administrative judges decide appeals from bureau decisions relating to the use and disposition of public lands and their resources, mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf, and the conduct of surface coal mining operations under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act."
The Bureau of Reclamation constructs dams, power plants, and canals, including the Hoover Dam; provides water wholesale to approximately 31 million people, including farmers; produces hydroelectric power, and manages water resources. The mission of Reclamation is "to assist in meeting the increasing water demands of the West while protecting the environment and the public's investment in these structures".
Replacing the Federal Power Commission, FERC's mission is to "assist consumers in obtaining reliable, efficient and sustainable energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means". FERC regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also "reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects". FERC regulations are in Title 18 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
The NRC is an independent agency responsible for ensuring the safe use of radioactive materials "for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and the environment". The NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants and "other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements". NRC regulations are in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
The mission of this agency is to help "develop and advance policies that encourage energy exploration and production as well as responsible environmental stewardship". The Secretary establishes energy and environmental policy, oversees several state energy and environment-related commissions and boards, and serves as the Governor's representative to many organizations.
The mission of the IOGCC is "to promote the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment". The Commission "advocates for environmentally-sound ways to increase the supply of American energy," and helps states with regulatory practices.