Experience in Federal Matters
Engagements have covered a wide cross section of the administrative, legal and regulatory components required to assist clients with acquiring and preserving power resources made available by the federal government. Schiff Hardin frequently blends its expertise in non-preference areas (such as the development of competitive electricity markets and environmental law) with issues that arise for preference customers. Assignments involving federal power resources include representing clients’ interests before Congress, the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), District Courts, and Courts of Appeal including the District of Columbia, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits.
Expertise in Federally Mandated Obligations
In assisting with power purchases from the federal government, Schiff attorneys routinely advise clients on the preference clause obligations in the Flood Control Act of 1944, the Reclamation Project Act of 1939, and the Northwest Power Act. In addition to these primary pillars of the Federal Power Program, Energy Group attorneys counsel clients on the extent and limit of responsibilities imposed by statutory authorities such as the:
- Water Supply Act of 1958;
- National Environmental Policy Act;
- Endangered Species Act;
- Dam Safety Act;
- Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928;
- Hoover Power Plant Act of 1984;
- Hoover Power Allocation Act of 2011;
- Federal Power Act Section 211A;
- Water Resources Development Acts; and
- Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2012.
The familiarity with these statutory authorities has also included understanding applicable regulations and policy materials developed by the PMAs and related generating agencies. Clients have retained us to assist with reconciling rate design matters guided by Department of Energy Regulation RA6120.2 and Engineer Regulations published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both the American Public Power Association and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association have asked Schiff Hardin attorneys to present at legal conferences on preference power issues.