Energy and Utilities

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Overview

Broadly speaking, our "Energy and Utilities" practice encompasses the complete energy cycle, from the exploration, development and production of energy resources (e.g., oil & gas, coal, uranium, geothermal, wind, sun and biomass), through the generation or refinement and transporting or transmission of electricity, natural gas, and other energy products, to the distribution and end-uses of such products. Our clients include resource developers, utilities, pipeline and transmission companies, gasoline vendors, and purchasers and significant users of energy products. Our Energy practice dovetails significantly with several other areas of our practice, including Mining, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, Public Lands, Indian, Regulatory Practice, Commercial Litigation, Environmental, Taxation and others.

Our "Utilities" practice, more particularly, has expanded in response to rapid changes affecting energy, telecommunications and water markets. One focus of our Utilities practice involves representing entities before New Mexico's utility regulatory body, the Public Regulation Commission (PRC). Our attorneys are well-versed in New Mexico's electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, water and utility legislation. Those involved in our Utilities practice also follow, and serve clients in connection with, related developments before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the United States Congress.

Attorneys

Experience

  • Represented a utility company in a two-week jury trial in Colfax County District Court, New Mexico, on eminent domain issues.  See Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. v. King, et al., Civil Action No. D-809-CV 200500108.
  • Represented a utility company in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) investigatory proceedings.
  • Represented utility companies in both Isleta Pueblo Court and San Ildefonso Pueblo Court proceedings.
  • Represented natural gas pipeline companies in state and federal courts on a range of litigated issues.  See, e.g., El Paso Natural Gas Co. v. Neztsosie, 526 U.S. 473 (1999); Transwestern Pipeline Co. v. Blackburn, 831 SW. 2d 735 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 1992).
  • Advised Sempra Energy regarding a utility-scale wind energy project development on the Navajo Nation, Arizona, and a power purchase agreement with multiple tribal utilities in Arizona, Nevada and California.
  • Represented Portland General Electric in negotiating and drafting a joint venture agreement for Pelton/Round Butte Hydro-Electric Project with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon.
  • Represented clients in connection with negotiating and drafting long-term coal supply contracts.
  • Provided advice and drafting assistance to traditional and renewable energy clients relating to leasing and access for power generation and transmission on private, state and split-estate lands.
  • Represented a wind developer in a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) proceeding relating to efforts to address and promote distributed generation sources in the state.
  • Represented Invenergy and other wind and solar clients in connection with ordinance hearings, industrial revenue bonds, transactional dealings, and state court litigation.
  • Represented New Mexico State University in connection with a multi-party exchange of use rights for certain fiber optic cable to create a redundant fiber optic network for distance education and other state communications needs.
  • Assisted Element Power with the acquisition of rights of way and private and state leases, financing opinions and an industrial revenue bond (IRB) to facilitate transmission interconnection for a 50 megawatt project in southern New Mexico.
  • Represented Next Era Energy in land and utility infrastructure transactions, abatement of ad valorem property taxes and gross receipts taxes, industrial revenue bond (IRB) issues, subdivision approvals and exemptions, title issues and related matters involving construction of a wind ranch in Cibola County, New Mexico.