Federal Energy Regulatory and Advocacy

Federal Energy Regulatory and Advocacy


The legal and regulatory challenges facing the energy industry are complex and ever-changing. Schiff Hardin’s Federal Energy Regulatory and Advocacy practice is dedicated to helping all sectors of the energy industry understand, implement and shape federal energy regulations.

Our attorneys have played an integral role in landmark proceedings regarding open access transmission, generator interconnection procedure standardization, formation and operation of regional transmission organizations, and electric market design. We continue to help our clients shape ongoing regulatory initiatives such as return on equity reform, transmission planning and cost allocation, electric grid reliability, gas-electric coordination and major pipeline rate and certificate proceedings often related to the advent of shale gas development. We represent clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Energy, federal courts and other agencies in all aspects of electric and natural gas utility regulation.

Combining years of legal experience with in-depth industry knowledge, our attorneys understand the issues and risks that affect our clients’ businesses. We draw upon our experience to provide practical guidance and help our clients achieve their goals.

Electric Industry Regulation

We provide counsel to all sectors of the electric industry, including investor-owned utilities, municipalities, cooperatives, independent system operators (ISOs), reliability organizations, generators and other market participants. Our diverse representation allows us to consider regulatory issues in the electric energy market from a variety of perspective and to provide sound strategic guidance to our clients.

Energy Advocacy

Our interdisciplinary approach occasionally requires engaging lawmakers and executive branch officials. Our advocacy work for clients tracking policy developments has covered a broad cross section of activities, from lobbying on major energy initiatives to participating in all aspects of the administrative process involved in developing policy initiatives. We have been successful in achieving results for our clients that reduce potential regulatory burdens and costs.

  • Experience

    Federal Electric Regulatory Experience

    Schiff Hardin has extensive experience in all areas of federal electricity regulation before FERC, the Department of Energy, the courts and other agencies, including:

    • Formation and operation of regional transmission organizations (RTOs)
    • Wholesale market-based rates
    • Transmission service and rate matters
    • Transmission rate design
    • Formation of competitive energy and ancillary services markets
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Interconnection of transmission and generation facilities
    • Power supply contracts
    • Rulemakings
    • Hydroelectric licensing
    • Compliance with FERC Standards of Conduct and Code of Conduct requirements
    • Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and qualifying facilities (QF) issues
    • Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 2005 (PUHCA)
    • Compliance enforcement programs
    • Merchant transmission matters
    • Organization of for-profit independent transmission companies.

    Federal Natural Gas Regulatory Experience

    Our federal natural gas regulatory experience encompasses the full range of FERC and Department of Energy proceedings, including:

    • Rate and tariff proceedings
    • Complaint proceedings
    • Enforcement actions
    • Judicial review
    • Compliance counseling and training
    • Supply and contract negotiations
    • Affiliate transactions
    • Certificate applications
    • Rulemakings
    • Natural gas import authority

    In recent years, we have represented natural gas clients in:

    • Matters involving gas-electric coordination, including rulemakings, NAESB proceedings, and regional task forces
    • Major pipeline rate proceedings raising issues of changes in natural gas flows and markets due to the development of shale gas production areas throughout the country
    • Pipeline certificate proceedings and expansion efforts, often related to the need for new facilities to transport shale gas.
    • Issues regarding the Department of Transportation, Canada's National Energy Board and various state commissions.
    • Contested rate, tariff and certificate matters involving more than ten interstate natural gas pipelines on behalf of various shippers.

    Federal Energy Advocacy Experience

    Schiff Hardin attorneys have been involved in major energy legislation passed by Congress, including the landmark Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005 that set the foundations for many of the electric industry policies of today. Our attorneys have experience working on Capitol Hill and lobbying lawmakers. We combine this knowledge of the legislative process with our substantive experience in the industry to advocate clients’ positions with insight and credibility.

    Our keen understanding of the legislative process allows us to help clients navigate the administrative process behind the development of many policy initiatives. We have worked with policy makers in all aspects of the policy development process, helping clients participate in every phase of the rulemaking process. In some instances, we have focused on the legislative branch in order to instruct the executive branch in the decision-making process.

    We are successful in our advocacy efforts because we understand the multitude of venues available to solve a client’s problems. While many issues are addressed and resolved in a regulatory forum such as the FERC, we also address issues that require further policy guidance and/or legislative instruction. Knowing where to begin and how an issue may be resolved are fundamental strengths of our experience. We offer advocacy beyond the traditional regulatory arena.

Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

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