J. Daniel Skees represents electric utilities before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other agencies on rate, regulatory, and transaction matters. He handles rate and tariff proceedings, electric utility and holding company transactions, utility financing, electric markets and trading issues, reliability standards development and compliance, and transmission development. In handling appeals of FERC decisions, Dan has successfully represented clients before both the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Dan’s representation of companies investing in or developing electric generation and transmission assets are a major focus of his practice. This includes advising them regarding the regulatory concerns triggered by those investments, including the initial transaction, interconnection, and ongoing compliance issues related to market-based rate tariffs, EWG and QF certifications, and public utility holding company compliance. As part of this practice, Dan works with utility investors, including banks, insurance companies, investment funds, private equity firms, and a wide variety of institutional investors to structure their transactions and equity ownership to minimize regulatory compliance concerns and obligations.
Where prior FERC authorization is necessary for an acquisition or merger, Dan advises applicants on seeking a receiving such authorizations under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act. Recent examples include FERC authorizations granted in Public Service Co. of Colorado, 169 FERC ¶ 61,175 (2019) (addressing the acquisition of an existing generating facility by an incumbent vertically-integrated utility) and NGV Emerald Acquisition Co., LLC, 167 FERC ¶ 62,125 (2019) (addressing the acquisition of a fleet of existing renewable merchant generation projects).
Dan’s advising on investments in electric assets also includes issues related to hydroelectric facility relicensing and license transfers under Part I of the Federal Power Act.
The mandatory electric reliability standards under Section 215 of the Federal Power Act are another primary focus area. Dan advises clients regarding compliance with reliability standards, and helps them participate in the development of new standards. Dan’s counsel in the reliability area includes the unique compliance concerns presented by the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards. Working with business and technical leads within companies, he assists electric utilities in designing their CIP compliance programs and defending those efforts when necessary. The process includes proceedings on reliability compliance before FERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and regional entities charged with enforcing compliance. As part of these efforts, Dan advises utilities on the development of controls for the protection of their supply chain against cyber risks.
As part of his federal regulatory practice, Dan also regularly advises and counsels foreign diplomatic missions and officers on certain aspects of US law.
Dan’s pro bono practice includes representing veterans seeking a wide variety of veterans’ benefits, including requests for Combat-Related Special Compensation, discharge status upgrades, and corrections to military records.
Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 2007, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
Pennsylvania State University, 2000, B.A., With High Distinction
District of Columbia
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Energy/Projects: Power (including Renewables), Chambers USA (2018)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Energy, Law360 (2016, 2019)
Member, Energy Law Firm of the Year, US News & World Report/Best Lawyers (2015)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2015–2016)
Ranked, Industry Focus - Energy Regulatory - Conventional Power, The Legal 500 US (2013, 2017)
Rising Star, Energy and Natural Resources; Utilities, Washington, DC Super Lawyers (2014–2018)
Managing Editor, Journal of Law, Philosophy & Culture
Staff Editor, Catholic University Law Review
Recipient, Burton Award for Legal Achievement (2007)