Electricity 101: Regulatory Foundations and Contemporary Challenges for the Energy Transition

  • a Virtual Setting
  • Tuesday, April 27, 2021


 ALEXANDRA B. KLASS is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. She teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, natural resources law, environmental law, tort law, and property law. Her recent scholarly work, published in many of the nation’s leading law journals, addresses regulatory challenges to integrating more renewable energy into the nation’s electric transmission grid, siting and eminent domain issues surrounding interstate electric transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines, and applications of the public trust doctrine to modern environmental law challenges. She is a co-author of Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing, 2d ed. 2018) (with Davies, Osofsky, Tomain, and Wilson); The Practice and Policy of Environmental Law (Foundation Press, 4th ed. 2017) (with Ruhl, Salzman, and Nagle); Energy Law: Concepts and Insights (Foundation Press 2d ed. 2020) (with Hannah Wiseman); and Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases (Aspen, 4th ed. 2018) (with Klein, Cheever, Birdsong, and Biber). Prior to her teaching career, Professor Klass was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis, where she specialized in environmental law and land use litigation.


SHARON JACOBS is an Associate Professor and the John H. Schultz Energy and Natural Resources Law Fellow at Colorado Law School. She is also a board member of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment. She was previously a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and an associate in the energy and environmental regulatory groups at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C. Professor Jacobs's research focuses on the impact of regulatory structure and process on policy outcomes in energy and environmental law at the federal and state levels. Recent projects include work on the separation of powers between energy agencies; the treatment of dissenting opinions in energy regulation; and methods of adapting existing legal constructs to new actors in electricity markets. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, and Iowa Law Review, among other publications. She teaches Environmental Law, Energy Law, Administrative Law, Legislation and Regulation, and related courses. Professor Jacobs is also one of the founding members of Energy Tradeoffs, a website that publishes scholarly treatments of the energy transition and fosters nuanced, constructive dialogue around that transition.



UMA OUTKA is the William R. Scott Law Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. She works at the intersection of energy law and environmental law. Her scholarship explores the legal context for the low-carbon energy transition, with particular interests in energy and environmental justice, renewable energy, and electricity regulation as it evolves to accommodate a clean, modern electric grid. Outka joined the KU Law faculty in 2011 and assumed the role of Associate Dean for Faculty in 2019. She is an Affiliate Faculty member of KU's Environmental Studies Program, Center for Environmental Policy, and Institute for Social and Policy Research. Her scholarship has appeared in book chapters and law journals, including Vanderbilt Law Review, Ecology Law Quarterly, Wake Forest University Law Review, and the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. This work has earned her a number of distinctions - she was selected as the University of Utah's Stegner Center Young Scholar (2018), delivered the Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law at the Vermont Law School (2017), and her article, State Lands in Modern Public Land Law, was recognized as one of the five best works of environmental scholarship in 2017. In recognition of her scholarly record, she was named the William R. Scott Law Professor in 2019.





SHELLEY WELTON is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Her research focuses on how climate change is transforming energy and environmental law and governance. Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the California Law ReviewUCLA Law ReviewColumbia Law ReviewMichigan Law Review, New York University Law ReviewUniversity of Colorado Law Review, and Harvard Environmental Law Review, among other journals. At the University of South Carolina, she teaches Administrative Law, Energy Law, Environmental Law and Policy, and Climate Change Law. Prior to academia, Professor Welton worked as the Deputy Director of Columbia Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. She also clerked for Judge David Trager of the Eastern District of New York and Judge Allyson Duncan of the Fourth Circuit. She received her Ph.D. in Law from Yale Law School, her J.D. from NYU School of Law, a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.