On August 15, 2014, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit or Court) unanimously denied the appeals of forty-five petitioners and sixteen intervenors, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order No. 1000.  South Carolina Public Service Authority v. FERC, Nos. 12-1232 et al. (D.C. Cir. Aug. 15, 2014).  FERC’s landmark rulemaking, issued in August 2011 and supplemented thereafter by Order Nos. 1000-A and 1000-B, implemented a series of significant reforms related to the regional and interregional planning and development of electric transmission facilities, including mandatory cost allocation to beneficiaries of new transmission projects and the elimination of... READ MORE
In a reprise of the 2009 case Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC (ICC I), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has once again set aside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of the PJM Interconnection, LLC’s (PJM) methodology for allocating the costs of certain high voltage transmission projects planned and approved by PJM before February 1, 2013.  The case raises questions about what analysis of benefits is needed to show that a particular cost allocation will be “roughly commensurate” with the distribution of benefits, and in particular what support is required for proposals to “socialize” transmission project costs among the utilities within a regional transmission organization or other regional... READ MORE
On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a declaratory order holding that the Federal Power Act (FPA) preempts state and local regulatory authority over a hydropower project under Washington State’s Shoreline Management Act (SMA).  FERC’s order resolves potentially significant delays in construction of the hydropower project under state law and allows construction to proceed immediately as authorized under the FERC license. Van Ness Feldman authored the petition for declaratory order. Background The Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, Washington (the District) received a 10-year pilot license from FERC for the Admiralty Inlet Pilot Tidal Project (Project) on March 20, 2014.  The 600-kilowatt... READ MORE
Kyle Danish, head of Van Ness Feldman's Climate Change practice will be featured on a panel entitled, "Strength in Numbers? Multistate Compliance With the Clean Power Plan" at NARUC's 126th Annual Meeting.   The panel will focus on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan for regulating greenhouse gases, which could potentially transform the power sector. Although the Clean Power Plan offers specific State goals, it also leaves open the opportunity for States to work together-but what would that look like? In this panel, attendees will learn about the options that might be available for States who choose not to go it alone. Is cap-and-trade the only option? Is there a role for regional transmission organizations for... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's Molly Lawrence and T.C. Richmond will speak at this upcoming conference on climate change regulation and litigation. Click here for more information. READ MORE
With nearly 2,000 participants, AASHE's annual conference is the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America. In one of the most innovative sustainable cities in North America, attendees from around the world will come together at AASHE 2014 to network and share new innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theory and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability on their campus and surrounding communities. Partner T.C. Richmond will join representatives from Second Nature to speak on Campus, Community & Corporate Partnerships for Climate Adaptation and Resilience. To learn more about the event and to register, click here. READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman client, Skyonic Corporation, will open an industrial chemical plant next week that will capture the carbon dioxide emitted from a coal-fired cement plant and use it to produce chemicals like sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid by reacting it with rock salt, in lieu of traditional methods of mining.  Members of Van Ness Feldman’s government relations and federal funding teams undertook major outreach efforts on behalf of Sykonic to help secure a $28 million grant from the Department of Energy to build the plant and helped with negotiating the cooperative agreement for the project. According to Skyonic President and CEO, Joe Jones, “[the plant is] the largest carbon-capture plant in the world that isn’t on the... READ MORE
In January 2014, the firm became a pro bono partner with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH), whose mission is to provide legal assistance and advocacy services to Washington, DC’s low-income or no-income communities. In conjunction with WLCH, the firm recently assisted a mother who was living in a homeless shelter with her four children in overturning a decision by the Washington DC Housing Authority (DCHA) refusing to process her application for housing assistance because of alleged past debt, even though the statute of limitations had already passed and they were no longer considered legal debts.  Through the talent and persistence of Van Ness Feldman attorneys Ahuva Battams, Tyson Kade, Avi Zevin and Rich Bonnifield, a series of... READ MORE
McKesson, the largest healthcare services company in the United States, has recently teamed with World Vision and other donors to assemble Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits that have been sent to Sierra Leone to help support healthcare workers in the region as they attempt to control the Ebola outbreak that has afflicted Western Africa in recent months.  McKesson Medical-Surgical donated four million pairs of latex gloves to World Vision– enough to meet the entire country of Sierra Leone’s needs for the next five months. “I am very thankful that we are in a position to donate these medical supplies at a time when the help is so desperately needed in West Africa,” said Stanton McComb, President, McKesson Medical-Surgical. “Van Ness Feldman... READ MORE