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Before joining Covington as head of its energy practice, William Massey served as a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for over ten years.

Working out of Covington’s Washington, DC office, Mr. Massey has a high profile, broad-based energy regulatory and government affairs practice. He has extensive experience with complex regulatory issues before FERC and state utility commissions, and with energy legislative matters before Congress and state general assemblies.

  • Independent transmission company, GridLiance (a Blackstone subsidiary), on a range of FERC matters including transmission rates including incentive rates, acquisitions of transmission and distribution infrastructure, and integration into RTOs.
  • Domestic and international energy companies, including gas pipelines, gas producers, LNG export terminal project developers, and LNG export counterparties, on FERC and Department of Energy (DOE) regulations and policies under the Natural Gas Act regarding LNG export approvals, contractual provisions, reporting requirements, re-export limitations, change of control rules, and pipeline and LNG export terminal infrastructure approvals.
  • Natural gas pipeline and LNG export terminal developer on securing FERC approvals for construction of pipeline and LNG export terminal.
  • Private equity firm on several generation, transmission and wholesale market matters, including the regulatory issues and filings required for the creation of an independent transmission company and the FERC filings and state regulatory approvals required for various acquisitions of electricity facilities.
  • Veresen, Inc., a Canadian oil and gas pipeline and production company with gas facilities in the U.S., on the regulatory issues related to its acquisition by Pembina Pipeline Corporation.  
  • Oral and written expert testimony on behalf of plaintiffs in two high profile cases in U.S. District Courts challenging on federal preemption grounds the Maryland and New Jersey programs to build ratepayer-subsidized generating plants and bid them into the PJM wholesale electricity market. The cases were reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2016 ruled in favor of the lower court plaintiffs in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing.
  • Various hedge funds on a number of investments in U.S. transmission facilities, power generation and interstate natural gas pipelines.
  • Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in arguing an appeal in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The matter involved a challenge to a FERC order allocating certain costs of generation facilities in the MidContinent Independent System Operator (MISO). The court affirmed the Wisconsin position.
  • Private equity firm in its acquisition of a Spanish renewable energy company.
  • International procurement and consulting firm on a number of energy regulatory matters in the U.S. and a number of other countries including compliance with a range of federal and state regulations applicable to retail electricity and natural gas offerings, energy brokering regulations and compliance, and various product and service offerings including clean energy credits and services.
  • Multi-state utility in a litigation matter involving the allocation of costs among its operating companies and whether the controversy is pre-empted by the filed rate doctrine and Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Houston-based energy investment fund on FERC and California regulatory issues, including change of control and qualifying facility regulations and policies, applicable to its acquisition of a natural gas-fired generation facility in California.
  • North American gas and electricity utility, with facilities in the U.S., on the FERC issues arising from a proposed corporate restructuring and its acquisition of renewable generation facilities in the U.S.
  • International technology and software company and purchaser of renewable energy, in the preparation and filing of its opposition at FERC to the U.S. Department of Energy’s NOPR proposing to subsidize baseload coal and nuclear generation as a resilience resource. This was a highly controversial proposal from DOE, which FERC rejected.
  • COMPETE Coalition, a 780 member organization whose members included Exelon, PPL Energy, Calpine, Wal-Mart, Safeway, PSEG, and Texas Energy, on a wide range of FERC and state regulatory matters involving capacity markets, wholesale and retail market structure, demand response policy, electricity rates, RTO markets, and transparency issues.
  • A large bank in an enforcement matter by the FERC Office of Enforcement alleging manipulative bidding of electric generation into certain RTO markets.
  • Pepco Holdings, Inc. on the negotiation and sale of its 3800 MW Conectiv Energy wholesale power generation business to Calpine Corporation, including securing the necessary FERC approval under the Federal Power Act.      
  • Foreign investment fund in successfully obtaining orders from FERC and the New York PSC approving its acquisition of a 15 percent interest in AES Corporation.    
  • Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), a New Jersey electric and gas utility, with respect to a range of FERC matters including financial incentives and favorable regulatory treatments for large transmission projects, cost allocation policy for certain transmission investments, and market based rates for a new generation project.
  • A prominent retail electricity provider regarding retail market structures in a dozen states, including providing analyses of best regulatory practices in structuring retail markets.   
  • Energy Future Holdings (the successor to Texas Utilities Corp.) on a range of FERC public utility matters.
  • Oncor Electric Delivery (a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings) in the sale of a 20 percent interest in Oncor to Borealis and GICSI.   
  • Comverge, Inc. a demand response provider and technology company, in FERC matters on regulations pertaining to demand response, including measurement and verification issues, and, in particular, proceedings involving demand response in the PJM Interconnection.   
  • KKR and Texas Pacific Group in securing the necessary FERC and NRC approvals for their acquisition of TXU Corp. for $45 billion. We also provided counsel on energy regulatory, climate change, government affairs, and public policy matters.
  • Energy Transfer Partners and Oasis Pipeline in investigations by FERC and CFTC regarding alleged market manipulation and undue discrimination, and in resulting litigation and settlements at FERC.
  • A demand response provider in a non-public FERC investigation alleging fraud and manipulation in providing demand response services in the organized electricity markets during 2010.
  • A virtual electricity trader in an on-going non-public FERC investigation of fraud and manipulation with respect to trading virtual electricity products and congestion revenue rights in the California ISO markets during 2011.
  • Electric and natural gas utility in a wide-ranging and ongoing FERC enforcement audit of its market activities, including compliance with the market based rate authority provided to its multiple affiliates, compliance with FERC’s electronic quarterly report requirements, and compliance with rules regarding uplift or make-whole payments.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Adjunct Professor of Law
  • Energy Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association

Previous Experience

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Commissioner (1993-2003)
  • U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers (D-Ark), Chief Counsel and Legislative Director (1980-1989)
  • Chambers, Energy/Electricity (2008-2020)
  • Chambers, Energy/Oil & Gas (2009-2018)
  • Chambers Global, Energy - Electricity: Regulatory & Litigation (US) (2012-2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Energy (2007-2020)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Energy & Natural Resources (2009-2011, 2013-2020)
  • Recognized by the Legal 500 US for Energy: Regulatory (2012-2017) and Litigation (2012-2014)