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Our strong federal and state public affairs and government relations groups have the relationships and experience to provide effective legislative and agency advocacy for energy clients.  We regularly represent utility, transmission and marketing clients in rulemaking proceedings (involving restructuring, ratemaking and licensing) and contested cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy, Public Utility Commission of Texas and other state regulatory agencies.

In Congress, we work closely with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee to advocate for power and gas clients in the drafting of laws and regulatory compliance measures.  Given this experience, our lawyers effectively counsel power and natural gas companies on designing and implementing best-in-class legal and regulatory compliance education programs and in monitoring ongoing compliance efforts.

We have played a key role in such major energy legislation as Title VII of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the Domenici-Barton Energy Policy Act of 2005.  For example, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 contains a provision initiated and originally drafted by Bracewell that permits the Department of Energy to apply National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (NIETC) designation to high-priority power transmission projects under federal eminent domain, thus bypassing the traditional state public utility commission regulatory structure.  Our public policy group has had similar success in:

  • advocating for reform of hydroelectric power plant licensing
  • advising on reciprocal access to power between the U.S. and Canada
  • building coalitions to advance the interests of the energy industry in New Source Review and possible carbon emissions restrictions
  • creating tax and grant benefits for renewable energy projects
  • securing governmental authorizations and certification under the Natural Gas and Natural Gas Policy Acts, including environmental approvals and transportation and storage compliance.

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