Nils Nichols

Senior Fellow

Nils was with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission until 2019, where he most recently served as the Director of the Office of Administrative Litigation with responsibility for oil, natural gas, and electric matters set for hearing. Prior to that, Nils was the Director of the Commission’s Division of Pipeline Regulation with responsibility for oil and natural gas tariff and rate issues.  In this capacity, he participated in the development of new Commission regulations and policies, addressed congressional and press inquiries, and testified before Congress.  Earlier in his career at FERC, Nils was a policy and legal advisor to Chairman Joseph Kelliher and to Chairman James Hoecker. Nils also served as the Director of FERC‘s Dispute Resolution Service.

Nils has extensive experience with federal permitting of infrastructure projects, including interstate natural gas pipelines, liquified natural gas facilities, and hydroelectric facilities, with a particular focus on environmental issues. Nils began his legal career as a clerk at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and was later a partner in Conner and Wetterhahn PC in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in nuclear power plant licensing and environmental issues.

He is the author of the “NEPA Caselaw Digest,” published by the American Bar Association, and is co-author of Recommended Siting Practices for Electric Transmission Developers (Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, February 2023).

Since leaving FERC in 2019, Nils has consulted on the development of electric transmission lines and matters related to natural gas leasing.  He also spends time in his other career, raising Black Angus cattle on his farm in West Virginia.

Nils received both his B.A. and J.D. from West Virginia University.

Nils's Analysis

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