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James M. Van Nostrand

Guest Lecturer

Headshot of James M. Van Nostrand

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301



This is an exciting time to be working and studying in the area of energy and environmental law and policy. With increasing attention being focused on climate change and sustainability, it is essential that students have a deep familiarity with the convergence of issues relating to energy and the environment. The production of energy is the leading contributor to heat-trapping gases, for example, and the study of energy is inextricably intertwined with its associated environmental impacts. Technological advances are also reshaping our energy policies, such as through the impact of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling on the availability and cost of natural gas resources and through the dramatic decline in costs of distributed generation resources (primarily solar photovoltaic) that is driving a fundamental re-evaluation of the electric utility business model. The future is going to be far different than the past in the energy industry, and students focusing on energy and the environment have the opportunity to develop the tools that will allow them to participate in the transformations that are currently underway in the energy industry. 


James M. (Jamie) Van Nostrand is a guest lecturer in utility regulation for the Atkinson School's "Utility Management Certificate" program. Mr. Van Nostrand is a Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at the West Virginia University College of Law. In addition to his law school teaching, he is currently associated with the law firm of Keyes & Fox LLP as Of Counsel as well as an Energy Policy Expert with EQ Research LLC. Mr. Van Nostrand recently served as a Senior Policy Advisor to Chairman John Rhodes of the New York Public Service Commission. Before joining the faculty at the WVU College of Law, Mr. Van Nostrand spent three years as a member of the adjunct faculty at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in White Plains, NY and Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, which is an environmental policy and advocacy organization active on energy and environmental issues in New York and the Northeast.

Before entering into law school teaching, Mr. Van Nostrand was in private law practice as a partner in the Environmental and Natural Resources practice group of large law firms based in the Pacific Northwest. In his 22-year career in private practice, Mr. Van Nostrand represented energy clients in state regulatory proceedings in eight western states, as well as proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Before going into private practice, he spent five years with the New York Public Commission as an Assistant to the Commission for Opinions and Review and as Assistant to the Chairman.

Mr. Van Nostrand is involved in various energy and environmental efforts in West Virginia, offering objective, unbiased research and policy analyses and promoting policies that strike a proper balance between the development of energy resources and protection of the environment. 


  • B.S., University of Northern Iowa
  • M.A., SUNY at Albany
  • J.D., University of Iowa College of Law
  • LL.M., Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University

Areas of Instruction

Energy Regulation, Environmental Law, Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuels, Clean Air Act, Science & Technology of Energy

Research Interests

Regulatory policy, energy regulation, distributed generation, climate change, and environmental law

Professional Affiliations

  • Energy Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Mr. Van Nostrand has taught courses in energy and regulated industries, environmental law, emissions trading, administrative law and business associations in various capacities at Lewis and Clark Law School, the University of Tennessee College of Law, the University of Iowa College of Law, and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

Selected Publications

"Using Emergency Powers to Provide Financial Assistance to Coal and Nuclear Plants," 11 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L. 191 (2019)

"Production and Delivery of Bioenergy Fuels,” Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, (edited by Michael B. Gerrard and John C. Dernbach), Environmental Law Institute (2019)

“Keeping the Fox from Managing the Henhouse: Why Incumbent Utilities Should Not Be Allowed to Operate the Distribution System Platform,” 8 Geo. Wash. J. Energy and Envtl. L. 23 (2017)

“Why the U.S. Coal Industry and Its Jobs Are Not Coming Back,” Yale Environment 360 (December 1, 2016)

“Getting to Utility 2.0: The Utility of the Future and a New Regulatory Paradigm,” 6 San Diego J. Climate & Energy L. 149 (2015)

“Keeping the Lights on During Superstorm Sandy: Climate Change Adaptation and the Resiliency Benefits of Distributed Generation,” 23 N.Y.U. Envtl. L.J. 92 (2015)

Selected Presentations

“Incorporating Solar Energy into the Appalachian Grid,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, 40th Annual Institute, Washington, DC (2019)

“Solar Policy Priorities for West Virginia,” West Virginia Solar United Neighbors, 4th Annual Solar Congress, Charleston, WV (2019)

“Quantifying the Resilience Value of Distributed Energy Resources,” Panel Discussion on Energy Resilience, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (2019)

“Department of Energy Emergency Powers,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, Kentucky Mineral Law Conference, Lexington, KY (2018)

“The New Electricity Business Model,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, 39th Annual Institute, Nashville, TN (2018)

“The Cost of Cutting the Cord: Distributed Energy Resources and Exit Fees,” Energy Policy Research Conference, Deer Valley, UT (September 2017)


Mr. Van Nostrand was recognized by the Energy Bar Association as its 2007 State Regulatory Practitioner of the Year.

Willamette University

Executive Development Center

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Campus

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.