Energy & Utilities

Clark Hill's Energy Law & Utilities team has more than 100 years of collective experience in all areas of energy law, utility regulation and deregulation, and project development. We have represented large industrial corporations, small businesses, trade groups, power producers, municipal utilities, lenders and individual investors across the spectrum of energy issues and in negotiations with public utilities.

Our Energy Law & Utilities practice group counsels clients from coast to coast with respect to regulatory matters arising before state public utility commissions. At the federal level, our lawyers have represented applicants and interveners in rate filings, certificate proceedings, rulemakings and other proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Our Approach: Cost-Effective and Collaborative 
Our lawyers are well versed in the complex energy, financial and commercial issues that arise in today's global economy and our multidisciplinary team approach is designed to develop sophisticated, results-focused solutions and deliver services in the most cost-effective manner possible. We strive to be responsive and ensure that clients are fully informed as to the progress of each project. Our experience is deeply practical and enables us to interact easily with clients' own technical staff and consultants so that the team concept can be brought to an entire project.

We regularly advise clients in the following core areas:

Electricity and Natural Gas. We have deep, firsthand understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing companies that want to break away from sole-supplier local utility monopolies or who want to create sufficient leverage to enable them to negotiate lower utility rates. We offer sophisticated guidance on identifying and utilizing new energy source alternatives.

Our Energy Law & Utilities team is extremely familiar with the effects of energy deregulation in states across the country. We know that companies that can successfully manage the emerging electricity markets will gain a competitive advantage over those that cannot. In fact, we have helped lead the charge in two key areas, among others: lowering barriers to the nationwide electric transmission grid and promoting the ability of businesses to install distributed energy resources.

One of the most promising alternatives to local gas utility service is bypass. Clark Hill energy attorneys spearheaded this concept in Michigan and our legal gas bypass strategy was upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Our Energy Law & Utilities team can develop feasibility studies, arrange for FERC permits, secure easements for pipelines, negotiate interconnection agreements, procure transportation and storage agreements, negotiate construction contracts and, in general, devise a successful plan for bypass of the local gas utility. The completion of a credible feasibility study allows the client to negotiate with the local distribution company from a position of strength in order to secure lower gas transportation rates, which could make actual installation of the bypass unnecessary.

Our attorneys have filed applications for electric and natural gas marketers and brokers to conduct business in a state and to expand their current territory. We have provided guidance and employee training presentations and best-practice guidelines to help companies comply with state regulations on marketing their services to customers.

Our attorneys also have represented demand response and energy efficiency companies in several states in many areas, including rulemakings brought on by legislation requiring state-mandated reductions in energy consumption and demand.

Water and wastewater. Clark Hill represents a number of municipal water and wastewater utilities. In addition to rate cases, we provide counsel on regulatory matters such as applications, permitting, distribution system improvement charge filings, enforcement actions and billing disputes.

Experience

Representation of a public oil and energy exploration company in its strategic acquisition/merger of another public oil and energy exploration company.

Represented Pennsylvania based E&P company in connection with substantial private equity investment by major private equity fund and assisted in subsequent sale of entire company to international energy company
Counsel to a Pennsylvania wind energy company related to its ownership and investments.