Siting and Permitting Class Visits the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Siting and Permitting Class Visits the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

On Friday, November 2, Associate Professor Jamie Van Nostrand led a group of students on a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As part of Professor Van Nostrand’s Siting and Permitting of Energy Facilities class, the students analyzed three particular types of energy projects over which FERC has jurisdiction: natural gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, and hydroelectric facilities. Professor Van Nostrand arranged for his class to spend part of the day atFERC talking with senior FERC staffers who work in these areas. Nils Nichols, a WVU Law alum, made the arrangements for the trip.

In the picture: Anne Marie Hirschberger, Energy Analyst, FERC; Tyler Reseter, Travis Brannon, Joshua Cottle, Matthew Chase, Jeffrey Blair, James Van Nostrand, Ed Amos (all WVU Law); Nils Nichols, Director, Division of Pipeline Regulation, FERC Office of Energy Market Regulation.

The FERC staffers who briefed the class were: Nils Nichols: Director, Division of Pipeline Regulation, Office of Energy Market Regulation; Jacqueline (Susie) Holmes, Associate General Counsel, Energy Projects, Office of the General Counsel; Merrill Hathaway, Office of General Counsel, Energy Projects; and Anne Marie Hirschberger, Energy Analyst, Office of Energy Market Regulation.

“It’s great to take advantage of Morgantown’s proximity to Washington, D.C.,” according to Professor Van Nostrand. “And it also helps that we had a WVU Law alum, Nils Nichols, in a senior position at FERC who could make arrangements for our students to meet with FERC staffers who work in the areas that we studied in our class. I think it was very instructive for our students to meet the people who actually make the decisions, and to understand how a regulatory agency oversees the energy industry.”

According to Van Nostrand, his Energy Regulation, Markets and the Environment class will make a similar trip to Charleston, WV in mid-November to meet with Commissioners and senior staff at the West Virginia Public Service Commission