American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAlso called the Waxman-Markey Bill, this legislation sought to address climate change while building a clean energy economy. Among other things, this bill established a national cap-and-trade system for...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySlang for maximum, as the most interest that can be charged on an adjustable rate promissory note.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Cap and Trade

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA policy that seeks to limit pollution. Under a cap-and-trade program, a company gets an emissions permit for every ton of carbon dioxide that it releases. Companies that produce fewer emissions can trade...


Cap-and-trade programs are intended to provide a market-based mechanism for reducing emissions of airborne pollutants, such as greenhouse gases. Under cap-and-trade, a government agency distributes a stack of tradable emissions allowance credits that...

Carbon Capture

For the purposes of cap-and-trade programs, carbon capture is a carbon-offsetting measure in which the carbon from a polluting activity is sequestered and therefore not emitted into the atmosphere.

Carbon Offset

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary1) The idea that companies or individuals can neutralize the effect of their pollution by investing in pollution reduction efforts in other parts of the world. 2) A financial instrument whose purchase is...

Carbon Offsets

In cap-and-trade programs, carbon offsets are activities such as planting trees or carbon capture that legally offset the amount of carbon that a polluting entity has emitted.


In 15 U.S.C. §1127:

1) The exchanging, buying, or selling of things having economic value between two or more entities, for example goods, services, and money. Commerce is often done on a large scale, typically between individuals, businesses,...

Commerce Clause


The Commerce Clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian

Congress has...


Energy Law: An Overview

For most of American history, the federal government did not play an active role in the energy industries. (This history is often explained by the widespread belief in the unlimited supply of energy). During the Great Depression...