This is the final issue of WilmerHale’s 10-in-10 Hot Topics in Energy Series. Over the course of 10 weeks, our attorneys will share insights on current and emerging issues affecting the US energy sector. Attorneys from across various practice groups at the firm will offer their take on issues ranging from congressional investigations, to the impact of key regulatory reforms, to emerging trends in domestic litigation and international arbitration. This alert was also published in Law360.
Traditionally, regulation of the energy sector has occurred at the federal level and through specialized state regulatory bodies. However, attorneys general are playing an increasingly prominent role in regulating energy and environmental activity within their states. In particular, they have used their broad state law consumer and investor protection powers in enforcement actions ranging from deceptive marketing claims to environmental protection. State AGs also have played a more visible role in resisting—or, in some instances, supporting—deregulation efforts at the federal level. Energy sector participants must therefore consider potential AG actions when making business decisions. This alert addresses state actions in four areas: alleged fraudulent and deceptive practices, climate change accountability, environmental contamination, and federal energy policy challenges.