A public utility is a business or service, which may be publicly or privately owned, engaged in supplying the public with electricity, gas, water, transportation, or telephone or telegraph service. The individual states' various public utilities commissions oversee electric companies, while electric utility boards are delegated power by the state legislature.
Public utility law attorneys specialize in the energy business and work with power companies, municipal utilities, and energy producers. Much of their work involves compliance, or making sure energy companies and other involved parties are following the proper laws and regulations. Since energy extraction can be quite dangerous and potentially harmful to the environment, there are numerous safety and environmental regulations.