Robert R. Nordhaus

In Memoriam

Bob Nordhaus specialized in federal electric, natural gas, and environmental regulation. His work in private practice and his governmental experience encompassed legislative, regulatory, and transactional work, administrative, and appellate litigation in these fields, and alternative dispute resolution. He represented electric utilities, independent power producers, end users of natural gas, and electricity, and state and local governments, and served both as neutral and as party-appointed arbitrator in electric and natural gas arbitration proceedings. Bob originally joined Van Ness Feldman in 1981, after serving three years as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s first General Counsel. He practiced with the firm until 1993, when he was appointed General Counsel of the Department of Energy by President Clinton. He rejoined the firm in 1997.

In 1977, prior to his service at FERC, Bob was a member of the Energy Policy and Planning Office in the Carter White House, and served as Assistant Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration. In 1975 and 1976, he was counsel to the House Commerce Committee, and from 1963 to 1974, he was Assistant Counsel in the Legislative Counsel’s Office of the U.S. House of Representatives.

He served as a member of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Advisory Council and was a member of the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent Transmission System Operator from 1998 to 2001.

Bob was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center from 1980 to 1985 and has served on the adjunct faculty of the George Washington University Law School since 2002. He was also a Director of PNM Resources, Inc., and  served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Energy Bar Association and as Chair of the Administrative Law and Agency Practice Division of the District of Columbia Bar.

Bob authored a number of articles and reports on energy and environmental policy and climate change.  

Bob passed away on December 24, 2016. 

  • Experience
    • Advised and provided corporate counsel to an association of large state and municipal utilities on energy and environmental policy.
    • Advised clients on Clean Air Act compliance and climate regulatory matters.
    • Was outside counsel to Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
    • Provided legal analysis of energy and climate issues for two leading energy and environmental NGOs.
    • Prior experience included serving as General Counsel to two Federal agencies--the Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

  • Professional Affiliations

    District of Columbia Bar Association

    Former Chair, Administrative Law and Agency Practice Division

    Energy Bar Association

    Former Member, Board of Directors

    Electric Power Research Institute

    Former member, Advisory Council

    Georgetown University Law Center

    Adjunct Faculty member, 2002-2016
    Adjunct Professor of Law, 1980-1985

    PNM Resources, Inc.

    Board of Directors
  • Awards & Honors
  • Bar & Court Admissions
  • Government Service

    U.S. Department of Energy

    General Counsel, 1993-1997

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

    General Counsel, 1977-1980

    White House Energy Policy and Planning Office, 1977

    Federal Energy Administration

    Assistant Administrator, 1977

    U.S. House of Representatives

    Counsel, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, 1975-1976
    Assistant Counsel, Office of Legislative Counsel, 1963-1974
  • News & Presentations


    Carbon Markets U.S. Forum 2007(1/14/2007)
    "Legal and Legislative Developments"
    Point Carbon
    Washington DC
  • Thought Leadership