As a member of Husch Blackwell's Energy & Natural Resources team, Bill has more than three decades of experience representing energy clients before all three branches of government.
Bill's energy clients are engaged in upstream production and midstream operations and include independent natural gas producers, integrated oil companies, and gatherers, processors and marketers of oil and natural gas. He has represented clients in a wide range of energy transactions and acquisitions, natural gas regulatory proceedings, commercial litigation and arbitration disputes, and government enforcement proceedings.
Bill's extensive industry experience has included:
•Defended a natural gas marketing company against multimillion-dollar civil penalty action brought by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Enforcement.
•Represented a major oil company as chief litigation counsel in the arbitration of a multimillion-dollar dispute with an interstate petroleum carrier, obtaining an arbitral award in excess of $11 million.
•Represented a natural gas producer in proceedings to distribute millions of dollars in funds disgorged by a trading partner of the client in a settlement of FERC enforcement matters. Obtained a substantial share of the funds for the client.
•Served as regulatory counsel to Central New York Oil and Gas in certification of the MARC I Project, 40-mile-long pipeline in the Marcellus shale-producing region.
Bill was the principal legislative draftsman of both the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 and the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA). He served as congressional committee counsel from 1973 to 1979. Bill has written and lectured extensively on natural gas policy and legal issues.
Not admitted to practice in Colorado.
Awards and Recognitions
•The Best Lawyers in America, Energy Law, 2015
•Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
• The Hon. Ruggero J. Aldisert, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1972-1973
•Defended a natural gas marketing company in enforcement proceedings that sought millions of dollars in civil penalties for alleged “market manipulation” violations. Challenged Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) statutory authority and raised constitutional due process deficiencies in FERC's attempt to impose civil penalties based upon retroactive application of a change in commission policy. FERC dropped the market manipulation charges and settled the matter.
•Represented a major oil company as chief litigation counsel in the arbitration of a multimillion-dollar dispute with an interstate oil product pipeline related to pipeline facility management contract disputes. Obtained an arbitral award in favor of client in excess of $11 million.
•Represented a natural gas producer in proceedings to distribute millions of dollars in funds disgorged by a trading partner of the client in a settlement of FERC enforcement matters. Obtained distribution of a substantial share of the disgorged funds for the client, overcoming factual and legal impediments that threatened to limit the client's participation in, and share of, the distributed proceeds.
•Served as regulatory counsel to Central New York Oil and Gas Co. LLC in certification of the MARC I Project, a $260 million, 40-mile-long, 550,000 dekatherm/day pipeline project in the Marcellus shale-producing region. Following receipt of the requested certificate, defended the certificate against a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) challenge by environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. Efforts included expedited briefing and argument leading to timely termination of a preliminary stay of the FERC action by the court.
•Represented a certificated interstate natural gas storage company in a nonpublic investigation by FERC's Office of Enforcement growing out of the installation of unapproved compressors in violation of the storage company's certificate. Obtained an expedited amendment to the certificate and resolution of the enforcement matter without any penalties or other adverse actions.
•Defended a natural gas gatherer in complaint proceeding before FERC seeking to impose federal regulation under the Natural Gas Act on the gatherer's pipeline facilities.
•Spearheaded global, industry-wide settlement negotiations before FERC on behalf of a state regulatory commission and state attorney general to resolve highly contentious litigation over interstate pipeline claims for millions of dollars in refunds of Kansas ad valorem taxes paid by the pipelines to thousands of Kansas producers in the 1980s.
•Represented a Fortune 1000 natural gas company and a pipeline facilitator in tariff proceedings of interstate pipelines seeking to reduce their gas quality specification for carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). Obtained rejection of the proposed revisions and withdrawal of the pipelines' initiatives in this area.
•Represented a Fortune 500 oil and gas company in a series of declaratory order proceedings, obtaining rulings from FERC that enabled client to restructure certain natural gas-processing operations without becoming subject to regulation under the Natural Gas Act.
•Performed regulatory due diligence for a multibillion-dollar Wall Street energy investment fund in connection with contemplated acquisitions of controlling equity ownership of regulated natural gas transportation and distribution companies.
