On November 15, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a series of orders aimed at ensuring that ratepayers receive the benefit of the tax rate reductions from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  Specifically, FERC issued: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) that would require all public utility transmission providers to revise transmission rates to address the effects of the tax cuts on accumulated deferred income taxes (“ADIT”); and a Policy Statement that provides accounting guidance related to ADIT. FERC also acted on 46 show-cause investigations it initiated in March under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), in which it required certain public utilities to revise their transmission rates to... READ MORE
Voters came out in record numbers for the midterm and elected a divided government; Democrats won the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, and Republicans won a larger majority than they previously held in the US Senate. HOUSE:  As of 4:02 pm today, Democrats have won 222 seats, Republicans have won 196 seats, and 17 races are undecided for the 116th Congress.  Democrats have flipped 29 seats, while Republicans have flipped two seats.  This is a change from the current majority for the 115th Congress which is 235 Republicans to 193 Democrats. READ MORE
On October 18, 2018 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved three (3) Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards including a long awaited supply chain risk management standard for the electric sector which, among other things, will require electric utilities to develop, document, and implement a supply chain cybersecurity risk management plan for any cyber systems that are classified as “medium” or “high” impact as defined by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. READ MORE
Dan Press will be a featured speaker at the annual National TERO Convention in Cherokee, North Carolina. READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman, Beveridge & Diamond, and NAWL's Environmental & Energy Practice Area Affinity Group cordially invite you to a breakfast program: Environmental Review and Permitting Reform for Infrastructure Projects.   The program is being coordinated by a group including Andrea Hudson Campbell, partner in our environment practice, and panelists will include  Gwen Keyes Fleming, partner in our environmental practice. READ MORE
Partner T.C. Richmond has joined the Board of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a nonprofit organization that leverages the voices of a large and diverse group of allied interests working together to obtain public funding for new local and state parks, wildlife habitat, and preservation of working farm and forest lands.  In 1989, the Coalition spearheaded the Legislature’s creation of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), the State’s premier conservation and recreation grant program which, to date, has administered over $1.3 billion in state, local, and private dollars for over 1,200 projects.  The Coalition also leads education and advocacy efforts on behalf of the national Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman ranked "Best Law Firm in the US" in fourteen areas of practice, with six areas receiving National Tier 1 honors, by US News & World Report. READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman is proud to announce the addition of eight lateral attorneys from Hunsucker Goodstein who recently joined our environmental, litigation, and Native affairs practices. As part of this strategic expansion, the firm has added a San Francisco Bay area office, further enhancing our ability to service clients in the Western United States. In addition to deepening the firm’s environmental and litigation practices, the group brings new capabilities in the areas of insurance recovery and strategic advice on the environmental aspects of transactions. READ MORE
Legislative Update On October 23, 2018, President Trump signed into law the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA), Public Law No. 115-270, a comprehensive water resources bill that includes provisions specifically targeted to promote new hydropower development.  The AWIA includes a package of hydropower bills that were previously approved by the U.S. House or Senate but were never enacted into law.  The AWIA is composed of five major categories of hydropower reform: (1) extending preliminary permit terms and start of construction deadlines for new construction projects; (2) promoting new, small conduit hydropower facilities; (3) promoting hydropower development at existing nonpowered dams; (4) promoting development of closed-loop... READ MORE
PHMSA and FERC Tout New MOU to Improve Agency Coordination on the Review of LNG Facilities On September 20, at the open meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), FERC’s General Counsel, James Danly, and Howard “Skip” Elliott, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), presented the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two agencies to establish a framework for improving coordination and the exchange of information when performing the siting and safety review of FERC-jurisdictional proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.  According to Mr. Danly, the new MOU will enable the Commission to act on LNG applications more quickly, reduce the burden on applicants, and... READ MORE
FERC Issues Jurisdictional Determination on Hydro Generation Related to Water Supply Project On September 20, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order denying a petition filed by the Utah Board of Water Resources and Washington County Water Conservancy District (together, UBWR) for a declaratory order holding that FERC’s licensing jurisdiction extends both to the electric generating equipment at in-line generating facilities within a major water supply pipeline and to those portions of the pipeline that supply the head for the in-line generation facilities. The 140-mile Lake Powell Pipeline Project (LPPP) will go uphill for approximately 50 miles from its intake at Lake Powell in Arizona to a high point in Utah from... READ MORE