With Congress in recess for Thanksgiving week, we want to provide you with an update on the national elections, the organizational decisions that have been made for the 114th Congress and the evolving agenda of the lame duck session of Congress. During the next month, we will distribute periodic updates on congressional developments.  In January, we will share our views on the outlook for action on significant legal and policy issues in the firm’s primary areas of practice. UPDATE ON THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS As of today, one outstanding Senate race and three unresolved House races remain. The last Senate election will be determined in a run-off election in Louisiana on Saturday, December 6th between incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu (D)... READ MORE
On November 20, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a proposed Policy Statement regarding Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities (Proposed Policy Statement).  The Proposed Policy Statement would permit interstate natural gas pipelines to establish a tracker or surcharge mechanism to recover facility upgrade costs related to anticipated pipeline safety, reliability, and environmental regulations, if certain standards are met.  The proposal represents a modification of FERC policy, which previously rejected pipeline safety and environmental cost trackers that were not agreed to as part of a unanimous settlement with the pipeline’s customers.  The Proposed Policy Statement explained that FERC’s... READ MORE
On November 14, 2014, the comment period closed on a proposed rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) (collectively, the Agencies) that would significantly redefine and expand the scope of jurisdictional “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  Nearly half a million comments were filed by the deadline—with many commenting parties asking for withdrawal or delay of any further consideration of changes to the definition of “waters of the United States.”  In particular, there have been many requests to withdraw or delay the proposed rule until the EPA’s Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's Jay Derr will be speaking in a panel entitled, "Transportation of Oil By Rail:  The Challenge of Developing Public Policy to Address Random Events with Potentially Catastrophic Consequences."  Mr. Derr will be providing a "developer perspective on the potential impact of revised federal, state, and local oil train regulations on proposed export projects for the Pacific Northwest."   READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman LLP and B2Bwebinars.net are pleased to announce our upcoming interactive web conference, Recent Developments in the Regulation of Small-Scale Liquefaction Facilities.  The webinar will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET, and will feature Van Ness Feldman attorneys, Lawrence Acker and Keith Coyle. The regulation of small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities has taken on greater significance in recent months, primarily as a result of growing commercial interest in pursuing these projects to capitalize on abundant domestic shale gas supplies. Two experienced practitioners will discuss the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and... 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 congratulates our former colleague, Boyd Rutherford, who was elected to serve as Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor in Governor-Elect Larry Hogan’s administration.  Mr. Rutherford was an associate with the firm in the mid-1990’s.  We are also pleased to congratulate Marc Korman and Bill Frick on their election to the Maryland House of Delegates for District 16.  Mr. Korman is the son of Van Ness Feldman partner, Paul Korman, and Mr. Frick is the son of former Van Ness Feldman partner, G. William Frick. Chairman of the firm, Richard Agnew, said of the election victories, “We celebrate the success of Boyd, Marc, and Bill and know they will serve the people of Maryland with integrity and honor.” READ MORE
On Nov. 6th, the Illinois Pollution Control Board granted FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. a favorable motion for summary judgment against claims brought by The Sierra Club.   The decisions affirms that FutureGen has valid permits to proceed with the development of a near-zero emissions, coal-fired power plant project in Illinois.  Van Ness Feldman attorneys Dale Johnson and Chris Zentz represented FutureGen Industrial Alliance in this matter. READ MORE
The firm’s Energy, Environment, Government Relations, Land-Use & Zoning, Litigation (environmental), Native American, Natural Resources, Real Estate,  and Water Law practices honored as among the best in the nation, with Energy, Environmental, Litigation – Environmental, and Natural Resources practices ranked as the top practices in the country.  “It is an honor to be recognized by the clients we serve and by our peers in the legal industry,” said Rick Agnew, Firm Chairman. With over 100 professionals in Washington D.C. and Seattle, Van Ness Feldman is grateful for the dedication and creativity of the firm's personnel in building the firm into what it is today: one of the premier energy and natural resources, public policy, and land use firms in... READ MORE