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
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
Van Ness Feldman’s Pipeline & LNG Attorneys were recently honored with the NiSource Crystal Key Award for 2014 for Outside Counsel in recognition of the firm’s outstanding efforts supporting NiSource’s Columbia Pipeline Group.   The award, which was determined by NiSource’s regulatory attorneys, was presented to the outside counsel who they felt contributed the most to Columbia Pipeline Group’s successes during 2014.  This is the second time that Van Ness Feldman has won the award since its inception in 2012.  Members of Van Ness Feldman’s NiSource Team include Greg Junge, Paul Korman, Bob Christin, Michael Pincus, Susan Olenchuk, Jim Curry, Keith Coyle, Frances Bishop, Michael Diamond, Amy Beizer, Shippen Howe, Emily Pitlick, Patrick Daugherty... READ MORE
Earlier this week, the Diverse Environmental Leaders (DEL) National Speakers Bureau held their official launch event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.   The organization aims to provide expertise in engaging diverse communities and presenting best practices for successful outreach to increase awareness and stewardship of public lands throughout the country.  The firm is a proud sponsor of the DEL’s efforts to raise awareness of environmental conservation issues through greater inclusion efforts. For more information about the DEL National Speakers Bureau, visit their website here. READ MORE