As an attorney and a board member of multiple energy production companies, Duke Ligon of Oklahoma City has an interest in laws regulating the energy industry. Duke Ligon is co-chair of the executive council of Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business, working with the University of Texas to inform rising generations of energy producers about industry regulation.
Legal regulations surrounding energy production, transmission, and consumption serve a range of purposes. The Department of Energy was established in 1977 as a direct response to the energy crisis of that decade. Prior to the DoE, such matters were addressed by the Federal Power Commission established in 1920, but the resource scarcity of the Great Depression and WWII, in addition to the growing demand on power systems and fuel sources over the 20th century, gradually led the government to take more direct action.
Recent years have seen the government’s mission expand further with the growing concerns regarding foreign dependence, pollution, and climate change. Besides offering incentives for innovations in energy efficiency and emission reduction, the Department of Energy has determined that it would set an example of responsible energy use. It is committed that by 2025, the federal government will draw at least 30 percent of its energy use from renewable sources and that at least 25 percent would be from clean energy.