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)

Connor, Michael

Michael Connor


+1 202 663 6063 (t)

Gorelick, Jamie

Jamie Gorelick


+1 202 663 6500 (t)

Kirsch, Robert C.

Robert C. Kirsch


+1 617 526 6779 (t)

Louis, Frédéric

Frédéric Louis


+32 2 285 49 53 (t)

Ratliff, John

John Ratliff


+32 2 285 49 08 (t)

Ross, Lester

Lester Ross


+86 10 5901 6588 (t)

Salazar, Ken

Ken Salazar


+1 720 274 3131 (t)

Seyfarth, Martin

Martin Seyfarth


+49 30 20 22 64 30 (t)

Spielman, Andy

Andrew L. Spielman


+1 720 274 3161 (t)


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


March 22, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Cost-Sharing with State and Local Governments

As discussed in previous issues of WilmerHale's Infrastructure Series, the Trump Administration proposes several initiatives to seek and secure long-term changes in the government's approach to funding infrastructure projects.

March 19, 2018

U.S. Department of Commerce Provides Further Guidance Regarding the Process for Submitting Exclusion Requests to the Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports

The U.S. Department of Commerce has published an interim final rule establishing procedures by which organizations may submit requests for exclusions from the Section 232 tariffs.

March 15, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Paying for and Permitting Water Infrastructure

While President Trump's Infrastructure Plan highlighted the need for investment in the nation's water infrastructure, there are opportunities and resources available now to assist in developing water infrastructure projects.

March 14, 2018

Regulatory Challenges Posed by Emerging Contaminants

In this article by WilmerHale's David Gold, Rachel Jacobson and Heidi Ruckriegle—along with Nikki Delude Roy of Golder Associates—published in the American Bar Association's Water Resources Committee Newsletter, the authors discuss the current and proposed standards for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances in groundwater and other media.

March 9, 2018

President Trump Issues Proclamation Imposing Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports

Yesterday President Trump signed two Proclamations that impose 25 and 10 percent tariffs on imports of certain steel and aluminum products, respectively, other than those imported from Canada and Mexico.

March 8, 2018

Denver Business Journal Recognizes Kayla Byers as One of Colorado's Top Women in Energy

The Denver Business Journal has named Denver attorney Kayla Byers as one of Colorado's most important and influential female leaders in the state's energy industry.

March 8, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Fast-Tracking Electric Transmission Infrastructure

In the coming weeks, the US Department of Energy is expected to undertake its fourth triennial national congestion study. DOE may then designate one or more National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors, in which projects can be fast-tracked.

March 6, 2018

President Trump Expected to Impose Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports

President Trump stated on March 1 that his administration would impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports for an indefinite period.

March 6, 2018

Minority Corporate Counsel Association Recognizes Partner Ken Salazar

The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) has named Denver Partner Ken Salazar one if its 2018 Rainmakers, a designation that recognizes Salazar's expertise at the intersection of law and business development.

March 1, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Federal Agency Efforts to Streamline Permitting

This is the second issue of WilmerHale's 10-in-10 Infrastructure Series. In this series, our attorneys share insights on current and emerging issues affecting infrastructure project developers in the United States. Attorneys from various practice groups at the firm offer their take on issues ranging from permitting reform to financing to litigation, and share their insights from working with clients in a variety of infrastructure sectors, from water infrastructure to energy development to infrastructure development on tribal lands. Read all issues in this series and our other recent publications.


  • 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.