Steve Pearson is committed to protecting the consumer’s interest and seeks to assure utility rates they incur are as low as reasonably achievable. In pursuit of this goal, he has litigated extensively in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in both natural gas and electric matters, primarily representing publicly-owned utility clients.
Steve’s most recent FERC litigation experience has focused on representing municipal electric utilities and state government agencies in proceedings under Sections 205 and 206 of the Federal Power Act addressing transmission rates, terms, and conditions as well as transmission rate design. He has represented municipal natural gas consumers, municipally-owned local distribution companies, and state government agencies in numerous proceedings under Section 4 and Section 5 of the Natural Gas Act concerning both rates and the terms and conditions of service under pipelines’ tariffs. In addition, he has represented such clients on numerous certificate proceedings, both abandonment and new construction, at FERC and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Steve has also represented clients on an extensive number of transmission formula and stated rate cases. While most of his work related to transmission rates has been on behalf of transmission customers, he has represented municipal transmission owners that have filed with FERC seeking to include their transmission revenue requirements in an RTO’s transmission rate.
As part of his practice he helped a public power client comply with its reciprocity obligation to provide transmission service and advised the client as it drafted an Open Access Transmission Tariff. He also spent considerable time at FERC litigating other cases including the PJM and Midwest ISO seams elimination proceedings, the PJM rate redesign proceeding, and cases related to the restructuring of the California markets. In addition, Steve has experience litigating Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act matters before FERC, U.S. courts of appeal and state courts.
Steve’s transactional experience includes negotiating power purchase transactions using both EEI standard form agreements as well as situationally-tailored power purchase agreements. He has also represented public power clients in hydro licensing proceedings, including re-license, transfer, exemption, and surrender, as well as hydro compliance proceedings.
Steve authored the article Innovations in FERC Hearing Procedures, 41 Energy L.J. 23 (2020), and participated in a panel at the 2019 Energy Bar Association Annual Meeting and Conference on that topic.
Prior to joining Spiegel & McDiarmid, Steve practiced energy law for two years as an associate at a firm and practiced general corporate law for two years in-house, both in Portland, Oregon.