Energy

Overview

    The energy industry has undergone a paradigm shift in the past decade, requiring businesses to approach energy issues on a strategic level that encompasses not only how to best maximize their understanding of the law, but also how to engage in business, economic, financial, and political strategy initiatives in a dynamic sector with shifting regulatory demands and economic challenges.

    Blank Rome’s energy attorneys provide forward-looking insight into an ever-evolving industry while taking into account each client’s unique business concerns. From financing to acquisitions, development to construction, and procurement to distribution, our business, litigation, and regulatory experience can address a full range of energy industry issues. We work to not only bring established methods to bear on traditional problems, but to help our clients achieve a unique and competitive advantage in the industry.

    We advise the full spectrum of energy-related clients, including:

    • governments and national energy companies
    • electric, gas, and water independents and public utilities
    • oil, gas, petroleum liquids, and mineral producers, and nuclear fuel disposition programs
    • liquid natural gas (“LNG”) importers, exporters, and storage operators
    • pipeline, processing, and distribution companies
    • electric transmission companies
    • solar, wind, and hydro power developers and facility owners
    • service providers, including engineering, procurement, construction (“EPC”), and environmental firms
    • financial institutions, including private equity and infrastructure funds

    How We Can Help

    • regulatory compliance and enforcement
    • transactions and due diligence
    • disputes in federal, state, and local courts, and before regulatory agencies
    • internal investigations and compliance programs
    • real estate, including leasing and land use
    • project finance
    • federal and state taxation
    • intellectual property and trade secrets
    • cybersecurity
    • strategic policy and government relations

    With more than 60 attorneys practicing across the United States, we routinely appear before the U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and various state agencies and commissions across the United States, as well as before federal and state appeals courts, to challenge and defend against agency actions and rulings.

    What Sets Us Apart

    • Our team includes a former U.S. Secretary of Energy, and former officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”).
    • Several of our energy attorneys are former high-level executives in major integrated oil, chemical, and natural resources companies and one served as a general counsel of a major public utility
    • Our attorneys also provide their insights in monthly articles for The Legal Intelligencer and Forbes; and they are routinely asked to be featured speakers at industry events. They often serve as educators for Continuing Legal Education seminars and webinars.
    • We help our clients keep current on the latest trends in the industry through our regularly updated Energy and Environmental Trends Watch blog.

    Experience

    Corporate

    • Acting as general maritime and product transportation counsel to Philadelphia Energy Solutions (“PES”) providing critical risk management and enterprise corporate structuring advice regarding environmental and maritime risks, both onshore and offshore, associated with the transportation of crude oil and refined products by rail and vessel.
    • Served as counsel to an E&P company in a $90 million development financing.
    • Served as counsel to an E&P company in connection with the purchase of $136 million producing properties in the on-shore Gulf Coast area.
    • Served as counsel to a leading independent oil refiner and marketer in the acquisition of more than 1,100 sites in 18 states in five separate transactions, some of which included 1031 exchanges.
    • Represented Siemens Energy in its sales of receivables arising from installment sales of wind farm components to international syndicates of institutional investors.

    Environmental Permitting

    • Defended various Clean Air Act permits before the Environmental Hearing Board for the Mariner East project.
    • Served as counsel to PES for environmental permitting matters relating to infrastructure build out at the Philadelphia Refinery including with respect to Clean Air Act permitting to ensure the continued delivery and refining of shale resources from the Baaken Shale Play in North Dakota.
    • Served as counsel to P.H. Glatfelter regarding FERC, PUC, and PHMSA requirements as well as contracting for a natural gas “plant line” pipeline spur to Glatfelter’s industrial plant from the nearby interstate line.
    • Served as counsel to numerous applicants to obtain deepwater port and shoreside LNG facility licenses in the United States under the Federal Deepwater Port Act and other federal and state laws.
    • Provided environmental advice and representation on permits relating to development of a multibillion dollar petrochemical plant in Western Pennsylvania.

    Litigation and Investigations

    • Represent Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. and Sunoco Pipeline L.P. in federal litigation involving Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit claims related to an alleged petroleum release.
    • Defended a pipeline company in connection with a state and federal Clean Water Act enforcement action involving inadvertent returns associated with horizontal directional drilling.
    • Served as counsel to Shell in connection with the defense of its Clean Air Act permit issued for the Petrochemical Complex in Monaca, PA.
    • Served as counsel to BG LNG and Keyspan Corporation in the conversion of the KLNG facility in Providence, RI, from truck to marine loading, including all litigation ensuing from the denial of a permit by the FERC.
    • Served as counsel to five public utility companies in actions against the U.S. Government for the economic losses attributable to the breach of the Department of Energy’s obligation to commence removing spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants.

