Energy Regulations and Compliance Lawyer in Oklahoma


If you or your company is in the business of producing, transporting, or using energy resources, you must comply with extensive federal and state rules and regulations. Adding to this complex interplay are private and public interests. An error, oversight, or just about any misstep can lead to legal action and irreparable harm to a company's reputation. 

At Hayes Legal Solutions, our energy regulatory lawyer in Oklahoma advises and represents clients who are regulated by these and other related laws. Contact us at 405-635-5578 to schedule a Free 15 minute exploratory call and learn more about our energy regulatory legal services in Oklahoma.

Energy Compliance in Oklahoma

Laws regulating the energy industry are multi-layered and complex. Two levels of energy compliance exist: (1) the federal level; and (2) the state level. 

At the Federal level, the energy industry is primarily regulated by several agencies, like the:

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which regulates electric utilities and non-utility generators, interstate natural gas pipelines, oil pipelines, and non-Federal hydroelectric projects
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which licenses nuclear power plants and supervises their safety
  • Department of Energy (DOE), which sets appliance efficiency standards and authorizes imports and exports of natural gas and exports of electricity
  • Department of Transportation (DOT), which sets fuel economy standards for motor vehicles and regulates natural gas and oil pipeline safety
  • Department of Interior (DOI), which superintends energy development on Federal lands including the Outer Continental Shelf

At the State level, State public utility commissions regulate electricity and natural gas service to end-users. State regulators also often review siting of major power plants and transmission lines.

At Hayes Legal Solutions, PLLC, our energy compliance lawyer in Oklahoma will provide many services, like:

  • Participating in administrative proceedings before Federal and State regulatory agencies
  • Pursuing judicial review of regulatory orders (where necessary)
  • Counseling clients on the application of energy regulatory law to their businesses and projects
  • Assisting clients with related compliance, audit, and enforcement matters.

Large companies are not the only businesses affected by energy regulations and enforcement, but so are mid to small-sized companies. To maintain and remain in compliance, comprehensive legal counsel is necessary. 

Companies Regulated by Federal and State Energy Laws

All companies that handle energy in any capacity and for any purpose must comply with local, state, and federal environmental laws and energy regulations. These companies include but are not limited to the following:

  • Transmission infrastructure
  • Solar power
  • Wind power
  • Climate change
  • Electric storage
  • Electric vehicles
  • Hydrogen and renewable fuels
  • Natural gas, LNG and petroleum products
  • Energy efficiency and demand response
  • Conventional fossil fuel generation

Regulated entities can invest, manufacture, develop, produce, or otherwise operate energy-related products or services.

Key Provisions of U.S. Energy Law

Energy law and regulations are extensive and interrelated. Here is a summary of the most important provisions we address when representing and counseling our clients.

Federal Regulation of Energy Resources

Federal energy law is primarily governed by the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. § 7101 et seq.) and the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. § 791a et seq.). The Department of Energy Organization Act establishes the Department of Energy (DOE) and sets forth its mission to promote the efficient use of energy and enhance national security. The Federal Power Act regulates the sale of electricity in interstate commerce and grants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the authority to regulate the transmission and sale of electric energy in interstate commerce.

State Regulation of Energy Resources

While federal law provides a comprehensive framework for regulating energy resources, states also play a key role in energy law. State energy laws can govern the regulation of in-state energy production, as well as the permitting and construction of energy facilities. Additionally, state public utility commissions can regulate the retail sale of energy within their jurisdiction.

Environmental Regulations

Energy production and use can have significant environmental impacts. To mitigate these impacts, energy law includes a range of environmental regulations aimed at protecting the environment and public health. Some of the key environmental regulations in energy law include the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.), the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.), and the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq.).

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

In recent years, there has been a growing focus on promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. Key provisions of energy law in this area include the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L. No. 109-58, 119 Stat. 594) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115). These laws provide incentives and support for the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies and the improvement of energy efficiency in homes, buildings, and transportation.

Key Cases in U.S. Energy Law

Energy law in the United States is a complex and ever-evolving field that encompasses a range of legal issues related to the production, transportation, and use of energy resources. This area of law is shaped by federal and state regulations, as well as private and public interests, and has been shaped by a number of landmark cases that have helped to define the boundaries of energy law and the role of the courts in this area. 

  • United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144 (1938). One of the earliest and most important cases in U.S. energy law is United States v. Carolene Products Co. This landmark case established the "footnote four" doctrine, which established the principle that courts should give greater scrutiny to regulations that implicate constitutional rights, such as the right to property. This principle has been applied in many energy law cases, including challenges to government regulations related to the exploration and development of energy resources.
  • Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393 (1922). This case addressed the issue of the "taking" of private property for public use. In this case, the Supreme Court held that the government's regulation of the use of private property for the public good must be reasonable and not result in a taking of the property without just compensation. This principle has been applied in many energy law cases, including challenges to government regulations related to the construction of pipelines and other energy infrastructure.
  • Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984). This case addressed the issue of agency deference or the extent to which courts should defer to an agency's interpretation of its own regulations. The Supreme Court held that courts should give considerable deference to an agency's interpretation of its own regulations unless the regulation is ambiguous or the agency's interpretation is contrary to the plain language of the regulation. This principle has been applied in many energy law cases, including challenges to the interpretation and application of regulations related to the exploration and development of energy resources.
  • American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, 564 U.S. 410 (2011). This case addressed the issue of the power of states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which have been linked to climate change. The Supreme Court held that states do not have the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, but that the federal government has that power. This case helped clarify the boundaries between federal and state authorities in regulating energy resources.

These are just a few key cases in U.S. energy law that have shaped this field and the legal landscape for energy production, transportation, and use. These cases highlight the complex interplay between federal and state regulations, private and public interests. Any attorney representing the energy industry in Oklahoma must know about and properly apply these cases.

Failure to Comply with Energy Laws and Regulations

Failure to comply with energy laws can lead to criminal and civil action. If criminal action is taken, a conviction can lead to incarceration, restitution, and fines. If civil action is taken, a loss can lead to steep fines and injunctive relief. The extent of any penalty depends on the situation.

It is always best to comply with the law and remain proactive about compliance. At Hayes Legal Solutions, PLLC, we recognize that energy laws and regulations change as often as many technologies upon which this industry depends change. We help you comply with the law through a multi-layered approach.

Contact an Energy Compliance Attorney in Oklahoma Today 

At Hayes Legal Solutions, PLLC, our energy lawyer in Oklahoma advises clients in many facets of the energy sector. We help you comply with the laws and defend against allegations of violations. Contact us today at 405-635-5578 to schedule a Free 15 minute exploratory call.


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