Enter your email address to receive new posts in your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Like what you see? Share!


DISCLAIMER: This blog is published for general information only - it is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our authors, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you.

Entries in Maine (22)


Energy News Roundup: September 28-October 4

This week in regional energy news …


Natural Gas Conference, Featuring Maine Gov. Paul LePage, to Be Held in Portland on October 10

On October 10, Verrill Dana, LLP and Pierce Atwood, LLP will co-host “Natural Gas: The Best Path Forward for Maine?” at the Doubletree by Hilton in Portland, Me.  The conference will feature Gov. Paul R. LePage as luncheon speaker and Maine PUC Chairman Thomas Welch as opening keynote speaker.  Panels will feature regional industry leaders from the regulatory, supply, LDC, generator, and commercial and industrial customer worlds discussing perspectives on topics ranging from natural gas service RFPs to LNG/CNG to natural gas supply issues in New England.  A cocktail reception will follow.

For more information, or to register, visit


Energy News Roundup: May 11-May 17

This week in regional energy news …


Governor Nominates Timothy Schneider to Be Maine Public Advocate

Governor Paul R. LePage today nominated Timothy R. Schneider to be Maine’s next public advocate.  As the state’s public advocate, Schneider would be in charge of the office that represents the interests of Maine’s ratepayers in policymaking and in regulatory proceedings.

Since 2008, Schneider has been an attorney with Pierce Atwood, LLP’s energy group.  In that capacity, he has represented a number of utilities, including Central Maine Power Co. and Northern Utilities, Inc., before the Maine PUC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Schneider has earned professional accolades for his work, including from Chambers USA in 2012.

The Governor’s nomination must be reviewed by the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee, and confirmed by both houses of the Maine Legislature.  If confirmed, Schneider will succeed Richard Davies, the current public advocate.

Schneider is a graduate of New York University School of Law and, magna cum laude, of Harvard University.  During law school, Schneider was a summer associate at Mintz Levin and a legal intern with Public Knowledge.  Prior to law school, he led youth development programs in Washington County with the Maine Sea Coast Mission.

Schneider, who resides in Portland with his wife and their two children, is a league captain of the Portland Hurling Club. 


Law Court Dismisses Appeal of Oakfield Wind Power Project

In a memorandum of decision issued yesterday, the Maine Supreme Court dismissed an appeal (Docket # BEP-12-225) of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection license issued to First Wind for the construction of the 150-MW Oakfield Wind Power project.  The opinion, issued just two weeks after the Court heard oral argument, did not reach the merits of the appeal, which consisted of a single claim that the visual impact standard applied to wind power projects is unconstitutionally vague.  Instead, the Court found that project opponents had failed to preserve the claim for appeal because it had not been raised during the DEP’s year-long review of the project.  As a result, the appellants had waived the right to raise the claim before the Court.  In any case, the Court will have an opportunity to rule on the constitutionality of the Wind Energy Act visual impact standard in the very near future, as the same claim has been raised in a pending Law Court appeal of the DEP license issued to Patriot Renewables for the construction of the Saddleback Ridge Wind project in and around Carthage, Maine.  First Wind was represented in the appeal by Verrill Dana Attorneys Juliet Browne and Gordon Smith.         


Energy News Roundup: December 15-December 21

This week in regional energy news …


Law Court Hears Oral Argument in Appeal of Oakfield Wind Power Project

The Maine Supreme Court heard oral argument yesterday in an appeal of the Department of Environmental Protection license issued to First Wind for the construction of a 150-megawatt wind power project in and around Oakfield, Maine.  The single issue raised in the appeal was the project opponents’ claim that the statutory visual impact standard applied by the DEP was unconstitutionally vague.  Counsel for the project opponents faced an uphill task as the Court recently held in Uliano v. Board of Environmental Protection that a similar, less detailed visual impact standard contained in the Natural Resources Protection Act was sufficiently specific to withstand a void for vagueness challenge.  The justices appeared skeptical of the opponents’ legal claim, at one point noting that that the statutory standard’s requirement that visual impacts be “reasonable” is an objective concept found throughout the law.  The Court also questioned whether the opponents had waived their right to raise the issue of unconstitutional vagueness because they had not raised it during the administrative appeal to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection.  First Wind was represented in the appeal by Verrill Dana Attorneys Juliet Browne and Gordon Smith.