Fall 2017
5397 Environmental Law in Oil & Gas - HESTER- 25947

Professor(s): Tracy Hester (DIRECTOR/SUPERVISOR )

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law 

Time: 2:30p-4:00p  MW  Location: 144  BLB

Course Outline: Even with petroleum and natural gas' enormous importance to our modern economy and lifestyle, hydrocarbon development and use remain tightly intertwined with environmental law and liabilities. For every inspiring engineering marvel in oil field development, hydraulic fracturing, and deep sea drilling, a counterbalancing memory arises of the oil-slicked shores of the Gulf Coast, the catastrophe of the Exxon Valdez, and growing fears over climate change caused by fossil fuel development and use. Simply put, a lawyer advising oil and gas interests (or opposing them) simply cannot provide reliable legal advice without an understanding of the environmental limits and liabilities accompanying hydrocarbon development.

This course will explore environmental issues in the oil and gas industry from various perspectives, including the following:

1. the landowners directly impacted by oil-field contamination;

2. the oil and gas companies;

3. the regulatory agencies and legislatures charged with protecting the environment and the general public; and

4. non-governmental organizations who work for protection of the environment.

This class is not an advanced course, and you do not need to have taken Environmental Law or Oil & Gas Law (although some educational or practical background can be useful). We will not review environmental laws in detail, but will instead seek to understand the environmental issues and practices that affect (or are caused by) the oil and gas industry. Our focus is on practice, real-world application of these legal principles and strategies that you can use to represent stakeholders. We will also examine techniques used to create, comply and enforce environmental laws and regulatory requirements.

One of this class' main goals is to improve your ability to be a valued and effective team member of your current or future environmental clients. Some of those clients may be your friends and family that have environmental issues with one or more of the millions of oil and gas wells drilling in the United States. We will focus on U.S. environmental laws as a result, but we may digress in class discussions to the development of environmental law in other oil and gas producing countries.

Course Syllabus:

Course Notes:   No textbook will be assigned.

Prerequisites:  Graduate students from other colleges welcome.

First Day Assignments: None.

Final Exam Schedule: Take home exam      

This course will have:
Exam: Take-home Final

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type:

Bar Course: No

Course Materials (4/13/2017 9:41:13 AM)

No book required for this course