An increasingly complex regulatory environment has produced greater challenges for both regulated energy companies doing business in the United States and unregulated companies whose operations are directly affected by federal and state regulation. Husch Blackwell's team has the proven experience and depth of energy industry knowledge to help clients navigate the web of federal and state agency requirements and the resources to handle regulatory, litigation and business issues affecting the electricity, natural gas, petroleum products, crude oil and renewable sectors.
Clients receive an insider’s perspective on energy regulation thanks to the collective knowledge of our team members, including multiple former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lawyers (a former FERC chairman among them), the principal legislative draftsman of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 and attorneys with senior-level, in-house counsel backgrounds. We advise on issues pending before federal agencies, including FERC, Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) within the Department of Transportation and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Our experience extends to compliance matters and representation in complex, high-stakes enforcement issues.
Husch Blackwell’s energy regulation attorneys provide a full range of legal services and guidance to clients subject to state public utility commissions and competitive retail energy markets.
Areas of Focus
Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
We help clients avoid and manage federal and state administrative investigations and enforcement proceedings, as well as develop and implement tailored compliance programs. Leading this effort is a senior attorney with more than 20 years’ experience in FERC’s Office of Enforcement. Together with the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense group, we have assisted energy clients in criminal investigative proceedings, including responding to federal search warrants. We also assist clients proactively by enlisting assistance from FERC to police violations of open-access and nondiscrimination rules, prohibitions against affiliate self-dealing, misapplication of tariff provisions and breaches of other regulatory requirements designed to safeguard the interests of our clients.
Electric Rates, Transmission Access
We represent clients in FERC proceedings involving rates for wholesale sales of electricity as well as rates and terms and conditions for transmission service. We assist clients in dealing with regional transmission organizations and independent system operators, as well advising on the complex regulations governing transmission, distribution and generation rates and services. Our experience extends to all of the major independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs), including Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. (MISO), ISO New England, PJM Interconnection, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). Electric utilities and cooperatives also receive our assistance with transmission access proceedings under the Federal Power Act.
Natural Gas Certificate Cases and Declaratory Order Proceedings
Clients receive our help with issuance of certificates to and abandonment of natural gas facilities and service and authorizing construction of new pipeline and storage facilities. In addition, we assist midstream companies in declaratory order proceedings before the FERC to clarify jurisdictional status, remove uncertainty, and reduce regulatory risk and compliance costs.
Natural Gas Rate and Tariff Cases
Our extensive regulatory experience includes rates, charges and terms of service of interstate natural gas pipelines under the Natural Gas Act and the Natural Gas Policy Act. We represent shippers and other intervenors in pipeline rate cases; fuel, loss and unaccounted-for-gas (FL&U) proceedings; and proposals to change pipeline tariff terms and conditions of service, including revisions to gas quality specifications.
Oil Pipeline Rates & Transportation
We litigate matters involving rates and terms and conditions of service. Companies seeking access to transportation on interstate pipelines call upon us to advise and negotiate on their behalf.