EBA Update, Q3-4 2017

The Quarterly Publication of the Energy Bar Association, Q3-4, 2017

PDF Complete Issue

In This Issue

· 2017 Mid-Year Forum Wrap Up
· President’s Message
· Interview with Senate Energy Council Pat McCormick
· How U.S. LNG Growth May Shake Up Global Gas Markets
· Evaluating Your Cost Per Case and Saving Advertising Dollars
· Chapter Updates
· New EBA Members and Ambassadors
· ELJ Past Excerpts
· CFEBA News
· What’s Ahead

Large Gathering at 2017 Mid-Year Forum as Key Energy Officials Discuss Policy Agendas

Nearly 500 attendees gathered for EBA’s 2017 Mid-Year Energy Forum on Monday and Tuesday in Washington, DC as they participated in more than a dozen policy discussions and networking sessions. Luminaries included Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chair Neil Chatterjee and FERC Commissioners Cheryl A. LaFleur and Robert F. Powelson as well as numerous former FERC commissioners and a range of federal officials, energy industry executives, energy attorneys and policy experts. READ MORE


President's Message

Growing Stronger

EBA’s 2017 Mid-Year Energy Forum was a great success.  We celebrated FERC’s 40th Anniversary with many former FERC commissioners, enjoyed one of our highest attendances in recent memory, honored Mike Stosser with the Paul E. Nordstrom Service Award, spent time with our newest members, held our second annual Women in Energy breakfast, and enjoyed the first annual reception of the LGBT Power group.  I want to personally extend my deepest appreciation to our EBA Staff, Professional Education Council, and many others who contributed to a wonderful event.

Planning has already begun for our 2018 Annual Meeting (May 7-8, 2018) and our 2018 Charitable Foundation Gala (May 7, 2018), which will raise funds for energy projects to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria.  Mark your calendars; we look forward to seeing you there. READ MORE


2017 Mid-Year Energy Forum (Continued): ALJ Reception Raises $47,000 for FELJ

More than 225 attendees crowded into the Washington offices of Duane Morris for the 2017 Honorable Chief Judge Curtis L. Wagner Administrative Law Judges Reception and raised more than $47,000 for the Foundation on the Energy Law Journal (FELJ) on October 16, 2017.  The annual event on the first evening of the Mid-Year Energy Forum honors FERC’s Administrative Law Judges. Hundreds of energy attorneys and professionals gathered to salute the judges as well as honor the career of Sheila Hollis, a prominent energy lawyer with Duane Morris and the first director of FERC’s Office of Enforcement. Gary Guy, President of the FELJ, served as the event’s MC. READ MORE

(FERC’s Administrative Law Judges gather for the 2017 Honorable Chief Judge Curtis L. Wagner ALJ Reception. From left to right are Judge Suzanne Krolikowski, Judge Patricia Hurt, Judge John Dring, Judge Lawrence Brenner, Judge Philip Baten, Chief Judge Carmen Cintron, Judge Steven Glazer and Judge Peter Young.)

(Duane Morris attorney Sheila Hollis was the featured guest of honor at the 2017 ALJ Reception.)



Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chief Counsel Patrick J. McCormick III Describes Life on the Hill
He Delves into Many Aspects of Lawmaking, Regulating, and Adjudicating in Energy

By Gary Guy and David Connelly

Taking time out of his hectic schedule, Patrick J. (“Pat”) McCormick III graciously allowed reporting squad Gary Guy and David Martin Connelly (aka “Les Moonves and Don Hewitt”) to speak with him at the Dirksen Senate Building Offices of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee of which he is the Chief Counsel.  He has remarkable insights that we are happy to share with you.

