Energy, Environment and Natural Resources REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Across the United States and around the globe, clients look to WilmerHale to tackle complex business issues involving science, law and policy.


Lawyers in the firm's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice draw on substantive legal and technical experience, a keen understanding of relevant industries and the regulatory landscape, and insight from government service to achieve our clients' objectives. We represent entities across many industries, including oil and gas, renewable energy, gas and electric transmission and distribution, mining, recreation, aviation, defense, real estate, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, and financial services. 

We handle a range of legal issues involving regulatory, litigation, legislative and transactional challenges and support clients through the entire lifecycle of a matter, which includes handling highly charged congressional and agency investigations, crisis counseling and strategic response scenarios, and project development and related public processes and challenges. Our team includes a former US Secretary of the Interior, the former chair of a state Oil and Gas Commission, and other former high-ranking officials at the US Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division, and the US Department of Defense. We harness that experience to develop creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems, with clients' long-term interests and cost effectiveness in mind.

Spielman, Andy

Andrew L. Spielman

Co-Partner-in-Charge, Denver Office

Chair, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice

+1 720 274 3161 (t)

andy.spielman@wilmerhale.com

Connor, Michael

Michael Connor

Partner

+1 202 663 6063 (t)

michael.connor@wilmerhale.com

Gorelick, Jamie

Jamie Gorelick

Partner

+1 202 663 6500 (t)

jamie.gorelick@wilmerhale.com

Kirsch, Robert C.

Robert C. Kirsch

Partner

+1 617 526 6779 (t)

rob.kirsch@wilmerhale.com

Louis, Frédéric

Frédéric Louis

Partner

+32 2 285 49 53 (t)

frederic.louis@wilmerhale.com

Ratliff, John

John Ratliff

Partner

+32 2 285 49 08 (t)

john.ratliff@wilmerhale.com

Ross, Lester

Lester Ross

Partner

+86 10 5901 6588 (t)

lester.ross@wilmerhale.com

Salazar, Ken

Ken Salazar

Partner

+1 720 274 3131 (t)

Seyfarth, Martin

Martin Seyfarth

Partner

+49 30 20 22 64 30 (t)

martin.seyfarth@wilmerhale.com

Spielman, Andy

Andrew L. Spielman

Partner

+1 720 274 3161 (t)

andy.spielman@wilmerhale.com

Experience

Below are examples of our work in energy, environment and natural resources law.

  • Assisting clients in developing, enhancing and auditing corporate compliance programs, including providing guidance related to voluntary self-disclosures under applicable federal and state audit policies when appropriate.
  • Advising companies in closely regulated industries, including pharmaceuticals, on a variety of environmental permitting, compliance and enforcement issues in connection with research, manufacturing and laboratory operations, including the redevelopment of a 1.5-million-square-foot campus.
  • Advising renewable energy companies in the development, financing and operation of solar generation, onshore and offshore wind generation, and biofuel production facilities throughout the United States. We have secured federal, state and county land use approvals for nearly 4,000 megawatts of wind energy, including more than 1,000 megawatts in eastern Colorado.
  • Representing clients in connection with licensing and permitting to construct, operate, expand and decommission publicly controversial facilities in the nuclear energy, waste management, retail and recycling sectors.
  • Representing ski areas across the United States as public lands, National Environmental Policy Act, federal regulatory and land use counsel.
  • Representing seven national, state and local environmental and conservation groups as parties to the successful mediation and settlement of the 30-year-long Black Canyon of the Gunnison water rights litigation.
  • Representing several state entities on energy and environmental regulatory issues in connection with the proposed conversion of that state's existing generation fleet from oil-based fuels to natural gas, compliance with the EPA's mercury and air toxics standards, and the proposed construction of a liquefied natural gas import facility.
  • Defending a financial services company against electric market manipulation charges asserted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Representing clients in numerous Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and analogous state-led enforcement proceedings throughout the United States, including the defense and prosecution of cost-recovery claims and designation as common counsel at numerous multiparty sites.
  • Representing clients in diverse matters relating to hydraulic fracturing, including monitoring and advocating in federal and state regulatory proceedings, defending personal injury and property damage claims, and evaluating risk associated with waste management and disposal. 

