Energy - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

In today's environment of changing regulations, quickly advancing technology and increasing governmental oversight, clients need representation that addresses the full scope of legal, political and business challenges facing their industry. In the volatile energy sector, we have the knowledge and experience to power clients’ success.

Our Energy Group is a multi-disciplinary team that provides comprehensive representation to utilities, manufacturers, energy companies and investors throughout the West. We provide counsel on all aspects of the industry and the many legal issues that can arise, including engineering and construction, permitting, negotiating contracts and power purchase agreement and litigation.

The team has vast experience with regulatory matters and commercial transactions related to the purchase, sale and transmission of all types of energy, including nuclear and renewable energy, as well as climate change and carbon sequestration. They also have deep experience addressing land use, environmental and permitting issues that often arise under federal and state law, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, tribal law and the Federal Power Act.

On the legislative front, our energy team has worked with many of the world’s largest energy producers on all aspects of the traditional oil and gas industry, biofuels, alternative energy and power. Members of the group have worked for federal and state agencies—experience that they bring to bear on behalf of our clients.

Representative Matters
  • Won a major ruling in Adams County District Court on behalf of client, Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API). COGA and API jointly filed suit in October to overturn a number of oil and gas regulations adopted by the City of Thornton. Colorado District Court Judge Edward Moss ruled that many of Thornton’s regulations, including its setback regulations, were illegal and operationall preempted by state law.

  • On behalf of large, privately-held oil and gas company, obtained dismissal with prejudice at motion to dismiss stage of all claims in shareholder derivative action. On appeal.

  • Successfully represented a large oil and gas company in a high profile regulatory proceeding before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regarding potential violations related to the company's deep water injection wells and low-level earthquakes in the region. This work included assisting the company in obtaining permits for new deep water injection wells.

  • On behalf of a Fortune 50 company, successfully defeated an effort by Congress to impose a sanctions framework on foreign parent with devastating consequences to our client.

  • Represented several energy companies in opposing potential state-wide ballot initiatives impacting oil and gas operations. This work included devising a legal and government relations strategy to oppose twelve different ballot measures.

  • Counsel to Alliant Energy Services, LLC in its disposition of 100% of the stock of its subsidiary, RMT, Inc. to Infrastructure Energy Services, LLC (IEA).

  • Counsel to Alliant Energy in obtaining a $60 million term loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank as lender for its subsidiary, Franklin County Holdings LLC to finance Franklin County Wind Farm.

  • Successfully represented large oil and gas exploration company in dispute with another energy company over rights under a midstream contract.

  • Served as lead counsel for Freeport LNG Development, L.P. in the structuring, strategy and development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and regasification facility in Texas. The firm acted as lead counsel in the structuring, negotiating and documenting of financing for the construction of the facility, development of a 7.5 billion cubic foot underground salt cavern gas storage facility, and expansion of the terminal, which included approximately $750 million in financing from ConocoPhillips Company and a $453 million private placement note issuance. Brownstein also oversaw the negotiation of long term terminal use agreements (TUA) with Dow Chemical Company and ConocoPhillips Company. The firm continues to serve as outside general corporate counsel to Freeport and its subsidiaries in all aspects of their businesses, including pursuing the redevelopment of the project into a liquefaction and export facility at a cost of $14 billion.

  • Represent Hannon Armstrong, an energy investment banking organization, with various Department of Energy and federal government energy financings.

  • Advised Gunnison Energy on issues related to compliance with Colorado's evolving water laws governing water produced from coal bed methane wells.

  • Provided strategic counsel to Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. in establishing federal-level guidance for a nutrient trading program and in evaluating the possibility of a cellulosic-styled tax credit that would apply to Bion's process for producing cellulose-based renewable energy. Brownstein facilitated meetings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), key members of Congress and other strategic government officials to discuss the issue of basin-wide nutrient trading and energy production from Bion's integrated facilities.

  • Represented applicant in a phased apartment project totaling over 650 units, resolving a variety of complex issues regarding environmental and permitting issues, negotiation of development agreement, and assistance with the negotiation of public financing.

  • Represented internationally renowned music conservatory in gaining comprehensive land use permits for its campus. Directed permit processing, oversaw environmental review compliance and public hearing presentations, and negotiated the settlement of threatened litigation by project opponents

  • Brownstein represents U.S. Geothermal in developing legislation to amend the Steam Act of 1970 allowing more efficient and faster development of geothermal resources on lands adjacent to federal lands. The legislation intends to blunt the effects of speculators on federal leases that have no intent to develop the resource and produce energy. The firms is also providing U.S. Geothermal with project finance transactional counsel in the development and construction of their $137 million, 22 megawatt Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Project near Vale, Oregon. Finally, we are representing U.S. Geothermal in negotiating a loan and loan guarantee with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Financing Bank.

News & Events

Meet The Team

Eric R. Burris Shareholder T 505.724.9563 eburris@bhfs.com
Chris Frahm Shareholder T 619.702.6917 cfrahm@bhfs.com
Steven C. Demby Shareholder T 303.223.1119 sdemby@bhfs.com
Mark J. Mathews Shareholder T 303.223.1179 mmathews@bhfs.com
Martha L. Fitzgerald Shareholder T 303.223.1472 mfitzgerald@bhfs.com
Carrie E. Johnson Shareholder T 303.223.1198 cjohnson@bhfs.com
Christine A. Jochim Shareholder T 303.223.1163 cjochim@bhfs.com
Lawrence J. Jensen Consulting Attorney T 202.747.0509 ljensen@bhfs.com
Jason C. Moore Shareholder T 303.223.1121 jmoore@bhfs.com
R. James Nicholson Senior Counsel T 202.652.2344 jnicholson@bhfs.com
William J. McGrath Shareholder T 202.383.4703 wmcgrath@bhfs.com
Andrew Spielman Shareholder T 303.223.1250 aspielman@bhfs.com
Michael P. Smith Associate T 303.223.1150 msmith@bhfs.com
Eric Waeckerlin Shareholder T 303.223.1290 ewaeckerlin@bhfs.com
Jon Hrobsky Policy Director T 202.872.5294 jhrobsky@bhfs.com
Luke D. Johnson Policy Director T 202.747.0513 ldjohnson@bhfs.com
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