B&D Expands Renewable Energy Capabilities with Arrival of Leading Pacific Northwest Energy Attorney Eric Christensen

Beveridge & Diamond welcomes Eric Christensen to our Seattle office as Of Counsel. Eric brings more than 30 years of experience focusing on helping renewable and traditional energy companies navigate complex legal and regulatory issues and transactions, including Smart Grid project development, new generation technologies, contracts, compliance, and litigation. Eric’s experience includes nearly a decade in private practice, as Assistant General Counsel at Snohomish County (WA) Public Utility District, one of the largest publicly-owned utilities in the U.S., and as a trial attorney at the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

"I am delighted to welcome Eric to our growing Seattle office," said Seattle Managing Principal Dave Weber. "His decades of experience will help clients address challenges arising from a rapidly changing energy industry and will further support the energy services we provide to clients on the West Coast and nationwide."

Eric guides clients through litigation, regulatory compliance, and transactions matters involving renewable and traditional energy facilities, energy and derivatives trades involving renewable energy certificates and carbon emissions, recognized environmental concerns, brownfields redevelopment, engineering and construction services, early-stage and traditional financing, risk management, and government grants and tax incentives. He assists clients with energy and infrastructure transactions throughout Washington, including wind generation, hydroelectric facilities, and renewable energy projects as well as the contracts governing sales of power and transmission from the Northwest’s huge federal hydroelectric and transmission systems. He has also assisted with landmark litigation in both the state and federal courts.

Highlights of Eric's experience include:

  • Successfully representing Snohomish County Public Utility District in a series of lawsuits arising from the Enron crisis involving action at every level of the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as administrative litigation resulting in an order requiring Enron to disgorge more than $1 billion.
  • Successfully litigating matters concerning landmark orders restructuring regulation of the electricity, natural gas, and oil pipeline industries in the U.S.
  • Successfully representing renewable energy producers and trade groups in FERC regulatory and litigation matters.
  • Successfully representing project developers in federal litigation involving PURPA, transmission interconnection issues, and compliance with FERC orders.
  • Successfully representing the developer of a Tacoma brownfield development in addressing hazardous waste contamination issues with several municipal agencies and the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
  • Helping assure compliance with Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other statutes protecting raptors in construction of a hydroelectric project in Washington.
  • Successfully defending licensed and ongoing hydroelectric project from claims arising under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Developing and implementing a National Environmental Protection Act compliance strategy for federal rulemaking creating open access to the nation’s electric transmission system.
  • Representing a utility in licensing for experimental tidal electric generation project, including compliance with Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, and state analogues.
  • Successfully permitting and obtaining access easements for projects on U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and Washington Department of Natural Resources lands.

Eric graduated from Stanford Law School with distinction in 1987, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Stanford Law Review. While at Stanford, he also served as President and Editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Society and as Vice President of the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas with high distinction in 1984. He is a member of the Washington, District of Columbia, and Idaho state bars and is admitted in several federal and appellate court jurisdictions, including the U.S. Supreme Court.