Bernard L. McNamee, who recently completed a term as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), has joined McGuireWoods Consulting as a senior advisor in the firm’s Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. offices, and rejoined the McGuireWoods law firm as a partner in its Richmond, Virginia office.
McNamee was nominated to FERC by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the United States Senate in 2018. During his time on the commission, McNamee was recognized as a leader on a number of important energy issues and participated in more than 1,700 published orders on issues related to wholesale electricity markets, natural gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas export facilities, oil pipeline rates, hydro facilities, reliability standards, and ratemaking. He also testified before Congress and was invited to speak before energy organizations throughout the country.
McNamee will provide McGuireWoods and McGuireWoods Consulting clients legal, policy and legislative guidance on a wide range of energy and environmental issues. His practice will focus on legislation, rulemaking, strategic planning and policy development, including issues involving Congress, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and FERC, as well as regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs).
McNamee will assist clients with high-stakes and complex issues involving the Federal Power Act (FPA), Natural Gas Act (NGA), Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), Interstate Commerce Act (ICA), Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). McNamee will also develop coalitions for clients, allowing for multilevel engagement on important energy and environmental issues.
McNamee, who is actively licensed in Virginia and Texas, is not licensed to practice law in Washington D.C., and will not maintain a law office or practice law there.
“Bernie’s insight as a FERC commissioner, his involvement in major rulemaking proceedings, his relationships with policymakers and stakeholders, and his service in significant state and federal government policy positions will provide our clients with powerful advantages. He will be a major asset to our clients with energy and environmental policy issues,” said McGuireWoods Consulting President and former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges.
Before joining FERC, McNamee served in the U.S. Department of Energy as executive director of the Office of Policy and deputy general counsel for energy policy. His distinguished career in public service includes key leadership positions under Attorneys General in Virginia and Texas and policy advisor roles for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former Virginia Governor George Allen.
McNamee previously was a partner in McGuireWoods’ Regulatory & Compliance Department. He assisted electric and natural gas utilities in rate cases and in obtaining approvals to build generating facilities and transmission lines, as well as the development of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and integrated resource planning (IRP). He played an integral role advising clients during implementation of the 2007 Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act, which returned the state’s utilities to a modified cost-of-service regulatory model.
“We are delighted that Bernie has come home to McGuireWoods,” said J. Tracy Walker IV, the law firm’s managing partner. “The depth and breadth of his experience in public service and private practice will provide immense value to the firm and our energy clients.”
McGuireWoods lawyers and consultants represent clients across the entire energy spectrum, including utilities, conventional oil and gas investors and operators, leading sponsors and developers of solar, wind and thermal generation and financial institutions. The firm has been named a finalist for best energy practice in The American Lawyer’s inaugural Corporate Departments of the Year awards.
“McGuireWoods is recognized nationally as a leader in providing comprehensive legal, policy and business guidance to companies and investors in all sectors of the energy industry,” McNamee said. “I am excited to rejoin the firm and put my experience to work to help our clients achieve their business goals.”