Publications & News

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December 7, 2017

Denver Business Journal Recognizes Partner Ken Salazar as One of Colorado's Most Important Energy Leaders

The publication, as part of its annual Who's Who in Energy awards, recognizes leaders from a variety of industries including accounting, finance, law, oil and gas, utilities, midstream and education.

December 6, 2017

Denver Partner Andy Spielman Featured in Leading Legal Podcast

Andy Spielman was featured in the November 21 edition of the Leftfoot podcast, a series focusing on business development, client retention and innovation issues in the legal industry.

December 5, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Will Not Pursue Financial Assurance Rule for Hardrock Mining

On December 1, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will not promulgate a final rule requiring hardrock mining facilities (i.e., facilities for the extraction, beneficiation, and processing of metals and non-metallic, non-fuel minerals) to establish financial assurances under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

November 29, 2017

FERC Ramps Up Investigations Amid Leadership Change

On November 16, 2017, the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its annual Report on Enforcement. The report contains data on investigative and enforcement activities conducted by OE's four divisions—Investigations, Audits and Accounting, Energy Market Oversight, and Analytics and Surveillance.

November 9, 2017

Key Takeaways From WilmerHale's Recent Women in Energy and Infrastructure Conference

On November 2, WilmerHale held its inaugural Women in Energy and Infrastructure–Powering the Future conference in Washington DC. The event and pre-conference dinner drew more than 100 attendees and provided a forum for women thought leaders to discuss legal and policy issues impacting energy and infrastructure companies and exchange ideas related to powering development. Speakers included senior government officials, in-house counsel, government affairs representatives, agency and Congressional staff, and other influencers.

November 1, 2017

FERC Proposes Updates to Critical Infrastructure Protection Standards for Cybersecurity of Low Impact Bulk Electric System Operators

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission published a notice of proposed rulemaking on October 26, suggesting updates to the Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standard governing cybersecurity management controls for bulk electric system assets, called CIP-003.

November 1, 2017

WilmerHale Honored Throughout 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms List, Named Intellectual Property Litigation Firm of the Year

WilmerHale has been recognized among the 2018 U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers® list of Best Law Firms, an honor it has earned since the inception of these rankings in 2010.

October 24, 2017

Denver Business Journal Interviews Andy Spielman in Power Book Series

The Denver Business Journal recently published the Power Book, an annual compendium of the 50 most influential people in Colorado and WilmerHale Partner Andy Spielman is included on the list.

October 24, 2017

WilmerHale Leads All Firms in Law Week Colorado's Annual Barrister's Best Awards

WilmerHale lawyers in the Denver office have been recognized with seven Barrister's Best awards from Law Week Colorado, more than any other law firm in the state.

October 18, 2017

Ninth Circuit Requires US to Pay Defense Contractor Cleanup Costs

On October 4, the Ninth Circuit reversed the District Court for the Southern District of California's decision to allocate to a government contractor 100 percent of cleanup costs for hazardous contamination at a manufacturing facility for failure to consider the involvement of the United States in contributing to that contamination, and remanded the case for additional proceedings.

Recognition

  • U.S. News - Best Lawyers® included WilmerHale on its 2017 “Best Law Firms” list for environmental law nationally (tier 1) and in Boston (tier 1) and Colorado (tier 2); energy law in Boston (tier 1); and natural resources law in Colorado (tier 2).
  • The Legal 500 United States recommended WilmerHale in the area of energy regulatory: conventional power in the 2017 edition, and energy: regulatory in the 2015 and 2016 editions.
  • The BTI Industry Power Rankings 2017 recognized WilmerHale for its strong client relationships in the energy industry.