Energy Policy Advocate Christine Wyman Returns to Policy Resolution Group

The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP today announced that Christine G. Wyman has joined the firm as senior counsel. Wyman will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s clients on a broad range of energy, environmental and other policy matters.

Wyman joins Bracewell from the American Gas Association, where as senior counsel, she advocated for natural gas utilities on federal environmental, energy and pipeline safety matters. She worked with member companies and interacted with a variety of federal agencies, including the White House, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

“We’re very excited to welcome Christine back to the PRG team,” said PRG Co-Head Scott H. Segal. “Her experience with energy policy and the inner workings of Washington will greatly benefit our clients.”

“I am thrilled to rejoin my colleagues in the Policy Resolution Group,” said Wyman. “Their extensive knowledge of energy, environment, manufacturing and other issues, the firm’s reputation as a leading government relations firm in Washington are just some of the many reasons that I’m excited to be part of the PRG team.”

Prior to launching her legal career, Wyman worked at Bracewell in the government relations section, and later as a Bracewell fellow while attending law school. Following law school, Wyman joined an international law firm, where she represented clients in a broad range of environmental matters, providing counsel on compliance and enforcement matters, and advocating for clients’ interests through the federal rulemaking process.

In addition to earning her J.D. from The Georgetown University Law Center, Wyman earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University and a B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

PRG’s 2016 Post-Election Analysis Report

The 2016 election results have significant implications for companies across a wide range of industry sectors. From environmental policy to financial services to tax reform, President-elect Trump has committed to sweeping action on a variety of fronts, and will have a Republican-controlled House and Senate to work with on priority issues. Nevertheless, the GOP-led Senate is not filibuster-proof, and many of the finer points of Trump’s agenda remain unclear. Accordingly, it is important for interested stakeholders to begin thinking through how their own priorities will track with the next President and Congress.

The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP (PRG) has prepared this post-election report to identify some of the key issues slated for action in Washington next term. Our team of lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals combines decades of experience working on these issues in the private sector, on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies—and stands ready to help our clients make sure their voices are heard by policymakers and the public.

Among the contents of the Policy Resolution Group’s Post-Election Analysis Report are:

  • PRG’s 2016 Post-Election Webinar
  • PRG’s Post-Election Updates
    • Energy
    • Environment
    • Tax
    • Appropriations & Budget
    • Trade
    • Consumer Protection
    • Financial Services
  • PRG’s Post-Election Video Analyses & Podcasts
    • “Election Day Takeaways and What to Expect in the Trump Presidency”
    • “Outlook for the Clean Power Plan and Other Environmental Issues”
    • “Outlook for Energy Policy”
    • “Thoughts from a Former Senator”
    • “Trade and Tax Policy After the Election”

2016 Post-Election Webinar

Watch the complete webinar, recorded on November 9, below:

 

The complete slide deck for the webinar can be found at here.


Post-Election Updates

ENERGY

By Scott Segal, Dee Martin, and Salo Zelermyer

Although there was almost zero discussion of energy policy in the presidential debates, President-elect Donald Trump frequently cited energy policy as a cornerstone of his plans to grow the U.S. economy.

While the dust settles on this historic election and as Americans await the inauguration of their new President, those interested in energy policy can expect that questions about energy infrastructure, the power sector, the transportation sector and upstream production will be hotly debated in Washington during 2017.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

ENVIRONMENT

By Scott Segal, Frank Maisano, and Salo Zelermyer

From the clean energy components of the stimulus to the Paris Climate Agreement, President Obama staked a significant amount of his legacy on actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How instrumental was opposition to these actions in electing Donald Trump? It is hard to say at this stage but President-elect Trump’s message of rolling back federal regulations—specifically, environmental regulations—that have stifled economic growth may have been one key factor in turning major portions of the “Rust Belt” from blue to red. Our expectation is that loosening regulatory restrictions on all aspects of the energy sector is likely to be an early and constant core element of Trump’s domestic policy agenda.

Against this backdrop, those interested in environmental policy should look at four key issues: the Clean Power Plan and climate policy; methane emissions and shale; appliance standards; and pipeline approvals.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

TAX

By Curt Beaulieu

After a decade of discussion and debate, the election of Donald Trump makes it likely that substantive tax reform will finally occur in the next two years or sooner. Congressional tax-writing committees are now forming, and tax reform proposals have now been put forward by a group of House Republicans, and both Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR). The timing of legislation will depend on how fast the Trump administration wants to move tax reform forward.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

APPROPRIATIONS & BUDGET

By Ed Krenik and John Lee

With a government funding deadline looming on December 9, 2016, Congress will have its fair share of work to do upon its return after the national elections. The following is a review of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) passed in September, how Congress might decide to fund the government moving forward, and potential leadership changes in the 115th Congress for the Appropriations Committee.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

TRADE

By Gene Godley, Paul Nathanson, and Josh Zive

The 2016 elections featured the most focus on U.S. international trade policy since 1992. President-elect Donald Trump placed harsh criticisms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and China and made international trade the center of his economic agenda.

