By Mona Tandon, Emily Pitlick, and Jamond Perry The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Division of Audits and Accounting (DAA), Office of Enforcement, completed audits of Colonial Pipeline Company (Colonial) and Enterprise Product Partners L.P. (Enterprise) on June 17, 2015.  The audits, which were initiated on February 6, 2014, took nearly a year and a half to complete.  Both audits focused on each of the pipeline’s compliance with FERC regulations for oil pipeline companies, with particular focus on their compliance with accounting and financial reporting regulations.  The reports are significant because they represent the first time FERC Staff has conducted a comprehensive review of interstate oil and products pipelines’ regulatory... READ MORE
The Washington State Legislature started their second special session on May 29, after lawmakers failed to reach agreement on the state’s $38 billion biennial budget.  As of publication, budget negotiators had agreed on the size of the overall budget and were having daily meetings in the Governor’s office, but had not reached a final deal.  If the legislature can’t agree on a budget by June 30, the end of the fiscal year, the state government faces a partial shutdown.  The “upside” is that thanks to similar brinksmanship in 2013, agencies are better prepared and have already submitted updated contingency plans to the governor’s office. Slim majorities in both chambers (Democrats in the House, Republicans in the Senate) and a hefty legislative... READ MORE
On June 10, 2015, EPA announced a proposed finding that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from U.S. aircraft endanger public health and welfare. The proposal marks the first step toward regulating GHG emissions from aircraft, which account for 11 percent of all transportation-related GHG emissions in the U.S. and more than 3 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions. EPA made a similar finding in December 2009 regarding GHG emissions from on-road mobile sources and the agency now regulates GHG emissions from passenger cars, light trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles and engines. If EPA finalizes the endangerment finding and proceeds to set GHG emission standards, the three largest sources of transportation-related GHG emissions in the U.S. would then be subject... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's Jay Derr will be speaking in a panel entitled, "Transportation of Oil By Rail:  The Challenge of Developing Public Policy to Address Random Events with Potentially Catastrophic Consequences."  Mr. Derr will be providing a "developer perspective on the potential impact of revised federal, state, and local oil train regulations on proposed export projects for the Pacific Northwest."   READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's Rich Bonnifield is speaking in a discussion on the "radical market changes shifting FERC policies and priorities and the issues counsel must address." Click here for more information. READ MORE
Mike Swiger, head of Van Ness Feldman's hydropower practice, will be a featured panelist at this year's HydroVision International conference. Mike will be discussing issues related to Canada/U.S. cross-border issues. For more information and to register, please click here. READ MORE
For the fourth year in a row, The Legal 500 United States, 2015, recognized Van Ness Feldman as a national leader in Energy Regulatory law.  The firm is again one of only two, “Top Tier” Energy Regulatory law firms to be recognized in the US.       Highlighting the firm’s work in the electric, hydroelectric, and gas areas, the publication describes Van Ness Feldman as “creative and delivers better-reasoned and written product than most other firms in the market” and having “politically savvy and strategically astute lawyers.” The firm was also recognized among the top firms in the Environment: Transaction & Regulatory area for a fourth time, citing  the firm as being “experienced in GHG, ESA, CWA, NEPA and CAA issues and having a large climate... READ MORE
Ed Gehres, Coordinator of Van Ness Feldman’s Native Affairs practice, has been named to the Law360’s Native American Editorial Board for 2015.  Law 360 is circulated to over 400,000 recipients each day including lawyers, business leaders, and the entire U.S. federal judiciary. The purpose of the editorial advisory board is to provide feedback on Law360's coverage and to gain insight from experts in the field on how best to shape future coverage.  READ MORE
Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) and Van Ness Feldman LLP today announced the release of the 2015-2016  Edition of The AGA FERC Manual—A Guide for Local Distribution Companies.  Since the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, in which Congress gave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) powerful enforcement authority, local distribution companies (LDCs) have made compliance with FERC regulations a particular focus of attention. To assist its members in understanding and addressing these compliance obligations, AGA commissioned this important manual. The 2015-2016 Edition of the AGA FERC Manual is an authoritative source of information about FERC’s governing statutes, as well as the rules that affect LDCs and... READ MORE