Vanderbilt Law Review


Nancy E. Shurtz

First Page



The Arab oil embargo of 1973 and the severe energy shortage it caused in the United States prompted federal authorities to formulate a national energy policy that would encourage exploitation of domestic energy resources. As the federal government has implemented this energy policy, states rich in natural resources have begun to tax the energy mining and production operations within their borders.

In this Article Professor Shurtz discusses the constitutional limits of this taxation and examines how the revenues from these taxes alter the balance of wealth between energy-producing and energy-consuming states. Professor Shurtz concludes that revisions in revenue sharing formulae, limitations on energy taxes agreed upon in a multistate compact, and efforts to make states energy independent should be explored as possible solutions to avoid a potential energy conflict between the states.