    Regulatory Agency Proceedings

    • Represent Range Resources–Appalachia LLC before the Environmental Hearing Board in connection with an appeal of Range’s general permit for the beneficial use of drill cuttings.
    • Represent Exelon Generation Company, LLC before the Environmental Hearing Board in an appeal of Exelon’s Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station.
    • Represent Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals L.P. and Sunoco Pipeline L.P. in various appeals before the Environmental Hearing Board pertaining to air permits related to the Mariner East Project.
    • Served as counsel to Sunoco Pipeline L.P. in various vigorously-contested proceedings before the Public Utility Commission in connection with Sunoco Pipeline’s Mariner East Project
    • Served as counsel to a pipeline company in enforcement actions involving PADEP and EPA relating to inadvertent returns associated with horizontal directional drilling which was conducted for a gathering line.

    Project Development

    • Served as counsel to Poseidon Water LLC in the development, financing, construction, and operation of the $1 billion, 54 million gallons per day seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad, CA.
    • Served as counsel to Jordan Cove Energy Project in the development and permitting of a 1 BCF/d LNG export facility in Coos Bay, OR, and the development of a 232-mile pipeline from Malin, OR to Coos Bay, OR.
    • Served as counsel to Floridian Natural Gas Storage Company LLC in the development and permitting of a large-scale LNG production and storage project in Martin County, FL.
    • Served as counsel to Spectra Energy and Keyspan Corporation in the development and permitting of the Island East Pipeline, including all litigation ensuing from the denial by Connecticut of a permit under the Federal Clean Water Act and Federal Coastal Zone Management Act.
    • Served as counsel to Boundary Gas Inc., Alberta Northeast Limited, and Iroquois Gas Transmission System in the development, permitting, construction, operation, and three-time expansion of a precedent-setting, multibillion dollar supply and pipeline transportation system to serve New York, New Jersey, and New England with natural gas sourced from Western Canada.

    Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC and EPCM) Disputes

    • Representation of a Norwegian contractor in a UNCITRAL arbitration in Calgary involving $400 million of claims arising out of the construction of a sour gas processing plant in British Columbia.
    • Representation of a contractor in claims totaling over $250 million in connection with the construction of a 790-megawatt super critical coal-fired power plant in Iowa.
    • Representation of a European contractor in an ICC arbitration sited in Geneva in connection with $165 million claims arising out of the construction of a blast furnace in Chicago.
    • Representation of a Mexican/Norwegian joint venture contractor in a UNCITRAL arbitration sited in London in connection with $42 million of claims arising out of the construction of a steel pellet mill facility in Venezuela.
    • Representation of an owner in connection with contract drafting, bid protest, project counseling and claims resolution arising out of the construction of a $600 million light rail transit system in Pittsburgh.

    Policy and Political Law

    • Monitored all Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia legislative action on bills that may impact oil and gas development within those states, with updates on same posted on fracking blog for an E&P company.
    • Served as counsel to a consortium of energy companies seeking specific provisions regarding energy regulation in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
    • Served as counsel to the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan in proceedings before the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
    • Served as counsel to the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (“SRSCRO”) in seeking amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to authorize development and operation of an interim storage site for commercial spent nuclear fuel.
    • Helped secure federal funding for water treatments at a major manufacturing facility, enabling the company to expand its plant.
    • Assisted a major chemical company concerned with onerous regulations in the European Union with mitigating the impact of the regulations. We developed their successful strategy and connected the client with skilled local counsel.

    Tax

    • Represented Duquesne Light Company, Duquesne Energy Inc., Toledo Edison Company, Ohio Edison Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, and Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company in significant matters before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
    • Successfully resolved significant Pennsylvania tax issues for Duke Energy, PECO Energy, New Jersey Natural Gas Company, and Duquesne Light Company.
    • Represented PECO Energy in a Pennsylvania tax matter in which more than $60 million is at issue.
    • Represented New Jersey Natural Gas Company in matters before the New Jersey Tax Court and have represented Dayton Power & Light Company in Ohio tax matters.
    • Represented an international oil company in the successful representation of terminal and refinery facilities in securing major reductions in real estate tax assessments.

    Team

    Christopher A. Lewis

    Christopher A. Lewis

    Partner & Chief Officer of Diversity and Inclusion