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James Van Nostrand

James VanNostrand

Director, Center for Energy and Sustainable Development
Professor of Law


  • LL.M., Environmental Law (Climate Change Track), Pace University School of Law (2011)
  • M.A., Economics, State University of New York at Albany (1985)
  • J.D., University of Iowa College of Law (With High Honors) (1979)
  • B.A., Economics, University of Northern Iowa (With Highest Honors) (1976)


Professor James M. (Jamie) Van Nostrand joined the faculty of the West Virginia University College of Law in July of 2011 to serve as the Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development. Professor Van Nostrand came to the WVU College of Law from the Pace Law School in White Plains, NY, where he served as Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center.

Prior to the spring of 2008, Professor Van Nostrand had a successful career as a partner in the Environmental and Natural Resources practice group of a large law firm based in the Pacific Northwest. In his 22-year career in private practice, Professor Van Nostrand represented energy clients in state regulatory proceedings in eight western states, as well as proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Professor Van Nostrand was recognized by the Energy Bar Association as the 2007 State Regulatory Practitioner of the Year.

Before going into private practice, Professor Van Nostrand spent five years with the New York Public Service Commission as an Assistant to the Commission for Opinions and Review and as Assistant to the Chairman. Professor Van Nostrand has taught courses in energy and regulated industries, environmental law, emissions trading, administrative law and business associations in various capacities at Lewis & Clark Law School, the University of Tennessee College of Law, the University of Iowa College of Law, and Pace Law School. He has published and lectured widely on emissions trading and strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change, energy policy, renewable energy, utility rates and electric restructuring plans, environmental justice, and utility mergers and acquisitions. In his role as Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, Professor Van Nostrand is involved in various energy and environmental efforts in West Virginia and the Appalachian region, 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.

Teaching Experience

  • Pace University School of Law, White Plains, NY – Adjunct Faculty
  • University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA – Visiting Professor, Spring 2008
  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, TN – Visiting Professor, Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law, Fall 2007
  • Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, OR – Adjunct Faculty, Spring 2007
  • Willamette University, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Utility Management Certificate Program


  • Production and Delivery of Bioenergy. In M. Gerrard & J. Dernback (Eds.), Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States. Washington, D.C.: Environmental Law Institute. (2018)
  • Keeping the Fox from Managing the Henhouse: Why Incumbent Utilities Should Not Be Allowed to Operate the Distribution System Platform (1st ed., vol. 8, pp. 23-38). Washington, D.C.: George Washington University Journal of Energy & Environmental Law. (2017)
  • Why the U.S. Coal Industry and Its Jobs are not Coming Back. Yale Environment 360. (2016)
  • Expanding Economic Opportunities for West Virginia Under the Clean Power Plan. Downstream Strategies. (2016) (with Hansen, E., James, J.)
  • “Keeping the Lights On During Superstorm Sandy: Climate Change Adaptation and the Resiliency Benefits of Distributed Generation,” to be published in New York University Environmental Law Journal, December 2014
  • “An Energy and Sustainability Roadmap for West Virginia,” 115 West Virginia Law Review 885 (2013)
  • “Energy and Environmental Justice: How States Can Integrate Environmental Justice into Energy-Related Proceedings,” 61 Catholic University Law Review 701 (2012)
  • Chapter 19, “Biofuels”, THE LAW OF CLEAN ENERGY: EFFICIENCYAND RENEWABLES, edited by Michael B. Gerrard, American Bar Association, 2011 (with A.M. Hirschberger).
  • “Implications of a Federal RPS: Will It Supplement or Supplant the Existing State Initiatives?” 41 Toledo Law Review 853 (2010) (with A. M. Hirschberger)
  • “Legal Issues in Financing Energy Efficiency,” 2 The George Washington University Journal of Energy and Environmental Law 1 (Winter 2010-11)
  • “New York’s Roadmap for Reducing Greenhouse Gases in the Transportation Sector,” University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2011, No. 2 at 475 (with A.M. Hirschberger).
  • “Preserving the Public Interest through Alternative Dispute Resolution of Utility Retail Rate Cases,” 27 Pace Environmental Law Review 227 (2009)
  • “Constitutional Limitations on the Ability of States to Rehabilitate Their Failed Electric Utility Restructuring Plans,” 31 Seattle University Law Review 593 (2008)
  • “Representing the Utility in State Retail Rate Proceedings,” The Best Practices of Leading Energy Lawyers: Successful Strategies and Best Practices for Dealing with Energy-Related Legal Issues, Aspatore, Inc. (2007)
  • “The Standard for Setting Utility Rates in Wyoming: Restoring the Required Balance Between Investors and Customers,” 4 WY.L.R. 245 (2004)
  • Co-Editor-In-Chief, Washington Administrative Law Practice Manual, Butterworth
  • “The Legislative Evolution of Title I of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978: A Study in Compromise,” 5 J.CORP.L 105
  • “Betterment Accounting: A Requiem by the SEC?” 4 J.CORP.L. 213
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