Oil platform pumping oil out of the ground near Lubbock , Texas in West Texas with wind turbines all around in a huge wind farm one of the worlds largest wind farms in sweet water , Texas

Department of Energy (DOE) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

The Department of Energy (DOE) influences the energy sector through a combination of incentives and regulation: encouraging the advancement of energy security, fostering technological innovation and economic growth, regulating the export of liquefied natural gas, and ensuring the reliability of the nation’s nuclear capabilities. The DOE’s decisions affect companies in the traditional and renewable energy sectors (including coal, nuclear, renewable, and energy storage technologies) as well as companies focused on advanced automobiles, agricultural production, and medicine. Leading companies need advice on how best to navigate the DOE on matters such as:

  • Obtaining assistance with the development and siting of transmission projects, as well as obtaining authorizations for transmission projects that cross the Canadian and Mexican borders with the United States
  • Obtaining financing support (including grants, loans, and loan guarantees) for innovative storage technologies for fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy fossil fuels, as well as improvements to the electrical power grid
  • Obtaining authorizations for the export and import of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas, and electric energy
  • Matters related to the National Nuclear Security Administration, nuclear nonproliferation, and the export of nuclear technology

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency within DOE, regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, crude oil, refined petroleum products, and electricity, as well as the interstate sale of electricity at wholesale. Among other actions, FERC:

  • Sets rates and terms and conditions for wholesale sales of power and transmission service and for oil/products and gas transportation services 
  • Issues permits to construct new or expanded natural gas pipelines and storage facilities
  • Authorizes the construction and operation of liquefied natural gas facilities
  • Approves mergers and acquisitions in the power sector
  • Regulates wholesale energy markets 

Leading companies need advice on how best to navigate FERC’s procedural and substantive requirements successfully in order to:

  • Charge or challenge rates for electric transmission, oil/products, or natural gas transportation services
  • Acquire or sell facilities or companies engaged in the generation or transmission of electric power
  • Develop and operate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, and facilities used to export or import liquefied natural gas
  • Sell electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services, including through organized wholesale markets administered by independent system operators or regional transmission organizations, and participate in the processes that define the rules and operations of such markets
  • Defend against FERC investigations and orders to show cause, and assist companies responding to FERC audits

When clients face these and other challenging matters involving DOE or FERC, Latham’s Energy Regulatory & Markets Practice is well positioned to guide clients to a successful outcome. Latham’s deal-savvy energy lawyers have helped to close some of the most complex transactions in the industry and have successfully navigated some of the most challenging DOE and FERC regulatory proceedings and investigations. Latham can also draw on strong working relationships with regulators and key government decision makers, allowing Latham to make the right calls at the right times to help achieve clients’ goals. Latham lawyers have decades of experience in all dimensions of energy infrastructure and power, gas, and oil regulation, and have occupied senior leadership positions in government. Latham understands how the offices and programs of these complex agencies operate and how to advocate before them on policy, technical, and legal issues.