12th Annual Schultz Lecture in Energy

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Date(s) - 10/17/2019
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Wolf Law (Wittemeyer Courtroom)


Energy as a Locally Desirable Land Use

Professor Hannah Wiseman
Attorneys’ Title Professor and Associate Dean for Environmental Programs
Florida State University College of Law

Thursday, October 17th
5:30 p.m. 
Wolf Law Building


Energy as a Locally Desirable Land Use

Energy generation is a classic example of a locally undesirable land use (LULU). Everyone needs energy, but many residents fervently oppose proposals to build a wind farm on a local mountaintop or hydraulically fracture a gas well near their neighborhood. The response is therefore typically a “not in my back yard,” or NIMBY, argument. But changes in technology, markets, and the law are making energy different from other LULUs. These changes allow communities to make more choices about the types of energy they prefer and to better address concerns about undesirable energy development within their locality. From a technological perspective, advances in energy storage and distributed (on-site) energy generation mean that large generating equipment and transmission lines can sometimes be avoided in places where there is strong opposition to these land uses. Technological changes such as horizontal drilling also allow oil and gas companies to locate miles from the target formation, thus avoiding certain surface locations. (Pipelines are still a challenge, though.) In terms of markets, energy development is moving towards economically competitive distributed solar and mid-scale renewable generation coupled with battery storage—also aided by subsidies and mandates. Finally, a range of legal solutions, such as community choice aggregation, updated building and zoning codes, locally-applicable taxes on hydraulically fractured wells, and bonding requirements increasingly empower communities to better align energy development with residents’ preferences, or, at minimum, to better address the damages of energy development.

Professor Hannah Wiseman

Hannah Wiseman received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and her JD from Yale Law School. She clerked for the Honorable Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals before beginning her academic career. She served as a teaching and research fellow at the University of Texas School of Law for two years and as an assistant professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law before joining the Florida State University College of Law faculty, where she is currently the Attorneys’ Title Professor and the Associate Dean for Environmental Programs. Professor Wiseman has published articles on land use and energy law, including renewable energy and hydraulic fracturing, in the NYU Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Duke Law Journal (co-authored), Iowa Law Review (co-authored), Boston University Law Review, and Colorado Law Review, among other journals, and she is a co-author of the textbook Energy, Economics, and the Environment.