Regulatory

Practice Contacts

Phillip G. Oldham
Partner
512.404.6702
713.951.5893
James B. Harris
Partner
214.969.1102
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Thompson & Knight’s attorneys possess knowledge of the substantive law and an understanding of the administrative process required for this practice as well as a familiarity with key regulators acquired through our work in both contested matters and cooperative policy initiatives through the years. We have found that the key to effective representation is understanding the client’s goals and the agency’s objectives. Building upon this understanding, we counsel clients regarding the scope of applicable regulations; assist clients in seeking informal and formal agency guidance; participate in rulemaking and contested cases; and obtain agency permits, licenses, or other authorizations. We are also frequently engaged to respond to agency investigations and administrative enforcement actions.

Texas Energy Regulatory Experience

Working in a complex regulatory and business landscape, marked by changing rules and economies, we offer sound advice and straight talk that comes from in-depth policy, legal, and industry experience. Our clients include companies involved in every aspect of the energy industry, including transmission, distribution, and production. Highlights of our regulatory practice include experience with:

A major focus of our counsel is on the effect of energy costs on the profitability of our clients. For more than 30 years, our attorneys have helped manage energy costs for companies doing business in Texas by synthesizing the key issues facing state regulatory bodies such as the PUC. We also understand the complex regulatory requirements governing the production and transmission of various energy sources in Texas.  We are counselors to Texas Industrial Energy Consumers (TIEC), a trade association representing approximately 50 of the largest energy consumers in the state. Specifically, we represent TIEC before the PUC in contested rate proceedings, including base rate cases, stranded cost cases, fuel reconciliation controversies, and administrative rulemakings.

Our attorneys combine vast administrative law experience with industry knowledge and trial skills to advocate in cases involving power generating companies and transmission companies, cogeneration, and electricity rates.
In rate cases and other types of administrative litigation, we defend clients and provide practical strategies for statutory and regulatory compliance. In addition to our ability to achieve administrative victories in cases before state agencies, we have also successfully defended those victories on appeal through the court system. 

Electric and Energy Industry

Our broad experience includes navigating the wide array of statutes and regulations that affect our clients including:

  • Power project developers,
  • Power consumers/purchasers,
  • Independent power producers, and
  • Power marketers.

Many TIEC companies are leaders in oil and gas production and refining, and in all forms of manufacturing, including high-tech, pulp and paper, and virtually every type of chemical manufacturing. In addition to advancing the aggregate interests of TIEC members, our attorneys also advise on the electric energy needs of upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas companies.

Our attorneys regularly prepare and file pleadings with state regulators on behalf of entities on issues such as:

  • Building new power plants, including permitting;
  • Negotiating interconnection agreements;
  • Obtaining exempt wholesale generator or qualifying facility status;
  • Selling power at market-based rates;
  • Transferring ownership interests in power facilities;
  • Registering resources at all levels; and
  • NERC, RTO, and regional entity compliance.