Eric is known for his extensive experience in energy, water, wastewater, and environmental matters, particularly the regulation of utilities at both the state and federal levels.
He helps clients with regulatory filings and issues before state public utility commissions and environmental regulators, local utility districts, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs).
Eric also devotes considerable time to assisting utilities, independent power producers, and other entities in thinking about the opportunities provided by new state and federal laws, technologies, and opportunities, including those relating to renewable energy.
Representative matters include:
- Advising, representing, and litigating on behalf of a variety of investor-owned utilities, independent power producers, and large industrial clients on regulatory issues before the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) and the Iowa Utilities Board. Representations include rate proceedings, certificate of need proceedings, and tariff filings.
- Representing energy companies and large industrial users in negotiations and power purchase agreements with utilities.
- Advocating on behalf of large water users in PSCW rate cases.
- Negotiating and drafting all necessary intergovernmental agreements to facilitate the sale and purchase of water and wastewater services between local units of government and large industrial users.
- Representing and counseling an RTO in various FERC matters.
A regulator’s perspective
Eric’s understanding of the regulatory environment is informed by substantial years of government service and leadership. Before joining Michael Best, he served as Chairperson and, previously, Chief of Staff at the PSCW, ruling on a full range of critical energy and water matters including utility-rate cases, certificates of need for large infrastructure projects, and disputes between stakeholders. In this capacity, he oversaw the implementation of increases to the state’s renewable portfolio standard, enhancements to its energy efficiency program, and the creation of wind-siting standards.
Eric testified multiple times before FERC and the Board of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), emphasizing the importance of states’ rights. He was president of the Organization of MISO States (OMS) and served in other key positions there. As head of the group of Midwestern utility regulators that advocates before MISO and FERC, he helped OMS establish and advocate for positions critical to ratepayers in the MISO footprint.
A trusted advisor to state and federal agencies
Eric has held various other positions in Wisconsin state government, including Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, head of the Division of Enforcement at the Department of Regulation and Licensing, and legal advisor to the Governor. He has also worked as an environmental consultant and at the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
As an Assistant Attorney General at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, he prosecuted and defended dozens of cases, with an emphasis on environmental actions initiated on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He began his legal career as a public defender in New York City and Philadelphia.
Honors & Recognitions
- The Best Lawyers in America©, Lawyer of the Year, Energy Regulatory Law, 2022
- The Best Lawyers in America©, Energy Law and Energy Regulatory Law, 2018-present
- The Midwest’s Best Lawyers©, Energy Law and Energy Regulatory Law, 2021
- President, Organization of MISO States (OMS), 2014
- Co-Chair of the FERC-NARUC Sunday Morning Collaborative, 2013-2015
- Chair of the NARUC Committee on International Relations and member of the NARUC Board of Directors, 2014-2015
- Former Editorial Board Member, International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER) Chronicle
- Former member of the Board of Directors of the Energy Center of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)