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December 1 | 9:00 – 10:00AM CT

Troy Rule
Arizona State University—Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

On behalf of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center at the University of Houston Law Center, we are delighted to announce the forthcoming events we’ll host in the frame of our virtual lecture series on Energy Transition and Climate Governance, sponsored by the EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, and spearheaded by Dr. Aubin Nzaou.  

 Working draft available here: 


Pressures related to the sustainable energy transition are increasingly prompting electric utilities to enter markets where they were never intended to compete. In recent years, some utilities have started offering residential rooftop solar installations or home energy storage systems to their customers with the promise of greater monthly savings than nonutility solar businesses can provide. Other utilities are building and operating public electric vehicle charging stations that directly compete with stations owned by nonutility companies. A few utilities are even making aggressive forays into community solar energy markets and pushing out private solar businesses. Fixated on short-term policy goals, many utility regulators are authorizing these incursions into private competitive markets even though such activities lie outside utilities’ original “mission” of providing grid delivered electricity service. Unfortunately, allowing utilities—with their state guaranteed rates of return, legal protections against most competition, and access to artificially low-cost capital—to enter competitive private markets is rarely cost justifiable in the long run. Because of their state-provided advantages, utilities’ presence in such markets threatens to weaken competition, decelerate innovation, and ultimately inflate prices in affected industries in ways that slow the nation’s transition to a sustainable, carbon-free energy system. In light of these challenges, there is a growing need for statutory and regulatory rules that more clearly limit the scope of electric utilities’ permissible activities and expressly prohibit utilities from directly or indirectly venturing into competitive nonutility markets. By keeping electric utilities within appropriate bounds, such laws could better safeguard the competitive market forces needed to continue driving the sustainable energy movement  


Troy A. Rule is Professor of Law and the Joseph Feller Memorial Chair in Law & Sustainability at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 2005, where he was a John M. Olin Student Fellow in Law & Economics, and practiced law for four years at K&L Gates LLP in Seattle before entering the legal academy. Rule is the author of Solar, Wind and Land: Conflicts in Renewable Energy Development (2014), Renewable Energy: Law, Policy & Practice (2018, 2d ed. 2021), and The Law of Property (2019) (with D. Whitman, A. Burkhart & W. Freyermuth). Rule has also published more than a dozen legal academic articles, and his op-eds have appeared in such newspapers as the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. In recent years, he has worked on policy research projects funded under the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Defense.  He received ASU’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016.  


We have a remarkable series planned for the rest of the year featuring domestic and international speakers.

Dec. 8, 2021 | 10-11 am ET
Robert Percival
University of Maryland—Carey School of Law

Dec. 15, 2021 |9-10 AM CT
Prof. Tibisay Morgandi  
Assistant Professor of Law—Queen Mary University of London School of Law 

Jan. 20, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Michael Livermore
University of Virginia—School of Law

Feb. 2022
Jonathan Gilligan
Vanderbilt University—Law School

Feb. 17, 2022
Cymie Payne
Rutgers University—Rutgers Law School

Mar. 10, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Daniel Magraw
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Mar. 22, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Michael Vandenbergh
Vanderbilt University—Law School).

Apr. 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Daniel E. Walters
Penn State Law

May 2022
Don Elliot
Yale University—Yale Law School

Jun. 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Cary Coglianese
University of Pennsylvania—Carey Law School

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