The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reaffirmed its policy permitting oil pipelines to set contractual committed rates through an open season process in Seaway Crude Pipeline Company LLC (Seaway II).  In a February 1 Order on Initial Decision on Remand, FERC reversed significant portions of an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) initial decision on remand (Remand ID) that had rejected FERC’s open season policy. Seaway II marks the second time that FERC reversed one of its ALJ’s  decisions and confirmed that committed shipper contracts cannot be abrogated, and that their rates cannot be challenged and changed, in a rate case proceeding to set initial uncommitted shipper rates. Seaway II is notable for its sharply worded rebuke of the ALJ’s... READ MORE
On January 25, 2016, in a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court reversed a decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) and in so doing unconditionally upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order No. 745, a rule requiring that cost-effective demand response resources participating in organized energy markets be paid the full locational marginal price (LMP).  FERC v. Electric Power Supply Assn., 577 U.S.(2016).   FERC Order No. 745: Compensating Demand Response in Wholesale Energy Markets Order No. 745, issued in March 2011, established a framework for compensating demand response bid into the organized energy markets operated by independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission... READ MORE
The firm’s public policy practice provides the 2016 Congressional Calendar, which notes days of session for both chambers of Congress as well as federal holidays. Click here for the 2016 Congressional Calendar. ### With decades of experience in both the public and private sectors, Van Ness Feldman’s professionals work to create, impact, shape, implement, and comply with the nation’s major energy, environmental, natural resource, transportation, healthcare, tax, and other laws.  The firm is recognized as a leader in Government Relations by Chambers USA and U.S. News/Best Law Firms. For questions about this calendar or emerging federal policy, please contact any member of the firm’s Government Relations & Public Policy Practice at... READ MORE
CSIS will host an expert panel on January 27th, featuring Kyle Danish, leader of the firm's Climate Change practice.   The panel will provide an overview of the state, federal and court level activity and planning that is likely to take place throughout the upcoming year with regard to EPA's Clean Power Plan.  Kyle will be focusing on the legal challenges to the Clean Power Plan and the likely time-frame and pathways for resolving those challenges. For more information and to register, please visit CSIS's website.  READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman is a proud to participate and sponsor The Arctic Encounter Symposium (AES), the largest annual Arctic policy event in the United States, which convenes policymakers, industry leaders, and leading experts to confront the leading issues in Arctic policy, innovation, and development. Partner Tadas Kisielius will present “The Reality of Arctic Port Development: Challenges and Opportunities,” with Associate Andrew Vanderjack serving as moderator to a distinguished panel of co-presenters. Along with U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), VNF is honored to participate in discussions to realize the Arctic's full potential and collaborate on solutions.   AES 2016 will be held at the University of Washington, January... READ MORE
The Seattle office of Van Ness Feldman LLP is seeking a real estate partner to join its dynamic real estate team.  For more than 35 years, our real estate group* has been involved in some of the region’s most significant real property transactions, including acquisition, development, finance, commercial leasing, management of large due diligence evaluations, structuring of multi-property acquisitions, regulatory analysis, compliance, and mitigation.  A portable practice and a historical track record of strong client relationships is desirable.  Confidential inquiries can be sent to Saira Rhodes at slr@vnf.com (*formerly Buck & Gordon and GordonDerr LLP) READ MORE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Van Ness Feldman is pleased to announce that Margaret Claybour and Justin Moeller  have been elected to the partnership effective immediately.  Ms. Claybour and Mr. Moeller further strengthen the firm’s extensive energy regulatory capabilities.       Margaret Claybour’s practice focuses on representing electric utilities, merchant and renewable generators, and independent transmission companies before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and advising clients on transactional and federal regulatory matters involving the energy industry.  Ms. Claybour assists clients in developing regulatory strategy and structuring transactions, and advises them in ratemaking proceedings and settlement procedures.  She also helps... READ MORE
The Coal Utilization Research Council is pleased to announce that Shannon Angielski has been appointed Executive Director of the coalition.  Ms. Angielski replaces Ben Yamagata, who retired from the organization at the end of 2015, after establishing the coalition over 17 years ago.  Commenting on Ms. Angielski’s transition to Executive Director, Mr. Yamagata said, “With Shannon as Executive Director, I am confident that CURC’s profile as the country’s only coal technology advocacy organization and leading voice for coal will be elevated.”  Ms. Angielski, who has been with the coalition since 2001, said: “I am excited to serve our members in this new capacity.  This is a pivotal moment for coal-based electric generation, and I look forward to... READ MORE
Legislative Update On January 27, 2016, the Senate began floor debate on S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, the bipartisan energy bill reported out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on July 30, 2015.  As described in the August 2015 Hydro Newsletter, the bill as reported out of committee still retains a number of hydro provisions.  These include: (1) designating the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as lead agency for coordinating federal authorizations from all agencies needed to develop a hydroelectric project; (2) authorizing FERC to refer agency disputes to the Council on Environmental Quality; (3) requiring resource agencies to give equal consideration to developmental and non-developmental... READ MORE
FERC Technical Conference on Critical Infrastructure Protection Supply Chain Risk Management - January 28 - Today, FERC is holding a technical conference on security control and supply chain risk management in response to its July 16, 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Docket No. RM15-14-000. The Final Agenda and Staff Presentation have been posted online. FERC Adopts Improvements to Critical Infrastructure Protection Standards - January 21 - In an effort to improve the cyber security of the bulk electric system, FERC adopted revisions to seven critical infrastructure protection (CIP) Reliability Standards that were proposed in a July 16, 2015 NOPR.  The final rule directs NERC to develop modifications to address the protection of transient... READ MORE
Happy 2016 from Van Ness Feldman! As we enter the new year, we’d like to encourage you to let us know if there are any topics, areas of interest, or questions that you would like to see us address in Northwest Land Matters.   It is always wonderful to hear from our clients, colleagues, and friends, so please drop us a line or a tip for content and we’ll do our best to feature it in an upcoming issue. Cheers! Opportunities to Save with Washington’s Open Space Taxation Act Susan Shyne and Steve Scheele If you are an owner of lands that produce food, fiber, or forest crops, or lands with possible conservation and recreation value, you may be eligible for property tax savings. Washington’s Open Space Taxation Act (“the Act”) provides property... READ MORE