Energy Regulatory & Midstream Services

Steptoe & Johnson's regulatory attorneys assist clients in natural gas and electric matters involving regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) throughout the Appalachian basin and with state public utility regulatory commissions.

Firm attorneys have worked in government as in-house counsel for Fortune 500 energy companies and have counseled clients on federal and state regulation of natural gas gathering and processing facilities, intrastate and interstate pipelines and storage facilities, and developed and implemented FERC compliance programs.  This real-world experience provides the perspective needed to create effective, value-added solutions for clients.

FERC Experience

  • Represented and counseled gas pipelines in general and limited rate-case proceedings, technical conferences, rulemaking, tariff, service, expansion, abandonment and construction certificate matters
  • Advised clients on gathering, intrastate and interstate facility classifications and distinctions, and FERC jurisdiction over facilities, rates or services by intrastate pipelines and local distribution companies
  • Represented FERC-regulated companies on numerous FERC enforcement matters, including extensive negotiation experience on matters involving significant penalties
  • Developed, implemented and managed a FERC compliance program for interstate natural gas pipelines and public utilities
  • Represented public utilities on rulemaking, RTO, interconnection and rate matters
  • Assisted FERC-regulated hydro-electric facilities with post-licensing compliance matters

State Regulatory Experience

  • Defended a major natural gas producer from claims that its pipeline should be regulated
  • Represented clients regarding certificates of public convenience and necessity, utility rate cases, affiliated transactions cases, purchases and sales of public utilities, defense of customer complaints, agency rulemakings, and territorial disputes
  • Represented purchasers in state regulatory, real property and environmental due diligence in planned acquisition of natural gas local distribution company
  • Assisted numerous clients in obtaining regulatory approval for financings, construction projects, and agreements with affiliates

Midstream Experience

  • Counseled midstream natural gas businesses and interstate natural gas pipelines on federal and state regulation of facilities, rates, services, safety and eminent domain matters
  • Represented and counseled pipelines and electric transmission utilities regarding easements, right-of-way and condemnation issues and proceedings in state and federal courts
  • Negotiated and drafted natural gas gathering and transportation agreements
  • Counseled clients on extent of regulation over natural gas liquids (NGLs) pipelines
  • Assisted in structuring transactions to minimize regulation and achieve business objectives

9 Team Members

We're all in this together
Of Counsel
Member, Chair, Energy & Natural Resources Department

