Legal and regulatory changes are transforming the industry.
The past year marked some of the most sweeping and portentous policy developments ever to hit this industry. From transmission pricing to environmental enforcement, the regulatory framework is going through a dizzying array of changes.
To more clearly understand these changes, Fortnightly interviewed a group of law professionals—all of them included in our hotlist of “Groundbreaking Lawyers”—who are counseling industry decision makers on a range of critical issues. Their insights suggest the industry’s policy transition has only just begun.
Last November’s elections foreshadowed significant regulatory and policy changes in 2009, and the new administration and Congress wasted little time reversing the previous administration’s legacy on a range of issues. For the utility industry, the most obvious and dramatic changes involved environmental policies. During his first week in office, for example, President Barack Obama instructed the EPA to review the Bush-era decision to block California’s GHG regulations. For electricity and gas companies, the primary result has been a major upheaval in compliance programs and resource planning strategies.