For nearly three decades, lawyers in Sutherland’s Energy and Environmental practices have counseled and represented clients in the area of oil pipeline regulation and lobbied to protect shipper interests before Congress. Sutherland lawyers possess an in-depth knowledge of the Interstate Commerce Act as applied to oil pipelines, as well as Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") regulations, ratemaking policies and pipeline tariffs. We have brought our experience to bear on behalf of clients in both administrative and appellate litigation, in regulatory policy debates and rulemaking proceedings, and in providing advice concerning the common carrier obligations and tariff provisions under which oil pipelines must provide service.
Our oil pipeline knowledge reflects our involvement in some of the most significant oil pipeline proceedings tried before the FERC. For example, Sutherland lawyers:
- Represented clients before both FERC and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding the rulemaking proceeding that produced the current indexation methodology for establishing oil pipeline rates pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
- Lobbied to protect shipper interests related to Congressional efforts to streamline the regulatory framework governing oil pipelines.
- Represented shipper interests in the first fully litigated oil pipeline cases after the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, in a landmark series of complaints against SFPP, LP.
- Reviewed precedent agreements on behalf of shipper clients for new and expanded oil pipeline facilities in the United States and Canada.
- Represented shipper interests at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding a jurisdictional question related to pipeline ancillary services.
- Represented shipper groups in administrative litigation proceedings at FERC involving rate and other tariff disputes.
- Represented one of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System ("TAPS") owners in the original TAPS rate case before FERC and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
- Represented Endicott Pipeline, one of the "feeder" lines into TAPS, in its initial rate case before FERC.
- Represented the largest TAPS shipper in the original TAPS Quality Bank proceeding before FERC, and assisted in devising the distillation quality bank methodology ultimately adopted for and currently employed by TAPS.
Sutherland lawyers also have advised clients regarding significant federal legislative developments affecting the oil pipeline industry. For example, we have assisted clients with respect to the implementation of the oil pipeline ratemaking provisions contained in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. More recently, we have advised clients concerning the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006, which gave the Department of Transportation authority to regulate gathering lines and establish new pipeline safety and damage protection provisions.
Keith R. McCrea and Paul F. Forshay form the core of our oil pipeline team. Team members have been recognized by Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America as leaders in energy and natural resources law. In meeting client needs, the oil pipeline practice draws on the substantial capabilities of our Energy and Environmental practices. Chambers has described the Sutherland energy team as "at the forefront of the field with 'an impressive knowledge of the industry'…'a player' in fostering regulatory changes."
© 2013 Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP