Government Relations & Lobbying

Steptoe & Johnson attorneys and non-attorney lobbyists promote client interests before state agencies, legislative committees, and the Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia Legislatures. The team provides government relations services on issues such as economic development, energy, environmental issues, public safety and health care. The group has provided support in areas such as advocacy, appropriations, coalition building, education, fund raising, issue management, PACs, strategic planning, bill tracking and bill monitoring.

How we have helped:

  • Lobby Executive Branch agencies and state and local governments
  • Examine and monitor legislation
  • Develop legislation to move our client's agenda forward
  • Schedule meetings and presentations with legislators and administration officials
  • Prepare clients for testimony before committees
  • Shepherd grants through state and federal agencies
  • Build grass root support for our client's projects
  • Provide advice and strategies to encourage passage of major program legislation
  • Maneuver legislation through the mine fields of the legislative process

What sets us apart from the crowd?

  • The ability to quickly respond to issues
  • The ability to "work across party lines"
  • Communication the way you want it - keeping the client updated on our progress
  • Crafting and implementing action plans tailored to individual client needs

     

 

 

15 Team Members

We're all in this together
Of Counsel
Government Relations Coordinator - PA
Government Relations Coordinator - WV

Know How

Election Changes Make-up of WV House and U.S. Senate
History was made in West Virginia last night as the WV GOP swept federal races, the WV House of Delegates, and tied in the State Senate resulting in fundamental changes coming to West Virginia. With all but a few precincts reporting, Republicans in West Virginia now will hold a minimum of 64 seats in the 100 member House of Delegates.  This resulted in 17 newly elected Republicans in the House Chamber, the highest since the 1930s.  In the State Senate, it will be tied at 17-17 with the Republicans picking up seven new senators.  Unless one of the senators would choose to switch parties giving a majority, it appears that the longest-serving elected member would become the presiding officer.  Regardless, this is a huge change in West Virginia politics as history was made at every level.
Alert: Producer Requirements Change for Expired Oil and Gas Leases
The “Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act,” will take effect in Pennsylvania as Act 152 on December 21, 2014.  Spurred by increasing concerns around title cloud issues caused by unreleased leases, the Act requires oil and gas producers to deliver surrender documents to landowners upon the expiration of oil and gas leases.  If the producer fails to deliver timely notice, the landowner is empowered by the statute to serve a “Notice of Termination” on the lessee.  Failure of the lessee to respond with a challenge within 30 days of receipt of this notice permits the lessor to record an “Affidavit of Termination, Expiration or Cancellation” with the County Recorder’s office.
Update – Pooling & Unitization in Pennsylvania
Pooling for oil and natural gas development was addressed in the latter half of the 20th Century by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in the Oil and Gas Conservation Act of 1961. This law addresses deep wells that penetrate the Onondaga formation which is the formation immediately below the Marcellus Shale. In order to promote the development and production of deeper oil and gas resources and to prevent waste, the law provided for drilling units to be established. The law contains specific provisions on establishing spacing units and procedures for integrating voluntary and non-voluntary interests. Although these provisions were seldom, if ever, used by operators, they did represent Pennsylvania’s foray into pooling and unitization.
New Studies Find Hydraulic Fracturing Not a Risk to Groundwater
Discussions about the potential for environmental contamination associated with energy exploration and production inevitably lead to agreement on the value of unbiased technical evaluation to expose the truth and provide answers uninfluenced by emotion. Two recent studies by academia indicate that hydraulic fracturing to liberate shale gas does not cause contamination of drinking water aquifers but faulty well construction can enable methane to migrate posing risks. 
Press Release: G. Kurt Dettinger Named to National Top 20 Under 40 in A&D By Oil & Gas Investor Magazine
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC Member G. Kurt Dettinger has been named to Oil and Gas Investor’s 20 Under 40 for principals and advisors in asset acquisitions and divestitures (A&D).
Alert: West Virginia Legislative Update
Welcome to the 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon.
WV Legislative Update - 3/7/14
Welcome to the 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 59th day of the 60-day Legislative Session. With only one day remaining in the Regular Legislative Session, as anticipated, much of the last week was focused on the Water Contamination Bill (SB 373) which has now passed the House and is awaiting further consideration by the Senate.  Numerous changes were made to the bill on the House side, and there is concern the Senate may not be willing to agree. Legislative Action by the Numbers:
Alert: West Virginia Legislative Update
The 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia.
WV Legislative Update - 2/21/14
Welcome to the 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 45th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.  By many accounts, this session has been somewhat lackluster with many controversial issues still to be dealt with in the remaining 15 legislative days. Legislative Action by the Numbers: 1240 bills introduced in the House 630 bills introduced in the Senate 69 bills have passed the House 72 bills have passed the Senate 8 bills have passed both Chambers and await the Governor's signatureMy View from the Capitol:
WV Legislative Update - 2/14/14
Welcome to the 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 38th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.  With only 22 Legislative Days remaining, look for the pace at the State Capitol to become more hectic. Legislative Action by the Numbers: 1179 bills introduced in the House 602 bills introduced in the Senate 42 bills have passed the House 50 bills have passed the SenateMy View from the Capitol:
WV Legislative Update - 2/7/14
Welcome to the 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 31st day of the 60-day Legislative Session.  The Legislative Session is now over the half-way mark with more legislative action to occur on a broad spectrum of topics. Legislative Action by the Numbers:  1068 bills introduced in the House 515 bills introduced in the Senate 23 bills have passed the House 35 bills have passed the Senate 4 bills have passed both the House and SenateMy View from the Capitol:
WV Legislative Update - 1/31/14
Welcome to the 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 24th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.Legislative Action by the Numbers:1009 bills introduced in the House463 bills introduced in the Senate16 bills have passed the House17 bills have passed the Senate1 bill has passed both Chambers and is awaiting Governor Tomblin's signatureMy View from the Capitol:
WV Legislative Update - 1/24/2014
Welcome to the 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 17th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.Legislative Action by the Numbers: 958 bills introduced in the House431 bills introduced in the Senate7 bills have passed the House6 bills have passed the SenateMy View from the Capitol:
Alert: Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down
Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley released his opinion in Applewhite v. Commonwealth
Alert: WV Governor Unveils West Virginia Source Water Protection Act
Today, Governor Tomblin unveiled his bill to create the West Virginia Source Water Protection Act (WVSWPA) in response to Freedom Industries’ release of MCHM into the Elk River near downtown Charleston approximately one week ago. This legislation is intended to bolster the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) regulatory program over industrial aboveground storage tanks located within a zone of critical concern that are capable of storing regulated materials in excess of certain thresholds established by the Secretary of the DEP to the extent that such tanks are not already subject to an individual permit under an existing regulatory program involving site-specific regulation and inspection by the DEP or otherwise exempted by statute or legislative rulemaking.
Alert: West Virginia Legislative Brief
Welcome to the 2014 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon.My View from the Capitol:Governor Earl Ray Tomblin kicked off the 60-day Legislative Session with his 4th State of the State address.  As anticipated, much of the Governor's speech focused around the state's economy, the state's budget, prison overcrowding,and the strong continued effort the state has made to lure and see the cracker facility in West Virginia become a reality.  The Legislative Session began on Wednesday, January 8th and will conclude on Wednesday, March 8th.
Alert: West Virginia House of Delegates Elects New Speaker
Members of the State House of Delegates met today in Charleston to choose their next leader. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Monday that delegates would meet in Special Session to elect outgoing Speaker Rick Thompson’s replacement. The Wayne County Democrat resigned his post officially on Saturday to take over as Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance. This is only the second time in the state’s history that the House of Delegates convened in Special Session to elect a speaker.  As expected, Harrison County Delegate and current House Judiciary Chairman, Tim Miley, was elected to the post of Speaker of the House. Speaker Miley secured all 53 Democratic votes, leaving 44 Republican votes for the Minority Leader, Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha.  It is anticipated that Speaker Miley will announce his leadership within the next few days. 
Alert: New Speaker for the West Virginia House of Delegates
Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Rick Thompson, will resign from the House of Delegates and from the office of Speaker of the House to accept an appointment by Governor Tomblin to the position of Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance. Pursuant to West Virginia law, the Governor will issue a proclamation following the Speaker’s resignation to convene a special session within ten days so the members of the House of Delegates may select a new presiding officer. In addition to the Speaker’s race, Governor Tomblin will appoint a new Delegate to represent the citizens of the 19th Delegate District, which consists of a portion of Wayne County, West Virginia.
Alert: WV Legislature Continues Home Rule Pilot Program
Since July 2007, four West Virginia municipalities have participated in the legislatively created “Home Rule Pilot Program.”  Under “home rule” the participating municipalities - Bridgeport, Wheeling, Huntington and Charleston - have the rather broad authority to pass local laws that are not contrary to the U.S. or State Constitution, federal law, or the provisions of West Virginia’s Criminal Code under chapters 60A, 61, and 62.
WV Legislative Brief - 4/23/13
Today, it was announced that Governor Tomblin’s Chief of Staff, Rob Alsop, would be resigning later this spring to return to the private sector.  In announcing the pending resignation, the governor further announced that current Secretary of the Department of Revenue would be taking over the role of Chief of Staff. See the press release below from the governor’s office as well as a link to the bio of the new Chief of Staff Lorensen.Gov. Tomblin Praises Alsop for Strong Leadership During Tenure as Chief of StaffBio of New Chief of Staff Lorensen  
WV Legislative Brief - 4/23/13
Today, it was announced that Governor Tomblin’s Chief of Staff, Rob Alsop, would be resigning later this spring to return to the private sector.  In announcing the pending resignation, the governor further announced that current Secretary of the Department of Revenue would be taking over the role of Chief of Staff. See the press release below from the governor’s office as well as a link to the bio of the new Chief of Staff Lorensen.Gov. Tomblin Praises Alsop for Strong Leadership During Tenure as Chief of StaffBio of New Chief of Staff Lorensen  
