The firm’s public policy practice provides the 2017 Congressional Calendar, which notes days of session for both chambers of Congress as well as federal holidays. Click here for the 2017 Congressional Calendar. ### With decades of experience in both the public and private sectors, Van Ness Feldman’s professionals work to create, impact, shape, implement, and comply with the nation’s major energy, environmental, natural resource, transportation, healthcare, tax, and other laws.  The firm is recognized as a leader in Government Relations by Chambers USA and U.S. News/Best Law Firms. For questions about this calendar or emerging federal policy, please contact any member of the firm’s Government Relations & Public Policy Practice at... READ MORE
On November 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) aimed at allowing energy storage resources and all categories of aggregated distributed energy resources (DERs) to more fully participate in organized electricity markets.[1]  As storage and DERs have become increasingly common, independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) have developed individual methods of integrating these resources.   While leaving significant elements for each market to determine, the NOPR would move towards a standard – and more expansive – role for these resources in markets. Background Storage and DERs have received significant attention from FERC in the past... READ MORE
On November 18, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it has finalized a rule intended to reduce the waste of natural gas that results from onshore flaring, venting, and leaks by oil and gas production on federal and tribal lands.  BLM has said that the Final Rule—which is entitled “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation”—will modernize existing regulations to reflect advancements in oil and gas production in an attempt to reduce natural gas waste, curtail air pollution, and provide a beneficial return on public resources for states, tribes, and federal taxpayers.  The Final Rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the near term, and is scheduled to take effect January 17... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman's T.C. Richmond is part of a panel that will discuss the merits of various legal approaches to addressing the climate-related challenges that water infrastructure faces nationwide.   Click here for more conference information and to register. READ MORE
T.C. Richmond is presenting “What Next for Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Final Guidance on Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change Impacts” at LSI’s intensive SEPA/NEPA seminar, January 13, 2017 in Seattle.  Special topics will include the federal FAST Act designed to expedite the NEPA process for major infrastructure projects; the Council on Environmental Quality's Final Guidance on Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change Impacts; unresolved issues in SEPA administrative and judicial appeals, exemplified by a recent SEPA challenge of Okanogan County's All-Terrain Vehicle Ordinance; and the impact of SEPA on the development of affordable housing. READ MORE
Please join us at one of two events to discuss the significant developments regarding the role of Northwest tribes in infrastructure permitting. Over the past year, the Pacific Northwest has witnessed three significant developments regarding the role of Indian Tribes in federal and state permitting decisions. In May, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied federal permits for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal based upon concerns about impacts of the proposed project on Tribal Treaty fishing rights. In June, in a landmark decision, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a permanent injunction against the State of Washington, concluding that the State violated, and continues to violate, the Tribal Treaty fishing rights by building and maintaining barrier... READ MORE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Van Ness Feldman is pleased to announce that one new Principal and five new Partners have been elected to the membership of the firm, effective immediately.  “We are proud of this newly promoted group of members,” Richard Agnew, Chairman of Van Ness Feldman said, “Each one of them is talented, energetic, and represent what is best about our firm—a deep knowledge of subject matter and a commitment to serving clients and our community.”   The new principal and partners are based in both our Washington, DC and Seattle offices. Biographical information is below. Andrea Hudson Campbell  advises automobile manufacturers, engine and equipment manufacturers, electric utilities, trade associations, and coalitions on a variety of... READ MORE
The CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosted an expert discussion today to discuss  some of the regulatory, legislative, international and subnational efforts that may be pursued to reduce future emissions. Van Ness Feldman's  Kyle Danish spoke on regulatory options; Adele Morris from the Brookings Institution discussed the notion of a carbon tax or other market based mechanisms; and Bob Perciasepe from C2ES focused on the feasibility of these approaches as well as how important local, state, and international actions are to achieving these emissions reduction goals.  Also, in conjunction with the program, a white paper entitled, Scenarios for New Greenhouse Gas Policies in the Next Ten Years, written by Kyle Danish, Bob Nordhaus and Avi... READ MORE
Van Ness Feldman is pleased to announce the firm’s Energy, Environmental, Litigation – Environmental, and Natural Resources practices have been ranked as National Tier 1 practices by US News & World Report in its just released 2017 rankings. The firm also received a National Tier 1 ranking for Native American Law for the first time.  In addition, the firm received nationwide recognition in the areas of Land-Use & Zoning Law, and Oil & Gas Law and an inaugural Tier 1 ranking for its Native American Law practice in the Washington, DC market. Other inaugural rankings include a Tier 2 ranking for the firm’s Water Law practice in the Seattle market, and a Tier 3 ranking for the firm’s Transportation Law practice in the DC market.  Firm Chairman... READ MORE
Elaine Chao Selected as the Next Secretary of Transportation President-elect Donald Trump has announced that he intends to nominate Ms. Elaine Chao to serve as the Secretary of Transportation.  Ms. Chao previously served as Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush and Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush.  Ms. Chao also is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Ms. Chao must be confirmed by the Senate, a process that will begin once Congress reconvenes on January 3. North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Proposed Safety Rules for Underground Crude Oil and Produced Water Gathering Lines Are Approved On December 5, the North Dakota Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee approved new rules... READ MORE
FERC FERC Releases 2016 Report on Enforcement - November 17 - The FERC Office of Enforcement (OE) released its tenth annual Report on Enforcement providing information on the OE Divisions of analytics and surveillance, audits and accounting, energy market oversight, and investigations.  The report focuses on the four distinct areas of fraud and market manipulation, serious violations of the Reliability Standards, anticompetitive conduct, and conduct that threatens transparency in regulated markets.  The report also details 17 new investigations in which 12 involve potential market manipulation, and 2 FERC approved settlement agreements that resolved violations of Reliability Standards.   FERC Adopts FAST Act Provisions on Critical Infrastructure... READ MORE
Federal Agencies Issue Final Rules for Trial-Type Hearings On November 23, 2016, the Departments of Agriculture, the Interior, and Commerce issued final rules for expedited trial-type hearings and submission of alternative conditions under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The trial-type hearings are conducted to resolve disputed issues of material fact with respect to mandatory conditions and prescriptions submitted by federal resource agencies for inclusion in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) hydropower license.  The final rules make no changes from the revised interim final rules, which took effect on April 30, 2015.  The hydroelectric industry submitted extensive comments in response to the revised interim final rules... READ MORE