About Rich

Rich Bonnifield focuses his practice on energy law, including electricity, natural gas, and renewable energy matters. He has a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by electric and gas utilities that operate in a heavily regulated industry. Rich provides strategic legal and regulatory advice on rates, corporate structure, transactions, tariffs, and reliability matters. He assists utility clients with the development and implementation of regulatory, ethics and reliability compliance programs, procedures, and training.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Rich was a partner at a major Washington, D.C. energy law firm, where he represented large-scale electric and gas utility companies in federal regulatory practice. Previously, Rich served for thirteen years as senior in-house counsel to one of the largest combined electric and gas utility companies in the country, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. At PSE&G, Rich provided ongoing advice and training to PSE&G’s senior management and personnel on the practical application of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rules and regulations to PSE&G’s business interactions and activities.

Rich previously served from 1990–1995 as General Counsel of the Long Island Power Authority where, among other responsibilities, he negotiated a landmark settlement of complex federal litigation challenging the Authority’s application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decommission the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant.

Rich also served as outside counsel to several major LDCs in a Washington, DC-based FERC regulatory practice and, prior to that, as FERC Trial Staff counsel in the Pipeline Rates and Certificates Section of the FERC Office of General Counsel.

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Honors & Activities

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (Energy Law), 2015–2023
  • Member, Board of Directors, Energy Bar Association, 2006–2011
  • President, Energy Bar Association, 2009–2010
  • President, Charitable Foundation, Energy Bar Association, 2004–2005
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Co-author, “FERC Accepts PJM’s Interconnection Queue Reform,” Stoel Rives LLP legal alert, November 30, 2022
  • Co-author, “FERC Reaffirms Concurrent Jurisdiction Over PPAs in Bankruptcy,” Stoel Rives Renewable + Law® blog, May 2, 2019
  • Co-author, “FERC Eases Regulations During COVID-19 Crisis,” T&D World, April 13, 2020
  • Co-author, “FERC Issues NOPR to Eliminate Horizontal Market Screens for Certain MBR Sellers,” Stoel Rives Renewable + Law® blog, January 4, 2019
  • Co-author, “FERC Follows Up on Tax Reform Response,” POWER magazine, December 10, 2018
  • Moderator, “Impacts of Tax Reform on Ratemaking,” Federal Energy Policy Summit, Infocast Events, Washington, D.C., December 6, 2018
  • Contributing Author, “AGA FERC Manual: A Guide for Local Distribution Companies,” American Gas Association, 2013, 2014, and 2015–16
  • Speaker, “FERC Rules on Regulation of Local Distribution Company Services,” AGA Conference 2015, Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 2015
  • “Wind Energy Law,” Energy Law and Transactions (D. Muchow and W. Mogel, eds.), 2014, 2015
  • Speaker, “Infrastructure Impacts of New Gas Supplies on Natural Gas Utilities,” American Gas Association Legal Forum, Carlsbad, California, July 2015
  • Panelist, “Integrating Renewables: Transmission Cost Recovery,” Electric Utility Rate Cases, Law Seminars International, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 2014
  • Moderator, “Transmission Rate Case Updates,” 2nd Annual Electric Transmission in the West, Law Seminars International, Seattle, Washington, May 2013
  • Speaker, 2012 Energy Market Regulation Conference, American Gas Association, Portland, Oregon, October 2012
  • “Issues and Strategies in Establishing and Maintaining Effective Compliance Programs,” AGA Energy Market Regulation Conference 2010, American Gas Association, Bellevue, Washington, October 2010
  • Speaker, Energy Bar Association: 64th Annual Meeting & Primer, Washington, D.C., April 2010
  • Speaker, Energy Bar Association: 13th Annual Midwest Chapter Energy Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, March 2010
  • Speaker, Energy Bar Association: 9th Annual Western Chapter Meeting, San Francisco, California, February 2010
  • Speaker, Energy Bar Association: Mid-Year Meeting, Washington, D.C., December 2009
  • “Transmission at a Crossroads,” 21 Energy Law Journal 447, December 1, 2000
  • “The Impact on Gas Distribution Companies of Federally Approved Special Marketing Programs,” 5 Energy Law Journal 287, December 1, 1984

Related News & Publications

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