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Energy and natural resources

Energy and natural resources law includes a broad range of legal issues related to natural resources; their use as a source of energy; and their use in many important products and materials.

Examples of natural resources include oil (petroleum), natural gas, minerals, solar, wind, water, geothermal, biomass, electric, hydrogen and fuel cells, nuclear, trees, cotton, coal, iron ore, gold, copper, manganese, bauxite ore, cobalt, platinum, chromium, and diamonds.

As with other legal topics, some legal issues related to energy and natural resources law may also be categorized under another legal topic name, such as environmental law, water law, or oil, gas, and minerals law, for example.

In Texas, energy and natural resources law encompasses a wide array of regulations governing the extraction, production, and use of natural resources. Texas is a leading state in oil and natural gas production, and as such, it has a well-developed body of law concerning oil and gas, often referred to as petroleum law. This includes statutes and regulations on drilling, production, royalties, and mineral rights. Additionally, Texas law addresses the use and management of other natural resources such as water rights, which are particularly important given the state's agricultural interests and variable climate. Water law in Texas follows the 'rule of capture' for groundwater and a system of water rights for surface water. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, are also increasingly significant in Texas, and the state has implemented policies to encourage the development of these resources. Environmental considerations are integral to energy and natural resources law, with state agencies like the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) overseeing the environmental impacts of resource extraction and use. Furthermore, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) regulates the state's electric utilities and the electricity market. Overall, energy and natural resources law in Texas is a complex field that intersects with environmental, property, and administrative law.

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