Committee Mechanics

His title, “Chief Counsel,” connotes that he is the lead lawyer for the Committee, while his counterpart, as lead lawyer for the minority, is “Democratic Chief Counsel.”  By Senate procedure, the counsel for the majority is Chief Counsel, so the title shifts along with control of the Senate. Mr. McCormick reports directly to Chairman Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.  He explained that, reflecting the division in its membership, the Committee has a total staff of approximately 48 divided relatively evenly between majority and minority.  As a practical matter, although the Majority and Minority Staff sometimes act jointly (as when a “Joint Staff amendment” is put forward as having been agreed to by both Staffs),  the two Staffs are, in effect,  two groups that act in parallel. First, Mr. McCormick showed us the anteroom where the Committee members confer. Then he took us into the adjoining Hearing Room itself, where we spoke with him for almost two hours. READ MORE

EBA Energizer Program Focus: How U.S. LNG Growth May Shake Up Global Gas Markets

By Ken Barry

Branko Terzic of the Berkeley Research Group, Ben Norris of the American Petroleum Institute, Charlie Riedl of the Center for Liquified Natural Gas and Julia Weller of EBA’s International Energy and Transactions Committee discuss the geopolitics of the U.S. liquified natural gas market.

On September 18, EBA’s International Energy and Transactions Committee, joined by the Natural Gas Committee, convened a panel of experts in Washington D.C. to explore how the launch of the LNG export industry in the U.S. could transform European and other global markets standing to benefit from competition.  Loosening the grip of Russian pipeline gas on Europe’s markets is a particularly intriguing possibility from a geopolitical perspective.

The program – titled “Geopolitical Impacts of LNG Exports Fueled by the Hydraulic Fracturing Revolution” – was moderated by former FERC Commissioner Branko Terzic (now Managing Director of the Berkeley Research Group, which also hosted the event).  Also contributing to the dialog were representatives from two trade associations supporting the buildup in U.S LNG export capacity:  Ben Norris, Senior Counsel at the American Petroleum Institute, and Charlie Riedl, the Executive Director of the Center for Liquified Natural Gas.  The speakers were introduced by Julia Weller, the Chair of EBA’s International Energy and Transactions Committee.  READ MORE

Listen to a recording of this event via EBA’s On-Demand Programming

Evaluating Your Cost Per Case and Saving Advertising Dollars

By Deanna Power , eGenerationMarketing

It seems as if there are nearly endless advertising options for a law firm nowadays. While TV commercials and billboards are still popular and highly effective options for attorneys, digital ads are increasing in popularity every year. How can a firm determine which marketing channels are most profitable?

What is Cost Per Case?

Cost per case (CPC) refers to the exact dollar amount a firm spent from one marketing campaign to sign a single client. It can be calculated simply by dividing the total ad spend by the number of new clients signed:

Dollars Spent on Marketing Campaign/# New Clients

Not every client will have a cost. For example, if a firm was recommended to a company by someone else in the industry for doing good work, that firm essentially gained a new case for free via a referral.  READ MORE

Chapter Updates

Florida Energy Sector the Focus of Southern Chapter Energizer

Florida’s electricity, renewable and telecommunications sectors were the focus of an EBA Energizer produced by the Public Utilities Law Committee of the Florida Bar and EBA’s Southern Chapter on October 6 at Stetson University’s Law Campus.

Key event highlights included Mark Futrell, Deputy Director for the Florida Public Service Commission, discussing the rules that govern renewables in Florida.  Futrell noted solar is now a cost-effective option in the state and explored the challenges in calculating avoided costs and whether net metering credits should be at a retail or wholesale rates.

Fred Harris of Greenberg Traurig, who specializes in financing of renewables, said distributed energy will play an important role in the future but current battery technologies remain a challenge. Harris noted solar investors are looking for sizeable tax credits (30% or more) and that an obstacle to growing the sector was that nonprofits could not get tax credits. He went on to describe different categories involved in finance structuring, and that utilities are building solar capacity. Harris went on to note that larger “big box” stores must own their property if they want to have the solar, and it there is a lease, the facility must otherwise become a utility.  Harris said 47 states allow power purchase agreements but they are not allowed in Florida without the facility becoming a utility.  READ MORE

