Consider electrification, and you’ll quickly understand the complexity of energy and the environment.
Access to reliable electricity correlates with good public health and economic success, yet nearly 25 percent of the world’s population lives without electricity. Another third has limited access. The 600 million of us who have abundant electricity keep finding ways to use more. It’s no wonder that demand for electricity is increasing at a staggering rate.
Energy generation and consumption, however, is also the world’s largest source of pollution and cause of environmental degradation. Energy policy has become the single most important influence on environmental protection. Conversely, efforts to protect and manage the environment pose the greatest constraint on energy.
Vermont Law School courses and clinics consider the relationship between energy and the environment in the context of its legal, scientific, commercial and human implications. Further expertise is gained through engagement with the Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE) on real world energy law and policy issues.
Institute for Energy and the Environment is a national and world energy policy
resource with an advanced energy law and policy curriculum focused on the
energy policy of the future. The institute serves as a center for graduate
research on energy issues with an environmental awareness and recently
established a year-round student-staffed energy clinic, which works on legal
and business models for community energy development. Students learn how to
work with and improve America’s legal system in order to help humanity meet the
challenge of energy issues. The IEE is working on client-focused projects exploring energy security and justice, barriers to the integration of renewable energy resources, how smart grid technologies can enhance both efficiency and expand the electrification of transportation, and data privacy issues related to customer solar and energy efficiency information.