Liam Donovan Addition Continues Expansion of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group in Washington, DC

Bracewell LLP announced today that Liam Donovan will join the firm’s Policy Resolution Group (PRG) as a lobbyist specializing in tax, infrastructure, energy and other issues. Donovan will be based in the firm’s Washington, DC office.

Donovan joins Bracewell from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) where he served as Senior Director of Legislative and Political Affairs. He is also a nationally recognized political commentator and analyst, frequently appearing on television and radio, and, as a contributor, online and in print.

This is the sixth strategic addition to Bracewell’s DC office in the last six months and third to PRG. Christine G. Wyman, an energy and environmental policy expert, and Anna Burhop, a federal legislative and regulatory professional, also recently joined the group.

“Liam’s arrival coincides with an increased focus by Congress and the White House on issues that significantly impact Bracewell clients, such as federal tax reform and energy regulatory and infrastructure issues,” said Bracewell’s Managing Partner Gregory M. Bopp. “We are pleased to welcome Liam to the firm.”

Donovan served as ABC’s lead on tax, energy and fiscal legislative issues for more than six years, representing the construction industry before the House, Senate, White House and federal agencies, while providing strategic guidance on the association’s political activities. He also frequently served as a spokesperson for the association, appearing on numerous television and radio programs for political analysis. Prior to joining ABC, Donovan worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), ultimately serving as a regional finance director under Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX). In that role, he worked with Republican incumbents, candidates and campaigns across 20 states, raising millions of dollars for Republican candidates.

“Liam is a great addition to Bracewell’s PRG team,” said PRG Co-Head Scott Segal. “Our clients will benefit from his thorough understanding of tax and infrastructure policies, his knowledge of and experience with the legislative process and his sharp political insights.”

“Bracewell has built a reputation for outstanding client service and effective representation of a wide range of companies, trade associations and coalitions,” said Donovan. “I look forward to joining the talented group of professionals in Bracewell’s PRG team and am eager to help our clients have a voice as Congress and the Trump Administration tackle a host of pressing tax issues.”

Donovan graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in government. He has been published in The National Review, New York Post, POLITICO Magazine and other national publications.  Additionally, Donovan is frequently featured as a commentator on MSNBC and Fox News Channel for his political insights and analysis.

 

Anna Burhop Joins Bracewell’s Nationally Recognized Policy Resolution Group in Washington, D.C.

The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP is pleased to announce that Anna Burhop has joined as a principal in its Washington, D.C. office. Burhop will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s clients on a broad range of environmental, energy and other policy matters. PRG has been recognized as the top performing lobbying/law firm by Bloomberg Government and is the only firm to make the list four years in a row.

Burhop joins Bracewell from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) where she served as a Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs providing support for the ACC’s environmental advocacy initiatives.  Prior to joining the ACC, Burhop worked for seven years as a professional staff member on the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works, serving under both Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), and developing policy and oversight strategies on various Clean Air Act Initiatives as well as EPA rulemakings.

“Anna’s extensive experience working on environmental and regulatory issues both in the private sector and on Capitol Hill will be a great asset to Bracewell’s PRG team and our clients,” said Bracewell’s Managing Partner Gregory M. Bopp.  “We’re pleased to welcome Anna to the firm.”

Burhop is the most recent strategic addition to Bracewell’s Washington, D.C. office in the last six months. In March, Robert J. Wagman, Jr. joined as a partner to help lead the firm’s government contracts practice. In early April, Hans P. Dyke joined as a partner adding transactional depth to the firm’s energy, electric power and midstream practices and shortly thereafter, Christine G. Wyman returned to the firm as senior counsel in PRG adding significant industry, legislative and regulatory expertise in energy and environmental policy. Most recently in July, David A. Super joined the firm to lead the Washington, D.C. civil litigation practice.

“Having worked with Anna for more than a decade while she was on Capitol Hill and at ACC, I know our clients will benefit from her knowledge of legislative and regulatory issues on a wide range of policy matters,” said PRG Co-Head Scott H. Segal.

Burhop also was an administrative director for a premier health and wellness community in Louisiana. She earned a Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management from Tulane University and a B.A. from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

“Bracewell’s PRG has an excellent reputation in Washington, D.C. and I’m very much looking forward to working with its team of accomplished lobbyists and strategic communications professionals,” said Burhop.

PRG’s Christine Wyman Co-Authors Analysis of DC Circuit Decision to Vacate EPA’s Stay of Methane Rule Requirement

PRG Senior Counsel Christine Wyman co-authored a blog post for Bracewell’s Energy Legal Blog with Whit Swift and Brittany Pemberton of Bracewell.  The post, titled “DC Circuit Vacates EPA’s Initial Stay of Methane Rule Requirements,” explores the July 3 U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision to vacate the EPA’s initial 90-day stay of parts of the 2016 Methane Rule, a rule that establishes methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry.