New Members from August to October

Joining Houston Chapter
Cristiana Daugherty, Vitol Inc. 
Edward A. Finklea, Northwest Industrial Gas Users
John Metzger, Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.
Molley Sheriff, IHS Markit
Joining Louisiana Chapter
Jacob Cunningham, Louisiana State University
William M. Mohl, WMM Enterprises, LLC
Joining Midwest Chapter
Luke Adams, University of Tulsa
Aisosa Arhunmwunde, University of Tulsa 
Jeffrey Bacon, University of Tulsa 
Leslie Briggs, University of Tulsa 
Connor Brittingham, University of Tulsa 
Christopher Gnaedig, University of Tulsa 
Alex Howard, Case University
Joshua Ihler
Mitchell Lovett
Zach McClymond
Peter McVary, University of Tulsa 
Chandler Moxley, University of Tulsa 
Lashandra Peoples-Johnson, University of Tulsa 
Clinton Privett, University of Tulsa 
Randi Rymut, University of Tulsa 
Cody Schlegel, University of Tulsa 
Kevin Spontak
Katie Treadway, One Energy LLC
Hal Trentman, University of Tulsa
Loren Trice
Morgan Vaughn, University of Tulsa Energy Law Journal
Dakota Wrinklein, University of Tulsa
Joining Northeast Chapter
John Cossa, Beveridge Diamond
Steven P. Croley, Latham & Watkins LLP
Joy Dorsey, PEPCO
Gwen Fleming, Van Ness Feldman LLP
Alexander Kaplen, NERC
Noelle Kinsch, Avangrid Networks
Gary Kruse, LawIQ
Kenneth M. Kulak, Morgan, Lewis & Bocikius LLP
Kristine Little, GKG Law
Deirdre Lynch, Maryland Public Service Commission
Joanna Martin Ziegenfuss, Berkeley Research Group
Max Minzner, University of New Mexico School of Law
Justin Mirabal, Reed Smith LLP
Veronica Norman, Office of the Army General Counsel
Jeff Plewes, Charles River Associates
Nina Pogorzelski, FERC
Zach Pollock, Smarter Grid Solutions
Sharli Silva, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Sheri A. Spang, Van Ness Feldman LLP
Timothy Walsh, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Monique Watson, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Jennifer Wnek, South Jersey Industries
Jonathan Wright, DLA Piper
Joining Rocky Mountain Chapter
Jeremiah Langston Montana Public Service Commission
Joining Southern Chapter
Brad Brown, Innovative Solar Systems
Tyler Ezell, University of Tulsa
Angela Morrison, Morrison Law
Gabriella Passidomo, Washington & Lee School of Law
Brannon Taylor, Atmos Energy
Keino Young, Gainesville Regional Utilities 
Joining Western Chapter
Edward Barton, Saint Martin's University
Nicholas Kirby, APS
Mariah Roberson Kennedy, Puget Sound Energy
Jessica Kirshner, University of San Diego School of Law
Matthew Luchsinger
Karilee Ramaley, Salt River Project
Lisa Smith, Puget Sound Energy

Energy Law Journal, Excerpts from Past Issues

Ten Years Ago

“When the Commission has taken regulatory action to facilitate demand response, it has generally recognized and sought to respect the traditional role of the states in this area.  These statements provide an important guide for the future, but more active management of the jurisdictional overlap also may be appropriate, particularly as the Commission takes steps to promote demand response and other distributed resources, consistent with the Congressional directives set forth in the EPAct 2005.”

Hon. Jon Wellinghoff and David L. Morenoff, Recognizing the Importance of Demand Response: The Second Half of the Wholesale Electric Market Equation, 28 ELJ 389, 412 (2007)

Twenty Years Ago

“The pure version of a non-stakeholder board contains only independent board members.  No stakeholder representatives are allowed on the board.  The hybrid version includes both independent and stakeholder members, but with the independent members in a voting majority.  The obvious advantage of a hybrid board is that the independent members have direct access to fellow board members who have direct first hand knowledge of how the grid operates.  The disadvantage of a hybrid board is that it raises many of the same design issues (e.g., how many classes, how is representation changed when sector structure changes, etc.) that arise for a full stakeholder board.”

