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

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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May 22, 2018

EU to Reactivate 1996 Blocking Regulation Against US Sanctions on Iran

On Friday, May 18, the EU Commission launched the formal process to reactivate a 1996 trade defense law in response to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA on Iran's nuclear program.

May 3, 2018

Infrastructure Series: NAFTA Renegotiation: Energy Infrastructure and Investor-State Disputes

Negotiations to reshape the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the United States, Canada and Mexico have recently intensified as various factors—upcoming elections in Mexico in July and in the United States in November; the prospects of a trade showdown between the United States and China—have the three nations pushing to reach an agreement in principle in the coming weeks (although talks are presently on hold until May 7). This client alert was also published by Law360.

May 3, 2018

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2018 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers and Partners announced its rankings for the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, with WilmerHale listed among the nation's best in 50 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 95 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

April 26, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Tribes and Infrastructure

Infrastructure needs are significant across the country, but it would be hard to find any locality or region where the needs are higher than in Indian Country. In recent years, both Congress and the Administration have taken steps to increase available funding for infrastructure servicing tribes. This client alert was also published by Law360.

April 19, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Momentum Builds for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States

The beginning of 2018 has offered signs of a renewed push to expand development of offshore wind generation along the US Atlantic coast. This client alert was also published by Law360.

April 12, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Agencies Establish One Federal Decision Framework for Project Reviews

This week, a dozen federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to “a more predictable, transparent, and timely Federal review and authorization process for delivering major infrastructure projects.” This client alert was also published by Law360.

March 29, 2018

Infrastructure Series: Border Wall Litigation Update

As discussed in previous issues of WilmerHale's Infrastructure Series, the Trump Administration is examining legislative and executive actions to streamline the permitting of infrastructure projects.

March 23, 2018

New Presidential Proclamations Amend Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports, Including Temporary Exemptions for Wider Group of Countries

Yesterday, President Trump issued new Proclamations regarding Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, amending the original Proclamations (9704 and 9705) issued on March 8.

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.

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.