With Trump’s victory it is safe to say that the political environment on trade issues is more volatile than it has been in decades. As the international trade community prepares for President-elect Trump and the new Congress a few issues are front and center.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

CONSUMER PROTECTION

By Ed Krenik, Paul Nathanson, and John Lee

Donald Trump’s win on Election Day will greatly change the composition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as the change from a Democratic administration to a Republican administration means the commission will eventually have a new chairman as well as a majority of Republican commissioners. Additionally, the Republican majority in the Senate will ensure that oversight over the agency’s rulemaking activities remains a top priority.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES

By George Felcyn and Josh Zive

As President-elect Trump prepares to assume office in January, many questions have been raised about what kind of approach he will take in key policy areas, a result of the relative lack of specific proposals that emerged during his campaign. What’s in store for Wall Street and financial reform remains one of the larger unknowns about a Trump administration. Let’s examine a few clues that suggest how a Trump administration will handle this area of policy.

(Read the complete analysis here.)


Post-Election Video Analyses & Podcasts

2016 ELECTION: ELECTION DAY TAKEAWAYS AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY

Dee Martin and Scott Segal, co-heads of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss their reactions to the surprising results of the 2016 elections and what to expect during the first 100 days of a Trump administration.

 

2016 ELECTION: OUTLOOK FOR THE CLEAN POWER PLAN AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Scott Segal, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Jeff Holmstead, head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell, discuss how the next President and Congress will confront issues such as climate change, the Clean Power Plan, and other environmental regulations.

 

2016 ELECTION: OUTLOOK FOR ENERGY POLICY

Dee Martin, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Salo Zelermyer, a partner in Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss what the results of the election may mean for oil and gas, renewable energy, and fuels.

 

2016 ELECTION: THOUGHTS FROM A FORMER SENATOR

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, senior counsel at Bracewell and a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Senate, discusses her reactions to the 2016 election results.

 

TRADE AND TAX POLICY AFTER THE ELECTION

Josh Zive, Paul Nathanson and Curt Beaulieu, of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, chat about tax and trade policy following the results of the 2016 election. Take a listen to PRG’s first The Lobby Shop podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

PRG Wins Social/Interactive Media Award for Post-Election Analysis

 

vtzycxzkThe Legal Marketing Association has announced its 2015 winners for the Social/Interactive Media Award, and first place goes to PRG’s Post-Election Campaign!

Here is an excerpt from the LMA summary:

What began as a mere post-election email effort in 2010 has blossomed into a full marketing campaign undertaken by the Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

PRG’s cutting-edge counsel uses industry-leading technology to help clients and contacts better understand what the 2014 election’s probable impact would be on the markets and industries served by Bracewell. The goal of this project was to build on PRG’s 2012 post-election “super” e-newsletter with expanded use of technologies (e.g., webinar, broadcast email, video, social media, blog) to more thoroughly convey the firm’s knowledge and experience to its target markets.

See the full PRG Post Election Update here.

PRG’s Scott Segal Interviewed for E&ETV on EPA’s Clean Power Plan & “Just Say No” Option

PRG founding partner Scott Segal was interviewed for E&ETV’s OnPoint segment today by Monica Trauzzi. The discussion centered around the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the possibility of a “just say no” option for states. Segal also explains why he believes a reliability safety valve is only part of the solution to ensuring reliability under the power plan.

The interview can be found by clicking the photo above, and a full transcript of the interview can be found here.

PRG’s George Felcyn Named to Law360 Energy Editorial Advisory Board

Law360 this week announced the formation of its 2015 Energy editorial advisory board.

PRG principal George Felcyn is on the list of nine energy industry professionals who, the publication says, will work to get feedback on Law360’s coverage and to gain insight from experts in the field on how best to shape future coverage.

George brings strategic communications experience and a background in journalism to the advisory board.

See the other advisory board members on the Law360 website.

PRG’s Curt Beaulieu Reviews Tax Text by Finance Committee Chair

A book review by PRG’s tax expert Curt Beaulieu was published by leading industry publication, Tax Analysts®.  Curt reviews Comprehensive Tax Reform for 2015 and Beyond, a 342-page primer on the history of taxes in the US written by Finance Committee Chair Orrin G. Hatch and his staff.

Interested in the topic, but don’t have have time to read Chairman Hatch’s book?  No problem.

Curt, who served as tax counsel on the Senate Finance Committee and for the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee before joining PRG, did the work for you.  His review “analyzes hundreds of pages, which analyzed thousands of pages.”

Read his full article (just over 3 pages!) for five specific items to note in Hatch’s book.

Comprehensive Tax Reform For 2015 and Beyond Book Review 2.26.15

PRG’s Salo Zelermyer Makes Greenwire List of Up-and-Comers

“It’s going to be a big year for lawyers representing industry clients facing a raft of new energy and environment regulations,” says E&E writer Jeremy Jacobs.

The publication is producing a multi-part series featuring key players on energy and environment issues in 2015.

PRG’s own Salo Zelermyer makes the cut of five profiled litigators who, according to Greenwire,” will “play roles in fights ahead over environmental regulations.”

Read the article here to learn more about Salo and the busy year he has ahead working on “the greenhouse gas rules for the power sector and the proposed methane standards for oil and gas operations.”

