Energy, Environment and Natural Resources REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

WilmerHale's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice draws on its substantive legal and technical background, knowledge of  industry, and insight from government service to achieve our clients' objectives in a range of regulatory, litigation, legislative and transactional matters arising at the intersection of law, business, science, and public policy. Attorneys in our practice have served in senior positions in the US Department of the Interior, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Justice Department, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Partner Ken Salazar has served as Secretary of the Interior, United States Senator for Colorado and Colorado Attorney General. Partner Tom Strickland served as Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks for the US Department of the Interior. Partner Andy Spielman currently serves as Vice Chair of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Chair of the Colorado Regional Air Quality Council.

We represent clients in a broad spectrum of industries—including oil and gas exploration, production, and transportation, renewable energy, gas and electric transmission and distribution, mining, recreation, aviation, defense, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, and financial services. Our practice focuses on addressing the development, counseling, transactional and litigation needs of that diverse range of clients, including highly charged Congressional and agency investigations, crisis counseling, and strategic response. We have one of the nation's foremost public lands practices, and work seamlessly across the firm's regulatory, transactional and litigation practices to represent clients in developing many of the most significant and complex projects on federal and private lands, both onshore and offshore.

Spielman, Andy

Andrew L. Spielman

Co-Partner-in-Charge, Denver Office

Co-Chair, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice

+1 720 274 3161 (t)

Cohn, Andrew H.

Andrew H. Cohn


+1 617 526 6218 (t)

Kalpin, Mark C.

Mark C. Kalpin


+1 617 526 6176 (t)

Kirsch, Robert C.

Robert C. Kirsch


+1 617 526 6779 (t)

Louis, Frédéric

Frédéric Louis


+32 2 285 49 53 (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)


Some examples of our work include:

  • Advising a global energy company in enforcement proceedings and federal agency and Congressional investigations stemming from a major accident and resulting oil spill.
  • Representing a major US oil and gas producer as national coordinating counsel on Clean Water Act regulatory and enforcement matters.
  • Assisting energy companies in successfully resolving suspension and debarment proceedings at the Department of the Interior and US EPA.
  • Assisting clients in developing, enhancing, and auditing corporate compliance programs, and when advantageous, guiding clients in voluntary self-disclosure under applicable federal and state audit policies.
  • Providing advice and counsel to a multi-national pharmaceutical company on a wide variety of aspects of environmental permitting, compliance and enforcement in connection with its research, manufacturing and laboratory operations.
  • Advising a multi-national pharmaceutical company on remediation of a proposed R&D headquarters location, zoning variances and environmental permits, and hazardous material handling and disposal permits, resulting in the successful development of a 1.5 million-square-foot campus.
  • Representing specialty chemical manufacturing companies in Toxic Substances Control Act enforcement and regulatory compliance matters, including design and implementation of TSCA auditing programs under EPA consent agreements.
  • Securing federal, state and county land use approvals for nearly 4,000 megawatts of wind energy, including more than 1,000 megawatts in Eastern Colorado.
  • Advising renewable energy companies in the development, financing and operation of solar generation, wind generation and biofuel production facilities throughout the United States.
  • Representing clients in connection with the licensing and permitting to construct, operate or expand publicly controversial facilities including in the nuclear energy, waste management, retail and recycling sectors.
  • Representing ski areas nationwide as public lands, NEPA, forest service and land use counsel.
  • Representing major Independent Power Producers (IPPs) with ensuring compliance with federal and state wildlife laws.
  • Successfully challenging in federal district and appellate court, based on constitutional Supremacy Clause grounds, and striking down a state law imposing a heightened cleanup standard on a single contaminated site.
  • On a pro bono basis, representing seven national, state and Western Slope 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 the state's existing generation fleet from oil-based fuels to natural gas fuels, compliance with EPA's MATS standards, and the proposed construction of an LNG import facility.
  • Defending a financial services company against electric market manipulation charges asserted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Assisting national commercial retailers, national financial companies and municipalities in connection with the purchase of electricity and natural gas from competitive suppliers on a single facility and regional basis, and in the direct purchase of energy supplies from regional wholesale electric markets.
  • Representing clients in numerous CERCLA and analogous state-lead enforcement proceedings throughout the United States, including defense and prosecution of cost recovery claims and designation as common counsel at various multi-party sites.
  • Representing a petroleum marketing company in bankruptcy proceedings and negotiating resolution of issues relating to closure of underground storage tanks.
  • Advising major oil and gas companies on risk allocation and negotiated environmental terms and conditions in billion-dollar asset-based transactions.
  • Representing several clients in diverse matters relating to hydraulic fracturing, including: monitoring of and advocacy in federal and state regulatory proceedings; defense of personal injury/property damage claim; and evaluation of risk associated with waste management and disposal. 

Publications & News


September 27, 2015

Native American Tribes Settle Lawsuit Against US Government Agencies

A federal judge in Oklahoma has approved a $186 million settlement of litigation between the United States and two Native America tribes, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations.

September 22, 2015

Federal Agencies Announce Steps to Expedite Reviews of Infrastructure Projects

On September 22, the Administration announced two new policies that will facilitate a more transparent and efficient permitting and review process for complex infrastructure projects.

August 3, 2015

Between a Hardrock and a Hard Place: Key Deal Points for the Foreign Investor in U.S. Mining Projects

A paper co-authored by Andy Spielman for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation on July 17, 2015.

July 1, 2015

WilmerHale Named a Leading National Firm in the United States by The Legal 500

The Legal 500 United States has released its annual rankings, selecting WilmerHale as one of the preeminent law firms in the country.

June 30, 2015

Supreme Court Rejects EPA Rulemaking Process for Power Plant Emissions Standards

The US Supreme Court held yesterday that the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably failed to consider costs when it made the initial decision to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants from power plants.

June 11, 2015

The American Lawyer Names Naboth van den Broek a Transatlantic Legal Rising Star

The American Lawyer has selected Partner Naboth van den Broek to its inaugural list of Transatlantic Rising Stars.

May 28, 2015

EPA and Army Corps Issue Final Rule on "Waters of the United States"

Yesterday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers released a final rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act, or “waters of the United States.”

May 19, 2015

WilmerHale Practices, Lawyers Ranked Among Nation’s Best by Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2015 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 46 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale attorneys as leaders in their respective fields.

May 14, 2015

Salazar Says Draft NEPA GHG Guide Leaves Host Of Unresolved Issues

An article published in InsideEPA discusses "Regulatory Divergence May Be New Norm After GHG Guidance," an article by Ken Salazar, Mark Kalpin and David Gold, previously published in Law360 on March 24, 2015.

May 11, 2015

Ken Salazar Named Energy & Environmental Trailblazer By The National Law Journal

The National Law Journal has named WilmerHale Partner Ken Salazar an Energy & Environmental Trailblazer, placing him as one of the top 50 business leaders in the energy and environmental space.