James Barker, Jr., Bernard Tenenbaum and Fiona Wolf, Regulation of Power Pools and System Operators: An International Comparison, 18 ELJ 261, 270 (1997)

Thirty Years Ago

“Congress chose not to impose a common carrier obligation on public utilities for services regulated under the FPA.  It decided that wholesale electric and transmission services should be established primarily by voluntary private contracts between public utilities and their customers.  Nonetheless, the FPA has been construed as providing the Commission with relatively broad authority to require utilities to provide wholesale electric service, and recent amendments to the Act afford the Commission some additional authority to require utilities to provide wholesale services.  Moreover, the Commission’s decisions demonstrate that the Commission may seek to compel the provision of wholesale services not voluntarily provided in circumstances where the Commission believes the ‘public interest’ so requires.”

J.A. Bouknight, Jr., and David B. Raskin, Planning for Wholesale Customer Loads in a Competitive Environment: The Obligation to Provide Wholesale Service under the Federal Power Act, 8 ELJ 237, 239 (1987)

CFEBA Raises Over $30,000 for Hurricane Harvey Victims 

In response to the Hurricane Harvey disaster in impacted Texas and other parts of the U.S., EBA members have generously donated more than $15,000 for energy-related relief efforts to the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association's (CFEBA) Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. In addition, CFEBA announced that NRG Energy, Inc. agreed to match up to $15,000 in donations to the fund, raising CFEBA's relief effort to over $30,000. CFEFA wishes to thank all of our EBA members and NRG Energy, Inc. for its support.

CFEBA is currently securing budget needs for a grant that would help Blue Triangle, a multi-cultural community center helping underserved Houstonians. The center focuses on community services including free swim lessons and water safety programs, and after-school and summer camp for 5-13 year olds.  CFEBA found Blue Triangle online as it was raising money for the new roof and electrical rewiring and upgrades.  Blue Triangle is now preparing a grant application to the CFEBA Board. We will update you on future developments.

CFEBA also encourages you to mark your calendar for #GivingTuesday, November 28th, the global day of giving and show your support with a contribution to CFEBA. All donations are tax deductible. The 2018 fundraising efforts will be focused on support for Puerto Rico. If you know of a worthy grant recipient to partner with CFEBA, please contact Michele L. Smith, Manager, Chapter & Foundation Relations at michele@eba-net.org.

Special Guest Visits EBA’S Young Lawyers Council Happy Hour

On September 21, the EBA’s Young Lawyers Council (YLC) was hosting its monthly happy hour at the Wunder Garten in Washington, DC when attendees enjoyed a surprise visit by new FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee (second from right). Chatterjee was nominated by President Trump in May to join the agency and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August. In October, he also attended EBA’s Mid-Year Energy Forum as the keynote speaker for the event’s luncheon. The YLC monthly happy hours in the Washington, DC region encourage all EBA members to attend and is especially geared for young lawyers, students and new members looking to network with other EBA members.



EBA Calendar of Events

Find out what is happening across the country, visit EBA's Calendar of Events

Beyond the Classroom and Away from the Textbook: EBA Provides Learning 24-7 in a Variety of Ways

Visit EBA's 24-7 On Demand Library with programming available online anytime, anywhere. New offerings include:
LNG Exports Fueled by the Hydraulic Fracturing Revolution: What are the Geopolitical Im-plications. This informative discussion with leading experts explores the geopolitical impact of LNG exports from the U.S. made possible by hydraulic fracturing;
Ari Peskoe, Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School's Environmental Policy Initiative, discusses Can State CO2 Reduction Policies be Implemented Through FERC-Regulated Tariffs?, where he explores FERC's authority under the Federal Power Act to approve wholesale tariffs that fa-cilitate market participants' achievement of their legal obligations under renewable energy and CO2 poli-cies;

Visit EBA’s On-Demand Programs at http://www.eba-net.org/education/on-demand-programs to learn more.

Diversity & Inclusion Policy Statement: 

The Energy Bar Association (“EBA”) is committed to the goals of fostering an inclusive and diverse membership and increasing diversity across all levels of the Association.  Attorneys and energy professionals in the energy field are welcome to join our ranks, regardless of race, creed, color, gender (including gender identity or expression), sexual orientation, family and marital status (including pregnancy), family responsibilities, religion, national origin, age, personal appearance, political affiliation, veterans status, disability, source of income (government, solo, corporate, firm practice), or place of residence or business (geographic diversity) and are encouraged to become active participants in the Association’s activities.