Government Relations & Policy - Energy, Environment & Natural Resources

Van Ness Feldman has substantial experience providing strategic policy guidance and legislative advocacy to leading energy and industrial companies, municipalities, trade associations, and coalitions. The firm’s unique approach to energy and environmental policy advocacy combines strategic perspective, business savvy, and substantive knowledge of the issues. Clients choose Van Ness Feldman because of the firm’s bi-partisan policy team that includes former legal counsel and policy advisors to members of the congress and congressional committees, and the government agencies that developed many of the nation’s most important energy, environmental, and natural resources  laws. The firm’s involvement in every major energy and environmental policy debate since the mid-1970s supports Van Ness Feldman’s unparalleled reputation within the industry.

High-level  government advocacy work includes helping clients understand the impact on their  organizations of existing and proposed energy and environmental law and policies including:

  • natural gas policy and the pipeline certificate processes;
  • LNG facility siting;
  • hydropower;
  • FERC regulation of the electric and gas sectors;
  • transmission siting and development;
  • Clean Air Act implementation and global climate change;
  • federal public land law;
  • Endangered Species Act; and
  • renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.

The firm’s commitment to both the process of policymaking, coupled with a keen understanding of the real world impacts that policy shifts can have, allows Van Ness Feldman to successfully guide clients through the most complicated and contentious policy debates.



With the current administration and Congress focused on transitioning the U.S. to a clean energy economy, the issues on which Van Ness Feldman's government relations practice advise its clients have never been more complex - or more critical. 

The firm’s lawyers and policy professionals are significantly involved in all of the current legislative and federal agency discussions on issues such as renewable energy standards and incentives, energy efficiency and smart grid development, energy security, offshore energy resources, nuclear energy policy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage, clean coal initiatives, natural gas policy, pipeline safety, climate change, and EPA regulation.


Clients rely on Van Ness Feldman to represent their interests in congressional debates on air quality and related issues. The firm is particularly active on Capitol Hill, representing electric utilities, automakers, and manufacturers in various matters related to Clean Air Act implementation and on global climate change issues.

Attorneys from Van Ness Feldman played key roles in the development of the original Clean Air Act in the 1970s and have represented clients in every major legislative initiative related to the Act and other air laws since that time. Most recently, the firm has participated in the debate over the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether and the future of the reformulated gasoline program. The firm has also played a central role in the development of key provisions in energy and tax legislation that affect clients’ environmental compliance planning.

Van Ness Feldman is poised to work on emerging air quality policy issues. Many interests now believe that the Clean Air Act’s pollutant-by-pollutant approach and piecemeal regulatory development are hampering planning by companies and a range of industries. In the next few years, there are likely to be new initiatives to reform the Act, establish new market-based and incentive-based approaches, and introduce controls on carbon dioxide. With the firm’s policy analysis and design experience — and with its pioneering global climate change practice group — Van Ness Feldman is ideally situated to represent clients’ interests in what will be a complicated, high-stakes legislative process.


Van Ness Feldman attorneys have played crucial roles in the development of significant water-related legislation, including the most recent efforts to reauthorize the Clean Water Act and to implement legislation authorizing and funding water resource development projects. In addition, the firm has been able to use this knowledge to take a leadership role in the creation and administration of coalitions on major water-related national issues such as wetlands, endangered species, and risk assessment. The firm also regularly assists clients with the development and execution of a comprehensive legislative strategy to achieve specific business and policy objectives.


Van Ness Feldman has represented clients before Congress on matters such as obtaining federal appropriations to assist in compliance with ESA requirements, lobbying for amendments to address specific aspects of the ESA or its application to specific fact situations, and participating in major debates over the reauthorization of the Act itself. In addition, the firm has been instrumental in establishing the Pacific Salmon Restoration Fund and achieving substantial multi-year appropriations to assist the four Pacific Coast states in their effort to conserve threatened and endangered salmonids.

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Justin Ackley

Law Clerk

Washington D.C.

202.298.1845 / vCard

Richard A. Agnew

Partner and Chairman

Washington D.C.

202.298.1815 / vCard

Janet M. Anderson

Senior Technology and Policy Advisor

Washington D.C.

202.298.1888 / vCard

Shannon Angielski

Principal, Governmental Issues

Washington D.C.

202.298.1825 / vCard

Steve Baruch

Senior Energy Analyst

Washington D.C.

202.298.1832 / vCard

James P. Bayot

Director, Governmental Issues

Washington D.C.

202.298.1838 / vCard

Robert A. Conrad


Washington D.C.

202-298-1927 / vCard

Michael Diamond


Washington D.C.

202.298.1807 / vCard

Norman D. Dicks

Senior Policy Advisor

Washington D.C.