Know How

FERC to Consider New Policy for Cost Recovery of Natural Gas Pipeline Modernization Costs
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) is seeking comments on a proposed new policy to allow interstate natural gas pipelines recovery of certain capital costs incurred to modernize their pipelines.  In a proposed policy statement, FERC is proposing to adopt a policy that would allow pipelines to recover certain modernization costs (for example, for reliability, safety, and regulatory compliance) through surcharge or tracker mechanisms.
Alert: Court Vacates FERC "Demand Response" Final Rule
On May 23rd, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a final rule of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) which sought to incentivize electricity customers to reduce electricity consumption when economically efficient.  The rule was challenged by several energy associations, including the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Supply Association, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.In a 2-1 decision, the Court invalidated FERC Order No. 745 requiring grid operators to pay electricity users who cut consumption when prices and demand rise the same amount as generators that produce electricity.  This practice is referred to as “demand response.”  
Alert: Court Ruling a Victory for Kentucky Pipeline Eminent Domain Opponents
On March 25, 2014, a Circuit Court in Kentucky ruled in favor of those opposed to an interstate natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) pipeline’s potential use of eminent domain under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  The interstate pipeline is not subject to regulation by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (“KYPSC”), which was viewed as a key factor in the judge’s decision.  The decision is subject to possible appellate review.
Alert: FERC Takes Further Action to Promote Gas and Electric Industry Coordination
On March 20, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued three separate but related items as part of FERC’s ongoing efforts to address gas and electric industry coordination issues arising from the increased reliance on natural gas for electricity generation.First, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”), FERC proposed to amend its regulations relating to the scheduling of transportation service on interstate natural gas pipelines to better coordinate the scheduling practices of the natural gas and electricity industries, as well as to provide additional scheduling flexibility to all shippers on interstate natural gas pipelines.  Click here to view the NOPR.
Alert: Save the Date - 2014 Energy Leadership Summit. Denver, CO.
Mark Your Calendar and Plan to Join Us for the Steptoe & Johnson 2014 Energy Leadership SummitWhen:Thursday, May 15, 20148:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.Where:The Oxford Hotel1600 17th StreetDenver, CO 80202Why Should You Attend?This one-day Summit will provide energy executives and decision makers with a comprehensive overview of recent shale oil and gas developments as well as legal and transactional issues in major U.S. shale plays.What Will You Learn?Some of the topics we'll discuss include:
Alert: FERC Electric Transmission Line Rate Incentives Affirmed
On January 24, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a 2012 order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) denying rehearing of a 2008 order granting rate incentives to an electric utility for various transmission projects with a total estimated cost of nearly $880 million (“Rehearing Order”).  On appeal, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (“NCUC”) challenged FERC’s decision to grant incentives for five of the projects.  NCUC argued that FERC abused its discretion by granting the incentives in 2008, and that FERC should be required to apply a subsequent change in its policy announced in 2010 to the projects at issue.
Alert: Pa Environmental Hearing Board Tosses First Utica Conservation Act Application
Hilcorp Energy Company filed the first application for spacing orders under Pennsylvania's 1960s vintage Oil and Gas Conservation Law affecting Utica shale operations with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) on July 17, 2013.  In a step that was, at best, baffling to many experienced observers, PADEP returned Hilcorp's filing and indicated that the application should be filed with Pennsylvania's Environmental Hearing Board (EHB).  Hilcorp followed PADEP's direction and refiled its application with the EHB.  Apparently also baffled by PADEP's action, the EHB required the parties to brief and to argue why they thought the EHB had jurisdiction over Conservation Law proceedings.  The parties complied.  On November 20, 2013, the EHB ruled:
Webinar: June 2012 - Webcast Slides - Senate Bill 315, New Regulatory Requirements for Oil and Gas Drilling, Disposal and Gathering in Ohio
Senate Bill 315, New Regulatory Requirements for Oil and Gas Drilling, Disposal and Gathering in OhioThe Ohio General Assembly has enacted a comprehensive energy bill, Senate Bill 315, which includes several provisions affecting the natural gas industry. The bill makes several significant regulatory changes impacting horizontal natural gas and liquid production. The bill includes a provision requiring producers to report volume and chemical descriptions for all fluids used in the production process and the total volume of recycled fluids used. The legislation also imposes additional requirements regarding water sampling and source disclosure. In this webcast, Neal Pierce and Kathy Milenkovski will discuss the provisions and impacts of Senate Bill 315.  Kevin West will moderate the discussion of the Senate Bill.Discussion includes:
Webinar: June 2012 - Webcast Presentation - Senate Bill 315, New Regulatory Requirements for Oil and Gas Drilling, Disposal and Gathering in Ohio
To watch and listen to a recording of this webcast, CLICK HERE.June 2012- Energy Keynote Webcast Senate Bill 315, New Regulatory Requirements for Oil and Gas Drilling, Disposal and Gathering in Ohio The Ohio General Assembly has enacted a comprehensive energy bill, Senate Bill 315, which includes several provisions affecting the natural gas industry. 
Webinar: August 2011 - Webcast Presentation - Pipeline Safety in the Utica and Marcellus Shale: An Overview of OH, PA, and WV
To watch and listen to the recording of this webcast, CLICK HERE. August 2011 - Energy Keynote Webcast Pipeline Safety in the Utica and Marcellus Shale: An Overview of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia As natural gas development increases in the Utica and Marcellus formations, midstream or gathering pipeline and processing facilities are being constructed to transport increased production to market. This webinar will address the state and federal pipeline safety regulation of those facilities in WV, OH and PA. We will also address how to handle the unexpected crisis situations in regards to natural gas pipeline ruptures and accidents. Topics addressed:


Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is a U.S. energy firm with core strengths in labor & employment, litigation and transactional law. In 2013, Steptoe & Johnson celebrated 100 years of helping clients reach their goals.


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