On August 15, 2014, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit or Court) unanimously denied the appeals of forty-five petitioners and sixteen intervenors, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order No. 1000.  South Carolina Public Service Authority v. FERC, Nos. 12-1232 et al. (D.C. Cir. Aug. 15, 2014).  FERC’s landmark rulemaking, issued in August 2011 and supplemented thereafter by Order Nos. 1000-A and 1000-B, implemented a series of significant reforms related to the regional and interregional planning and development of electric transmission facilities, including mandatory cost allocation to beneficiaries of new transmission projects and the elimination of... READ MORE
In a reprise of the 2009 case Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC (ICC I), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has once again set aside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of the PJM Interconnection, LLC’s (PJM) methodology for allocating the costs of certain high voltage transmission projects planned and approved by PJM before February 1, 2013.  The case raises questions about what analysis of benefits is needed to show that a particular cost allocation will be “roughly commensurate” with the distribution of benefits, and in particular what support is required for proposals to “socialize” transmission project costs among the utilities within a regional transmission organization or other regional... READ MORE
On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a declaratory order holding that the Federal Power Act (FPA) preempts state and local regulatory authority over a hydropower project under Washington State’s Shoreline Management Act (SMA).  FERC’s order resolves potentially significant delays in construction of the hydropower project under state law and allows construction to proceed immediately as authorized under the FERC license. Van Ness Feldman authored the petition for declaratory order. Background The Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, Washington (the District) received a 10-year pilot license from FERC for the Admiralty Inlet Pilot Tidal Project (Project) on March 20, 2014.  The 600-kilowatt... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's Molly Lawrence and T.C. Richmond will speak at this upcoming conference on climate change regulation and litigation. Click here for more information. READ MORE
With nearly 2,000 participants, AASHE's annual conference is the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America. In one of the most innovative sustainable cities in North America, attendees from around the world will come together at AASHE 2014 to network and share new innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theory and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability on their campus and surrounding communities. Partner T.C. Richmond will join representatives from Second Nature to speak on Campus, Community & Corporate Partnerships for Climate Adaptation and Resilience. To learn more about the event and to register, click here. READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman attorneys, Andrew Art, John Clements, and Mike McBride will be featured speakers at this year's APPA Legal Seminar. Andrew  will speak on issues surrounding sharing sensitive information with federal agencies, John  will speak on the FERC hydro process and the public power sector, and Mike  will speak on issues affecting captive rail customers.  The Legal Seminar is an educational and professional development opportunity specifically designed for attorneys—both in-house and outside counsel—to learn about current legal and regulatory issues affecting public power, as well as the practical legal issues facing municipal utilities. The seminar is also useful to anyone who oversees utility policy, including senior and mid-level utility... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman’s Pipeline & LNG Attorneys were recently honored with the NiSource Crystal Key Award for 2014 for Outside Counsel in recognition of the firm’s outstanding efforts supporting NiSource’s Columbia Pipeline Group.   The award, which was determined by NiSource’s regulatory attorneys, was presented to the outside counsel who they felt contributed the most to Columbia Pipeline Group’s successes during 2014.  This is the second time that Van Ness Feldman has won the award since its inception in 2012.  Members of Van Ness Feldman’s NiSource Team include Greg Junge, Paul Korman, Bob Christin, Michael Pincus, Susan Olenchuk, Jim Curry, Keith Coyle, Frances Bishop, Michael Diamond, Amy Beizer, Shippen Howe, Emily Pitlick, Patrick Daugherty... READ MORE
Earlier this week, the Diverse Environmental Leaders (DEL) National Speakers Bureau held their official launch event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.   The organization aims to provide expertise in engaging diverse communities and presenting best practices for successful outreach to increase awareness and stewardship of public lands throughout the country.  The firm is a proud sponsor of the DEL’s efforts to raise awareness of environmental conservation issues through greater inclusion efforts. For more information about the DEL National Speakers Bureau, visit their website here. READ MORE
Washington, D.C. and Seattle, WA– Van Ness Feldman is pleased to announce that this year thirty-one lawyers from the firm have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) in the practice areas of Energy, Environmental, Government Relations, Land Use and Zoning Law, Litigation - Environmental, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning,  Litigation – Real Estate,  Native American, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas, Real Estate, and Water Law.   Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.  Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 41,000 leading attorneys cast over 3.9 million... READ MORE