•Represented Wyoming and Colorado clients in Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger proceedings before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in connection with the Kinder Morgan Inc.-El Paso Natural Gas Co. merger. Provided evidence to FTC staff in opposition to merger without mandated divestiture to reduce concentration in interstate natural gas pipeline assets in Wyoming. Evidence supported divestiture remedies mandated by FTC, resulting in divestiture by Kinder Morgan of Kinder Morgan Interstate Gas Transmission LLC, Rockies Express Pipeline LLC and other Wyoming pipeline assets.
•Drafted complex gas processing agreements and related documents supporting the addition of 250,000 of cryogenic gas-processing facilities to a large natural gas-processing plant in Utah and partial reconfiguration of operations to those of an interstate straddle plant. Drafted a series of related agreements with the interstate pipeline, including interconnect agreements, an operational balancing agreement and a keep-whole processing agreement.
•Represented a large independent natural gas producer and royalty owner in the San Juan Basin in a dispute with Meridian Oil Inc. over payments due under a natural gas-marketing agreement and natural gas-operating agreements. Obtained summary judgment on liability in favor of client, leading to highly favorable settlement of all claims.
•Represented producers in Colorado's Niobrara formation in natural gas pricing and related contract disputes with an interstate pipeline. Federal court litigation of a series of interrelated contract disputes continued over a 15-year timespan, resulting, inter alia, in judgment following bench trial of $12 million for underpayment of natural gas price, declaratory order that contract price is $7.78 (far above market price levels), order of specific performance, sanctions against the pipeline, summary judgment on $12.5 million take-or-pay claim and declaratory order that a 20-year contract term is subject to an evergreen provision. Case involved multiple trial court rulings on partial summary judgment, full bench trial on the pricing dispute, several additional hearings in U.S. District Court, two appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, denial of certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court, and ultimate buyout of contract for more than $100 million.
•Represented numerous natural gas producers in take-or-pay disputes with interstate pipelines, resulting in payments of tens of millions of dollars by the pipelines to clients.
•Defended several natural gas producers against claims by interstate natural gas pipelines seeking refunds of amounts paid by the pipelines allegedly in violation of federal natural gas price controls. Reduced some claims to zero and negotiated highly favorable and unique resolutions of other claims based upon factual and legal arguments.
1.01.12 Gas Marketing by the Operator Under a JOA - Unrecognized Regulatory Risks and Practical Solutions, Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 64, No. 2
Energy & Natural Resources Article
10.24.11 EPA Announces Schedule to Develop Wastewater Standards Applicable to Natural Gas Production Activities
Energy & Natural Resources Alert
12.01.10 'Traditional' NGA Jurisdictional Limits Constrain FERC's Market Manipulation Authority, Energy Law Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2
Energy & Natural Resources Article
11.01.10 FERC Mellows Out in Revised Policy Statement About Penalty Guidelines, Natural Gas & Electricity
Energy & Natural Resources Article
7.22.10 Construction of New Midstream Infrastructure: Perils and Pitfalls of U.S. Federal Regulatory Jurisdiction, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute
Energy & Natural Resources Speaking Engagement Banff Springs, Canada
1.01.10 Construction of New Midstream Infrastructure: Perils and Pitfalls of Federal Regulatory Jurisdiction, 56 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, 28-1
4.01.04 Narrowing the Definition of 'First Sales' Threatens Natural Gas Markets, Natural Gas & Electricity
5.01.85 Producer Regulation & Deregulation, presentation to the Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
1.01.82 Lessons from the Origin of the Natural Gas Policy Act, Journal of the International Association for Energy Economics, Vol. 3, No. 4, p. 53-61
In The News
8.19.14 Husch Blackwell Boasts 106 Best Lawyers on 2015 List, Seven “Lawyers of the Year”
Energy & Natural Resources Financial Services Food & Agribusiness Healthcare, Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals Real Estate, Development & Construction Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation News Release
8.05.13 Former FERC Senior Enforcement Attorney Joins Husch Blackwell's Energy Regulation Team, Leads Energy Compliance and Enforcement Efforts
Energy & Natural Resources News Release
6.14.12 Federal Court of Appeals Upholds FERC's Approval of 39-Mile Marc I Pipeline
Energy & Natural Resources News Release (Also at Denver, Colorado Office)