Van Ness Feldman has substantial experience providing strategic policy guidance and legislative advocacy to leading energy and industrial companies, municipalities, trade associations, and coalitions. The firm’s unique approach to energy and environmental policy advocacy combines strategic perspective, business savvy, and substantive knowledge of the issues. Clients choose Van Ness Feldman because of the firm’s bi-partisan policy team that includes former legal counsel and policy advisors to members of the congress and congressional committees, and the government agencies that developed many of the nation’s most important energy, environmental, and natural resources laws. The firm’s involvement in every major energy and environmental policy debate since the mid-1970s supports Van Ness Feldman’s unparalleled reputation within the industry.
High-level government advocacy work includes helping clients understand the impact on their organizations of existing and proposed energy and environmental law and policies including:
- natural gas policy and the pipeline certificate processes;
- LNG facility siting;
- FERC regulation of the electric and gas sectors;
- transmission siting and development;
- Clean Air Act implementation and global climate change;
- federal public land law;
- Endangered Species Act; and
- renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.
The firm’s commitment to both the process of policymaking, coupled with a keen understanding of the real world impacts that policy shifts can have, allows Van Ness Feldman to successfully guide clients through the most complicated and contentious policy debates.
With the current administration and Congress focused on transitioning the U.S. to a clean energy economy, the issues on which Van Ness Feldman's government relations practice advise its clients have never been more complex - or more critical.
The firm’s lawyers and policy professionals are significantly involved in all of the current legislative and federal agency discussions on issues such as renewable energy standards and incentives, energy efficiency and smart grid development, energy security, offshore energy resources, nuclear energy policy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage, clean coal initiatives, natural gas policy, pipeline safety, climate change, and EPA regulation.
AIR & CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY
Clients rely on Van Ness Feldman to represent their interests in congressional debates on air quality and related issues. The firm is particularly active on Capitol Hill, representing electric utilities, automakers, and manufacturers in various matters related to Clean Air Act implementation and on global climate change issues.
Attorneys from Van Ness Feldman played key roles in the development of the original Clean Air Act in the 1970s and have represented clients in every major legislative initiative related to the Act and other air laws since that time. Most recently, the firm has participated in the debate over the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether and the future of the reformulated gasoline program. The firm has also played a central role in the development of key provisions in energy and tax legislation that affect clients’ environmental compliance planning.
Van Ness Feldman is poised to work on emerging air quality policy issues. Many interests now believe that the Clean Air Act’s pollutant-by-pollutant approach and piecemeal regulatory development are hampering planning by companies and a range of industries. In the next few years, there are likely to be new initiatives to reform the Act, establish new market-based and incentive-based approaches, and introduce controls on carbon dioxide. With the firm’s policy analysis and design experience — and with its pioneering global climate change practice group — Van Ness Feldman is ideally situated to represent clients’ interests in what will be a complicated, high-stakes legislative process.
Van Ness Feldman attorneys have played crucial roles in the development of significant water-related legislation, including the most recent efforts to reauthorize the Clean Water Act and to implement legislation authorizing and funding water resource development projects. In addition, the firm has been able to use this knowledge to take a leadership role in the creation and administration of coalitions on major water-related national issues such as wetlands, endangered species, and risk assessment. The firm also regularly assists clients with the development and execution of a comprehensive legislative strategy to achieve specific business and policy objectives.
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ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT & POLICY
Van Ness Feldman has represented clients before Congress on matters such as obtaining federal appropriations to assist in compliance with ESA requirements, lobbying for amendments to address specific aspects of the ESA or its application to specific fact situations, and participating in major debates over the reauthorization of the Act itself. In addition, the firm has been instrumental in establishing the Pacific Salmon Restoration Fund and achieving substantial multi-year appropriations to assist the four Pacific Coast states in their effort to conserve threatened and endangered salmonids.