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Changala '13 Co-Authors Study on Oil, Gas, Wind Decommissiong Regulations

February 15, 2012

Vermont Law School's Danielle Changala '13 recently co-authored a paper titled "Comparative Analysis of Conventional Oil and Gas and Wind Project Decommissioning Regulations on Federal, State, and County Lands" in The Electricity Journal.Image of oil drilling

"As the growth of renewable energy continues, it is imperative that adequate funds are secured to successfully decommission projects at the end of their useful life," according to the study, whose co-authors included Professor Michael Dworkin, director of VLS's Institute for Energy and the Environment. "Additionally, it is important to ensure that regulatory decommissioning obligations do not disproportionately burden any generation resource.

Image of wind millsThe study concludes: "A comparison of federal, state, and county decommissioning regulations for oil and gas extraction sites and wind energy projects reveals that, generally, regulatory requirements are wholly insufficient to adequately secure the costs of decommissioning.... Accordingly, equitable regulatory burdens are necessary for all energy activities so that each resource is subject to environmental accountability and proportional regulatory burdens. Creating a level playing field amongst energy resources is imperative so that resource selection amongst competing resources is not disproportionately burdened by differences or inadequacies in regulatory systems."

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