Alert: WV Legislative Update - 4/19/13
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon. The Regular Session adjourned Saturday, April 13, at midnight and immediately went into extended session via the Governor's proclamation that allowed for up to six additional days of deliberations on the State's budget.  
WV Legislative Update - 4/12/13
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon. Today marks the 59th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.Legislative Action by the Numbers:
WV Legislative Update - 4/5/13
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon. Today marks the 52nd day of the 60-day Legislative Session.Legislative Action by the Numbers:
Alert: WV Legislative Update - 3/29/13
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 45th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.Legislative Action by the Numbers: 1158 bills introduced in the House661 bills introduced in the Senate72 bills have passed the House92 bills have passed the Senate2 bills have passed both the House and Senate and are awaiting the Governor's signature1 bill has passed both Chambers and has been signed by the GovernorMy View from the Capitol:
WV Legislative Update - 3/22/13
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 38th day of the 60-day Legislative Session. Legislative Action by the Numbers: 1041 bills introduced in the House 596 bills introduced in the Senate 45 bill have passed the House 43 bills have passed the Senate 2 bill have passed both the House and Senate and are awaiting the Governor's signatureMy View from the Capitol:
Alert: WV Legislative Update - 3/15/13
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 31st day of the 60-day Legislative Session. Legislative Action by the Numbers: 944 bills introduced in the House 538 bills introduced in the Senate 22 bills have passed the House 23 bills have passed the SenateMy View from the Capitol:
Alert: WV Legislative Update - 3/8/13
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 24th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.My View from the Capitol:
Alert: WV Legislative Update - 3/1/2013
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 17th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.Legislative Action by the Numbers:
Alert: WV Legislative Update - 2/22/13
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon.  Today marks the 10th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.Legislative Action by the Numbers:
Alert: Manchin Takes the Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee
U. S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Democrats have given the public lands subcommittee gavel to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), his office said. Manchin takes the Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee gavel from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who now chairs the full committee after former Sen. Jeff Bingaman's (D-N.M.) retirement. Not only does the chairmanship help Manchin gain in profile, but the panel will now carry "mining" in its name. Mining is a top priority for Manchin and several other members of the panel.
Alert: WV Legislative Update
Welcome to the 2013 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of legislative happenings on the horizon.My View from the Capitol: Governor Earl Ray Tomblin kicked off the 60-day Regular Legislative Session with his 3rd State of the State address.  As anticipated, much of the Governor's speech centered around the state's economy, the state's budget, the recently completed statewide educational audit, prison overcrowding and the continued efforts on behalf of the state to lure a cracker facility to West Virginia.  The Legislative Session began on February 13th and will conclude on April 13th. 
Webinar: October 2012 - Webcast Slides - Legislative Rule-Making in West Virginia and the Proposed WVDEP Horizontal Well Rules
Legislative Rule-Making in West Virginia and the Proposed WVDEP Horizontal Well RulesFollowing passage of the West Virginia Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act in December 2011, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection filed a proposed legislative rule, 35 CSR, Series 8 (the "Horizontal Well Rule"), addressing the regulation and production of natural gas from horizontal wells in West Virginia.  In response to public comments received, the DEP recently filed a modified version of its Horizontal Well Rule.  This is the final step to be taken by the agency prior to the consideration of the rule by the legislature.  The legislative rule-making committee will now begin its own review of the modified Horizontal Well Rule in hopes that  it will be ready for consideration by the whole legislature during the upcoming 2013 Regular Session.Discussion includes
Webinar: October 2012 - Webcast Presentation - Legislative Rule-Making in West Virginia and the Proposed WVDEP Horizontal Well Rules
To watch and listen to a recording of this webcast, CLICK HERE. October 2012 - Energy Keynote Webcast Legislative Rule-Making in West Virginia and the Proposed WVDEP Horizontal Well Rules
Webinar: December 2011 - Webcast Presentation - New WV Legislation Regulates Horizontal Gas Wells - A Discussion of Key Facets of the Bill
To watch and listen to a recording of this webcast, CLICK HERE.December 2011 - Energy Keynote Webcast New WV Legislation Regulates Horizontal Gas Wells - A Discussion of Key Facets of the Bill
Video: 5 Tips for Compliance with the Open Governmental Proceedings Act
VIDEO TRANSCRIPTHi, I’m John Stump of Steptoe & Johnson and I’d like to speak to you today regarding an issue with the Open Governmental Proceedings Act about which we regularly receive questions. We often get calls asking what is required to be contained in the minutes of a meeting of a public body. The Open Governmental Proceedings Act contains specific requirements for what must be in those minutes, and failure to include those specific requirements is a violation of the act.
Alert: West Virginia Legislative Updates: Commentary from Gil White
Now that the dust has settled, here are some of the highlights from the Tuesday Election here in West Virginia:

