Attorneys Title Professor, Florida State University College of Law
Interviewers: David Spence
Interview date: October 30, 2019
Balancing the Local Costs and Wider Benefits of Energy Development
“Many states have preempted local control [over energy permitting of oil and gas development]. When you preempt regulation as well as taxation, it makes negotiation between developers and local communities more difficult. … Renewable energy development, on the other hand, gives communities lots of regulatory [leverage].”
“Tax might be a more palatable tool than regulation. … Taxes can be tailored to the particular issue. … Pennsylvania’s unconventional gas well fee allows local governments to enact a fee, but the amount of the fee is set by the state [and] the fee is tailored to the amount of externalities of the well. The money goes to the state, but a large chunk goes back to local governments to address the externalities of fracking.
“I think a lot of communities would (at least partially) welcome these forms of energy development if they felt that they could adequately address the costs they know will accrue at the local level. … I think that middle ground is important right now. Natural gas has transitioned us away from coal … Solar and wind are going to be necessary infrastructure development if we want to move toward substantially lower carbon. … We need all these technologies, but it’s not productive to say … that you’ve just got to put up with whatever we’re putting in your community.”
Hannah Wiseman’s research explores the role of regulation in protecting the character of living spaces and environmental quality, from the sublocal to the national level. Professor Wiseman clerked for the Honorable Patrick E. Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She joined the law school in 2012 and teaches Energy Law, Environmental Law, Land Use Regulation and Oil and Gas Law.
To learn more about Hannah Wiseman, please visit her home page: HERE