Steptoe & Johnson LLP is expanding its Energy Practice with the addition of former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Marc Spitzer. Mr. Spitzer, who previously served in the Arizona State Senate and as chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission, has joined the firm’s Electric Power Group as a partner and will be resident in Steptoe’s Washington office.
Mr. Spitzer was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as a FERC commissioner and confirmed by the Senate in 2006. During his five-year tenure, he helped to guide all aspects of FERC policy, including implementation of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Mr. Spitzer has been at the center of FERC’s most important initiatives in such areas as enforcement, reliability and transmission.
Prior to being tapped to the FERC, Mr. Spitzer served six years as a commissioner on the Arizona Corporation Commission, the agency responsible for regulating electric, gas and telecommunications utilities in the state. From 2003-2005, he served as chairman of the commission. A public servant for nearly 20 years, Mr. Spitzer was first elected to the Arizona State Senate in 1993, and later served as chair of both the Finance Committee and Judiciary Committee, and as Senate Majority Leader. During his eight years in the State Senate, he was responsible for sponsoring and enacting major Arizona tax, budget, energy, environmental and judiciary legislation. Mr. Spitzer began his career as a lawyer in private practice, and maintained that practice until being confirmed as a FERC commissioner.
“Marc’s experience as both a legislator and commissioner, and as a lawyer in private practice, gives him a unique perspective that will greatly benefit our electric power and energy clients,” said Roger E. Warin, chair of Steptoe “As the electric industry is in a state of transition, with FERC leading the way on a number of public policy initiatives, Marc’s tenure as a FERC commissioner, where he garnered a sterling reputation as a team player, will be an invaluable resource to our clients as they address new challenges in the industry.”
Steptoe’s Energy Practice is consistently regarded as one of the premiere regulatory practices in the country. In the Chambers USA 2011 legal guidebook, the editors write: “From electricity to oil pipelines, the firm is noted for its in-depth knowledge and all-around excellence.” Steptoe’s Electric Power Group represents electric utility companies and other electric industry participants in matters involving antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, bulk power transactions, industry restructuring, transmission access and pricing, electric rates, nuclear plant litigation and hydroelectric licensing. Its Pipeline Practice represents many of the largest crude oil and refined petroleum products pipeline systems in the U.S. and Canada.
“Steptoe has a terrific reputation in the industry and I am excited to be joining the team,” said Mr. Spitzer. “I am really looking forward to diving into work and advising the firm’s energy clients on a broad spectrum of issues including electric transmission, Smart Grid, LNG export, pipeline safety and natural gas fracking.”
Mr. Spitzer earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan, and a B.A., summa cum laude, from Dickinson College.more » « less