 

2014 Midterms Post-Election Analysis Webinar

2014 Midterms Webinar

Nearly 200 people tuned in to hear our 2014 midterms post-election analysis webinar this morning.

Follow the link below to view the slides and download the audio from today’s presentation.

PRG speakers included:

Scott Segal, Founding Partner, on election results and implications, as well as energy issues and environmental regulations

Jeff Holmstead, Partner, on energy issues and environmental regulations

Eric Washburn, Partner, on LNG exports

Salo Zelermyer, Senior Counsel, on LNG exports

Josh Zive, Senior Counsel, on crude exports

Mike Pate, Partner, on Tax Issues

Curtis Beaulieu, Senior Counsel, on Tax Issues

Anne Northup, Partner, on election results and implications

Slides are available here: PRG_2014_Midterm_Elections_Webinar_PPT

An audio file of the presentation is available for download here.

Article on Corporate Inversions Co-Authored by PRG’s Curtis Beaulieu Published in Industry Week

The opening paragraphs from the article, Washington Is Clamping Down on Corporate Inversions – What’s Next?, follow. The piece was co-authored by Beaulieu and Bracewell partner Abraham (Avi) Reshtick.

You can read the full piece on the Industry Week site, here.

The recent wave of U.S. companies exploring corporate inversions, which has involved mega-billion dollar deals and household brands such as Pfizer and Burger King, has attracted significant attention and fierce criticism. Some people have gone so far as to characterize these U.S. companies as “unpatriotic” or even worse. The combination of inversion activity reaching new heights and the Congressional deadlock has caused the Obama Administration to act unilaterally in an effort to make inversions less attractive.

On September 22, 2014, the IRS released Notice 2014-52 describing regulations to be issued in order to limit the tax benefits of certain inversion transactions. The notice, focusing on certain post-inversion planning techniques, already led to the termination of AbbVie’s $54 billion merger with Shire Plc (triggering $1.64 billion in break-up fees)
and impacted other pending deals.

Further developments in this area are to be expected but they would likely depend, on the one hand, on the appetite of dealmakers to pursue additional inversions using tax-enhancing techniques given the current uncertain environment and, on the other hand, on the impact such activity may have on
prompting further action by Treasury or breaking the Congressional deadlock.

Read the full article on the Industry Week site here.

Tax Policy Specialist Curtis Beaulieu Joins Bracewell & Giuliani’s Policy Resolution Group

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Policy Resolution Group (PRG) at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP announced today that Curtis Beaulieu is joining PRG as Senior Counsel in its Washington, D.C. office.  Beaulieu will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s industry and non-profit clients on a broad range of tax policy matters.

Beaulieu joins PRG from Capitol Hill, where he served since 2011 as tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee.  As tax counsel, he co-wrote the Tax Reform Option Paper on energy taxes for Senate Finance Committee members, organized hearings on income distribution and oil and gas tax expenditures, including intangible drilling costs, dual capacity, and the Section 199 manufacturing deduction, and negotiated extension of expiring tax provisions involved in the “fiscal cliff,” including “tax extenders,” RA/JGTRRA tax rates, and the estate and gift tax.

Beaulieu has wide-ranging Capitol Hill experience working for both the Senate and the House.  Prior to working on the Senate Finance Committee staff, he served as tax counsel to Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) from 2008-11 and, in 2007-8, to Representative Jim McCrery (R-Louisiana), who was then ranking member on the House Ways & Means Committee.  He also worked in various legislative capacities for Representative Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana).

“Curt is a dedicated professional with a proven track record in understanding the challenges and complexities of the U.S. tax code. I’ve always valued his expertise and counsel and know he’ll do well in this new endeavor,” said Senator Hatch.

“We are excited to have Curt join the team,” said PRG Head Scott Segal. “His experience on tax policy, particularly related to energy, natural resources and manufacturing issues, will greatly benefit our clients. As Congress and the Executive Branch continue to discuss and debate a wide range of tax issues, from comprehensive tax reform to extenders and inversions, Curt will strengthen our practice with his skills and almost decade-long experience in serving as a top tax policy advisor on Capitol Hill. He is also highly respected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and throughout the private sector.”

“We proudly welcome Curt to our firm’s tax team,” said Liz McGinley, head of Bracewell & Giuliani’s tax section. “Our corporate clients are increasingly focused on the federal tax implications of their current operations and strategic initiatives.  Curt’s tax policy experience, together with our strong transactional tax capability, will allow us to provide exceptional service to our clients.”

“I am delighted to join Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group,” said Beaulieu. “I was attracted to PRG by the firm’s unique comprehensive service model of offering legal, advocacy, and communications services under one roof, as well as its outstanding reputation in Washington for substance and knowledge of tax and other issues.”

Beaulieu received an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center; a J.D. from the California Western School of Law; and a B.S. in Communications from the University of Texas.

Formed in 2011, the Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell & Giuliani helps clients around the world navigate our complex federal landscape, creating and implementing successful strategies to achieve our clients’ government relations objectives.  PRG provides counsel and services in Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Information Gathering and Political Analysis, Strategic Communications and Legal Representation.