As more types of energy come on to the market, and along with them the new technologies and methods needed to harness and distribute that energy, legal regulations are ever expanding and changing to meet the needs of a fast-paced industry. As a job candidate, you need to know the basics of the energy industry’s key regulations and regulating bodies in order to sound articulate and educated about the topic. While much of it can be learned on the job, a prior knowledge of the times of regulations that influence day-to-day proceedings will help to give you an edge over your less-well-informed competitors.
As regulations continue to grow in the energy industry, companies have realized that they need to balance risk, cost and efficiency in order to maintain compliance. They do this with the help of savvy staff who know more than the basics of national and local energy policy. While there are entire university and professional courses geared toward decrypting the nuanced language of energy regulations, in today’s blog we try to pare it down for you. Here are a few things you should come prepared to speak about during a job interview.
Key Regulating Bodies
A few of the key regulating agencies in regards to energy law include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Energy is regulated through state agencies as well, and each state has their own regional utility districts to assist with the coordination. FERC retains jurisdiction over interstate electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, natural gas pricing and oil pipeline rates. The DOE is a federal department focused on national energy policies and safety, particularly in handling of nuclear material. The EPA was created to protect human health and the environment through various regulations.
Permitting and Compliance
Each governing body has their own jurisdictions and unique regulations that are important to consider when doing business within the energy market. New energy facilities (particularly those with a federal nexus) will likely require some environmental documentation such as an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement to be developed prior to construction. These documents are prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and do a thorough job of evaluating and analyzing the potential environmental and social impacts of a project prior to development. Permitting is often another process that requires completion prior to shovels breaking ground. The application for land use, water right, and other permits as the individual project requires, is critical to the long-term health of a business.
Taxes and Tariffs
All 50 states, along with the national capital, collect motor vehicle excise tax – or more specifically, taxes on gasoline, diesel fuel, and gasohol. Such taxes are plentiful within the energy industry, and being familiar with your area’s particular form of energy production will help you grab the attention of an interviewer right from the start.
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