The Fifth Dimension: Legal Infrastructure, Cracks, and Governance

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The Fifth Dimension: Legal Infrastructure, Cracks, and Governance

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Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology




There is a substantial need for sustainable electric power development. It is the key infrastructure that will determine the future carbon footprint. And the current sustainable energy policy is largely implemented at the state, rather than federal, level of government. Many of these state policies are confronting Supremacy and dormant Commerce Clause constitutional challenges. It is not that we lack energy infrastructure; rather, we lack legally smart implementation of energy infrastructure. It is enough to note that the challenges are several, raise significant legal issues, and are ongoing. This Article explores the Five Dimensions of U.S. federal and state sustainable energy policy and through the legal cracks in its infrastructure and governance. States have sculpted sustainable energy policy around five dimensions of legal and policy initiatives: Net metering: In 86% of states; Renewable portfolio standards: In 58% of states; Renewable system benefit charges: In 30% of states; Carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation: In 24% of states; Feed-in tariffs: In 14% of states.


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15 Minn. J. L. Sci. & Tech. 469 (2014)

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Ferrey, Steven. (2014). The Fifth Dimension: Legal Infrastructure, Cracks, and Governance. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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