Energy - Public & Government Relations

Highlights

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Access a PDF copy of Maine Regulation of Public Utilities: Second Edition
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ENERGY BLOG
Keep current on energy-related laws and trends.
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Recognized in the 2017 U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" rankings.
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Recognized as a Top Ranked firm in Chambers USA 2018.
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Named a Leading Core Firm in Energy, in the top 5% of law firms in the Energy Industry.

Overview

In partnership with Maine Street Solutions, the firm’s public affairs and government relations affiliate, Verrill Dana’s Energy Group serves a wide range of clients before the Maine Legislature and its Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology. Through Maine Street Solutions, the firm also offers public relations and local campaign assistance to assist in the permitting and construction of major energy infrastructure projects.

Before the Legislature, the firm has been directly involved in nearly every major piece of energy legislation over the past seven decades. We monitor every printed bill and offer our clients essentially gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Energy Committee. Our diverse team includes seasoned energy lawyers and experienced lobbyists with a strong track record of helping our clients achieve their goals through a balance of technical legal expertise and political savvy on both sides of the aisle. When bills are before the Committee, we help our clients analyze the technical and legal aspects of legislation, prepare testimony and amendments as appropriate, forge relationships with other interest groups and regulators, testify during public hearings, provide information to legislators and staff, and work with legislative leadership and rank and file members when a bill hits the floor of the House or Senate.

In addition to our services within the State House in Augusta, our team is also skilled in media relations, public campaigns, municipal relations, and grassroots efforts. We offer these services to clients when they are looking to develop infrastructure projects within particular communities, or to supplement lobbying efforts within the Legislature. In recent years, our team helped provide important community connections that enabled Summit Natural Gas to develop infrastructure within fifteen or more communities, and we have helped developers of wind energy projects work with local communities.

The following are examples of public and government relations matters handled by our Energy Group:

  • Approval of Maine's First Private Natural Gas Pipeline - In 2012, we helped a large pulp mill get legislative approval to build a private natural gas pipeline in order to lower its energy costs. In order to succeed, we had to submit after-deadline emergency legislation and get the bill through the Legislature and signed by the Governor in just over three weeks.
  • Emera Maine: Omnibus Energy Legislation - We represented Emera Maine in 2013 as part of Omnibus Energy Legislation authorizing the State of Maine to procure up to $75 million of natural gas capacity in New England. Our goal on behalf of the client was to ensure that the risks on Maine electric consumers through the bill were minimized, which required us to work for weeks with a wide range of stakeholders in order to make necessary amendments to the original bill. As a result of the strong relationships we developed and trusted legal solutions we offered, many of our proposals were ultimately included in the final legislation whereas many suggestions by other stakeholders were not.
  • Emera Maine: Opposition to Adverse Legislation - In 2012, we successfully opposed legislation on behalf of Emera that would have prohibited affiliates of transmission and distribution utilities in Maine from owning electric generation facilities in the State. Had the bill passed, Emera Energy would not have been able to acquire an interest in First Wind that allowed a number of major wind energy projects to move forward in Maine.
  • Summit Natural Gas of Maine: Opposition to Adverse Legislation - For the past several years, we have represented Summit Natural Gas of Maine before the Maine Legislature, including successfully opposing legislative efforts that would have interfered with Summit’s ability to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to build natural gas pipelines in the Augusta, Maine region and in the region north of Portland.
  • Emera Maine: Support of Favorable Legislation - In 2015, we helped Emera Maine work with multiple stakeholders to pass legislation requiring the Maine PUC to facilitate an examination of alternatives to net energy billing to support solar energy development in Maine. To accomplish this goal, we successfully argued to legislators and other government officials that they should not adopt a half dozen other bills that would have raised electric rates in order to subsidize the cost of solar generation in Maine.

Contacts

  • Partner
    T: (207) 253-4708
  • Counsel
    T: (207) 623-7432