“While it vacated the 90-day stay of the Methane Rule requirements, the court emphasized that nothing in its opinion limits EPA’s authority to reconsider the final rule, or to proceed with the proposed stay published on June 16,” writes Wyman, Swift, and Pemberton.  “As a result, while compliance with the parts of the Methane Rule is no longer delayed by an administrative stay, EPA will likely continue with its plans to finalize the separate, longer stay of the Methane Rule requirements that it proposed on June 16.  While a review of the June 16 proposal did not identify the specific authority cited for the proposed two-year stay, EPA has previously claimed authority for such stays under both its general rulemaking authority under CAA section 301(a)(1), as well as an agency’s authority under section 705 of the federal Administrative Procedure Act (‘APA’) to postpone the effective date of an action pending judicial review ‘when an agency finds that justice so requires.'”

To read the complete post, click here.

PRG’s Podcast ‘The Lobby Shop’ & Host Josh Zive Featured in National Law Journal Article

PRG’s new podcast The Lobby Shop and its host, PRG Partner Josh Zive, were featured today in a National Law Journal article titled “In New Podcast, a Bracewell Lobbyist Reports from the Swamp.”

“‘It’s been a hell of a week,’ Josh Zive, a lobbyist and senior principal in the Washington, D.C., office of Bracewell, told his podcast audience last week,” writes NLJ reporter Miriam Rozen.  “Zive, who performs stand-up comedy in his spare time, knows the podcasts reach a limited audience at this point. But he takes pride in his new series and claims it distinguishes him as perhaps the sole big-firm lawyer to host a podcast for his employer.

“His aim: to use the podcasts to elevate in the public debate his firm’s and its clients’ advocacy. Launched in earnest last month, the weekly series is known as The Lobby Shop. The idea of talking casually and openly about lobbying strategies makes many of his professional peers uncomfortable, Zive said.

“‘At a lot of firms it’s ingrained in their cultures to not talk very publicly,’ he said.

“But Bracewell has embraced his podcast series, he said, and other partners regularly join Zive as guests in the recordings.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

To listen to The Lobby Shop, click here or download wherever you listen to podcasts.

Article by PRG’s George Felcyn Featured in ACORE Blog

 

PRG Senior Director George Felcyn authored an article published today by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).  The article, titled “Offshore Wind in the US: A Look at Industry Prospects,” explores America’s renewable energy potential regarding offshore wind, an innovation booming in Europe.

“There is a lot to like about the prospects for offshore wind development in the U.S.,” writes Felcyn.  “The basic ingredients are all there: higher sustained wind speeds offshore with the potential to increase electricity output by 50 percent compared to onshore wind farms, coupled with the added advantage that winds tend to blow strongly during late summer afternoons, when electricity consumption is peaking; technological advances leading to larger turbines with higher power ratings; and a cost structure that has seen significant improvement in the more mature European offshore wind industry as increasing efficiencies and scale have taken hold.”

To read the complete article, click here.

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 Scott Segal Analyzes AG Pruitt Hearing in E&E News Facebook Live Interview

 

PRG Founding Partner Scott Segal spoke with E&E News’ Monica Trauzzi today on the confirmation hearing of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be EPA administrator. NRDC’s John Walke and E&E News reporters Robin Bravender and Kevin Bogardus also weighed in.

The full video can be viewed above or at this link, and the article on AG Pruitt’s hearing and this discussion can be found here.

PRG’s George Felcyn Co-Authors Article for The Bond Buyer

The Bond Buyer

 

PRG Senior Director George Felcyn co-authored an article with Bracewell attorney Charles Almond published today in The Bond Buyer.  The commentary article titled “Make-America-Great-Again Bonds?” explores investment in public infrastructure and its increased discussion since the 2016 election was decided.

“If federal policymakers are indeed serious about incentivizing public infrastructure investment and realizing the related job-creation benefits in the relatively near future, an ‘all of the above’ approach is essential,” write Almond and Felcyn. “Innovative P3 approaches enhanced by tax credits for equity investments may well attract private-equity capital and foster cost savings for certain types of projects. However, the bread and butter of public finance has always been, and will likely continue to be, debt capital that is subsidized one way or another by the federal government. While the old dogs in the public-finance arena are learning the new tricks of the P3 world, efforts should be made to improve the ability to access low-interest-rate debt capital from the tried and true state and local  bond market to supplement those new tricks and continue to fill the many gaps that will never be filled by private equity alone.”

To read the complete article, click here.

PRG’s Salo Zelermyer Discusses Trump’s DOE Pick with MSNBC

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PRG Partner Salo Zelermyer spoke with MSNBC’s Kate Snow today on President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Energy: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Zelermyer and Snow discussed Perry’s history in Texas and his influence on the state’s energy infrastructure, comparing his background with those of previous Energy secretaries.

For the full video, click here.

 

 

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.