Representative Experience

  • Drafted regulations and reviewed proposed legislation
  • Managed staff of 25 and more than twelve outside law firms and consultants to support efforts of an energy industry coalition
  • Responsible for strategy, long-range planning, fund raising and membership recruiting, legal affairs and oversight of federal and state government relations for nonprofit energy coalition
  • Represented statewide agricultural association to develop legislative strategy and lobbied state legislature to enact legislation reflecting the association's strategy
  • Represented international insurance organization in global restructuring effort and obtained necessary state regulatory approvals
  • Reviewed legislative draft bills, provided comment and proposals, and lobbied relevant state government representatives on regulatory issues impacting client industry development
  • Represented child protection agencies in legally safeguarding the safety of children
  • Developed and executed legislative strategies for various West Virginia state agencies and departments
  • Appointed as special West Virginia Attorney General regarding real estate matters for community colleges
  • Drafted legislation on behalf of a Fortune 500 energy client which clarified the requirements for notification of land and mineral owners
  • Guided and maneuvered the Governor's legislative agenda through the West Virginia Legislature and interim committee process
  • Assisted national corporation in forming a West Virginia political action committee
  • Advised Governor Tomblin regarding the legal aspects of his transition from senate president to the governor's office following former Governor Manchin's election to the United States Senate
  • Lobbied for the passage of bills on a wide range of topics including, but not limited to, economic development, health care, gaming, taxation, workers' compensation, banking and insurance, environmental concerns and energy
  • Represented county and municipal governments and related agencies and commissions as general and special counsel in numerous planning, enforcement and regulatory matters
  • Lobby Executive Branch agencies and state and local governments 
  • Represented county and city election officials in various election disputes including election recounts
  • Drafted legislation on behalf of a Fortune 500 energy client which clarified the requirements for notification of landowners in connection with coalbed methane development situations and prepared implementation guidelines and procedures for the client to use under the new legislation
  • Examine and monitor legislation
  • Advised and trained candidates and county employees on compliance with West Virginia Election Laws
  • Advised candidates, vendors, and independent organizations (including Pacs, Super Pacs, and 501(c)(4)s) on campaign finance, political advocacy, entity formation, and election law compliance issues
  • Develop legislation to move our clients' agenda forward
  • Audited county reimbursement request from statewide special election
  • Represented commercial developer in the drafting of legislative amendments to economic development laws
  • Drafted, negotiated and advocated for passage of SB 437, Governor Tomblin's Substance Abuse Bill
  • Schedule meetings and presentations with legislators and administration officials
  • Regularly represents clients across industries before the Legislative and Executive branches of government in West Virginia
  • Prepare clients for testimony before committees
  • Shepherd grants through state and federal agencies
  • Advised clients on developing and advancing legislative and administrative rulemaking proposals
  • Serve as liason between clients and the Executive branch of State government to advocate for client initiatives
  • Build grass root support for our clients' projects
  • Represented individuals and companies before administrative agencies, including the Department of Insurance, Department of Natural Resources, Board of Pharmacy, and the Department of Commerce, Division of Financial Institutions and Division of Securities
  • Maneuver legislation through the mine fields of the legislative process
  • Provide advice and strategies to encourage passage of major program legislation
  • Assisted in drafting legislation for major workers' compensation reform for the State of West Virginia

100

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.

 

Did you know?

10.5 Years

equals the average tenure of our client relationship. We'd like to be in it for the long haul with you too.

15 Offices Throughout the U.S.

15 offices throughout Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.

Leaders in our Field

22 of us are ranked as “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers USA.

One Firm

Ours is a client-of-the-firm culture, service model and compensation system that matches the best talent to the assignment and puts your economic interest ahead of ours.

Face-to-Face Client Interviews

25+ face-to-face client interviews are conducted every year by our CEO and firm management to learn how we can do better (so please give us an earful).

Leaders in our Field

Steptoe & Johnson was the first firm to successfully secure regulatory approval for a multi-lateral Utica shale well.