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Craig Gannett

GannettCraig
Partner
Co-chair, Energy and Environmental Practice
T206.757.8048
F206.757.7048
M206.605.3638
Craig Gannett focuses his practice in the fields of electric utility regulation, renewable energy development, and climate change-related regulation. He advises clients on a broad range of regulatory matters, including those relating to hydroelectric dams, wholesale electricity transactions, transmission lines, the creation and trading of renewable energy credits, and the impacts of potential changes to the Columbia River Treaty. As a former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, he advises with respect to the Federal Power Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act, as well as EPA climate change regulations under the Clean Air Act. Craig also teaches Climate Change Law at the University of Washington School of Law, and is a Vice-President of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

Practice Highlights
  • Handles relicensing of hydropower facilities by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), including negotiations with federal and state natural resource agencies under the Federal Power Act and Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
  • Advises on federal, regional and state regulatory developments regarding greenhouse gas emissions and renewable portfolio standards.
  • Provides regulatory advice regarding a wide range of energy-related projects, including biomass facilities, energy efficiency programs, broadband fiber optic cable deployments, and smart grid.
  • Represents regulated utilities before the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) regarding energy, telecommunications, solid waste and water utility matters.
  • Advises on electric utility regulatory matters, including siting, transmission upgrades, regional transmission organizations, interconnection of new generation and related matters.

Representative Experience

Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Appeal

Defended a certification of a hydroelectric dam issued by the Washington Department of Ecology under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act being appealed by four environmental groups. (2013)

Energy/transactional for Microsoft

Counsel to Microsoft in drafting and negotiating a facilities upgrade agreement regarding a major data center. (2013)

Energy/transactional for Swedish Medical Center

Counsel to major Seattle hospital in drafting long-term steam purchase agreement. (2013)

Energy/Transactional for Chelan County PUD

Counsel to public utility district in drafting and negotiating of large, multi-year, real-time power scheduling and marketing agreement with Powerex. (2012)

Litigation for Calpine and TransAlta

Represented Calpine and TransAlta in 2012 Rate Adjustment Proceeding of the Bonneville Power Administration, regarding implementation of BPA's Dispatchable Energy Resource Balancing Service (DERBS). (2011)

Regulatory - hydroelectric for Avista

Counsel for hydroelectric licensee in appeal of a Section 401 certification to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board. Negotiation of a comprehensive, five-party settlement agreement led to dismissal of the appeal and issuance of a favorable Section 401 certification. (2009)

Regulatory - hydroelectric for Chelan County PUD

Counsel for public utility district in negotiation of a multi-party settlement agreement leading to the issuance by FERC of a 43-year license for the Rocky Reach Hydroelectric Project. (2009)

Litigation for Avista

Counsel for hydroelectric licensee in Avista v. U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (trial before a Department of the Interior Administrative Law Judge under Section 241 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, holding that many factual assertions by Interior in hydroelectric relicensing proceeding were unfounded). (Dept. of the Interior Admin. Law Judge 2007)

Regulatory - hydroelectric for Chelan County PUD

Counsel for public utility district in negotiation of a multi-party settlement agreement leading to the issuance by FERC of a 50-year license for the Lake Chelan Hydroelectric Project. (2006)

Litigation for Chelan County PUD

Counsel for hydroelectric licensee in Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation v. Ecology (trial before the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board, holding that Section 401 of the Clean Water Act does not require strict adherence with numeric water quality criteria). (2004)

Additional Qualifications

  • Lecturer, "Climate Change Law," University of Washington School of Law, 2010-present
  • Lecturer, "U.S. Energy Policy," Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, Spring Quarter, 2011
  • Lecturer, "Climate Change: Realities and Options for U.S. Policy," Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, Winter Quarter, 2008
  • Lecturer and Task Force Evaluator, "The Geopolitics of Global Warming: U.S. Policy Options," Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, Winter Quarter, 2007
  • General Counsel, Northwest Hydroelectric Association, 1997-2007
  • Mayor of Seattle's Advisory Committee on Seattle City Light, 2002
  • Senior Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, responsible for overseeing the electric utility industry and the federal Power Marketing Administrations, including the Bonneville Power Administration, 1993-1995
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Barbara J. Rothstein, U.S. District Court

Professional & Community Activities

  • Vice President, Henry M. Jackson Foundation
  • Chair, Advisory Board, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington
  • Member, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law – American Bar Association 
  • Member, Committee on Renewable Energy; Committee on State Commission Practice and Regulation; Committee on Electricity Regulation – Energy Bar Association
  • General Counsel, Washington State Public Affairs TV Network (TVW)

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Public Utility Law by Best Lawyers, 2001-2005; named in Energy Law, 2006-present
  • Awarded "2013 Top Rated Lawyer" in Energy, Environmental, & Natural Resources by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
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