202.298.1855 / vCard

Shelley N. Fidler

Principal, Governmental Affairs, Energy and Environmental Policy

Washington D.C.

202.298.1905 / vCard

Stuart C. Hall

Senior Director, Governmental Issues

Washington D.C.

202.298.1959 / vCard

Mary L. Landrieu

Senior Policy Advisor

Washington D.C.

202-298-1950 / vCard

Jason Larrabee

Senior Policy Advisor

Washington D.C.

202-298-1877 / vCard

Nancy Macan McNally

Principal, Managing Director, Governmental Issues

Washington D.C.

202.298.1892 / vCard

Alan L. Mintz


Washington D.C.

202.298.1837 / vCard

Margaret A. Moore

Senior Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.1847 / vCard

Frances Bishop Morris


Washington D.C.

202-298-1874 / vCard

Tracy Nagelbush Tolk

Principal, Governmental Issues

Washington D.C.

202.298.1937 / vCard

Joseph B. Nelson


Washington D.C.

202.298.1894 / vCard

Richard A. Penna


Washington D.C.

202.298.1870 / vCard

Michael R. Pincus


Washington D.C.

202.298.1833 / vCard

Michael L. Platner

Senior Tax Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.1988 / vCard

Daniel S. Press


Washington D.C.

202.298.1882 / vCard

Tom Roberts


Washington D.C.

202.298.1930 / vCard

Robin M. Rotman


Washington D.C.

202.298.1836 / vCard

Jonathan D. Simon


Washington D.C.

202.298.1932 / vCard

Jordan A. Smith

Senior Director, Governmental Issues

Washington D.C.

202.298.1914 / vCard

Van F. Smith


Washington D.C.

202.298.1839 / vCard

Michael A. Swiger


Washington D.C.

202.298.1891 / vCard

Robert G. Szabo


Washington D.C.

202.298.1920 / vCard

Sean A. Taylor

Senior Director, Governmental Issues

Washington D.C.

202-298-1869 / vCard

William Van Ness, Jr.

In Memoriam

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Andrew M. VanderJack


Washington D.C.

202.298.1941 / vCard

Michael Weiner

Legislative Assistant

Washington D.C.

202.298.1848 / vCard

Sharon White

Of Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.1871 / vCard

Julia Scarpino Wood


Washington D.C.

202.298.1938 / vCard

James W. Ziglar

Senior Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.1802 / vCard

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2014 Highlights of Climate Change Impacts in the United States

Inventory of Federal Regulations Affecting Biofuels other than the Renewable Fuel Standard

Energy Policy, 40 Years Later: Meeting Challenges — Both Old and New

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New Wine Into Old Bottles: The Feasibility of Greenhouse Gas Regulation Under the Clean Air Act

The International Regime: An Overview of the International Structures Addressing Climate Change

Designing a Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program for the U.S.

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Federal Guidance on Section 404 Permitting Under Development

Federal Agencies Release the New Clean Water Rule to Replace "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) Rule

Obama Era WOTUS Rule Reinstated in Washington State (For Now)

WOTUS Rule Reinstated in 26 States After Court Enjoins Delay

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Ninth Circuit Concludes that Tribes' Treaty Fishing Rights Obligate State to Fix Fish Blocking Culverts

Army Corps Proposes Renewal of Nationwide Permits for Work in Waters of the U.S.

Proposed Air Quality Rules May Pose Challenge to Offshore Oil and Gas Industry

Administration Marches Ahead on Critical Habitat:
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Caught "Short": Are You Better Off Under the Clean Power Plan than You Were 14 Months Ago?

Are You Better Off Under the Clean Power Plan than You Were 14 Months Ago?

EPA Issues Regulations to Control Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Power Sector

BLM Contemplates Oil and Gas Royalty Reform

Policy Outlook for 2015

Administration Proposes Changes to Endangered Species Act Critical Habitat Designations and "Adverse Modification" Definition

White House Releases Third U.S. National Climate Assessment

Senator Landrieu Convenes Hearing to Keep the Lights On

White House Releases Climate Action Plan to Reduce Methane Emissions


Clearer Picture Emerging on Proposed Rule Redefining Jurisdictional Waters of the United States

EPA Proposes Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits for New Electric Generating Units

EPA Expands Climate Agenda to the Current Fleet of Power Plants and Refineries


Climate, Energy, & Air Update - August 1 - 13, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - June 26 - July 9, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - June 12 - 25, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - May 29 - June 11, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - May 1 - 14, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - April 17 - 30, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - April 2 - 16, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Mar. 20 - Apr. 2, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - March 5 - 19, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Feb. 18 - Mar. 5, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Jan. 30 - Feb. 12, 2014