Benjamin R. Rhem
Benjamin Rhem is a partner in the environmental and legislative practice group where he advises clients in the power generation, oil and gas, and mining industries regarding compliance with federal and state environmental laws. Ben works regularly before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. EPA. Ben’s practice also extends beyond environmental law, as he assists clients deal with regulatory issues before FERC, PHMSA, the Railroad Commission of Texas, and MSHA.
B.A., University of Richmond
J.D., University of Houston Law Center
- Successfully assists clients in obtaining air, water, and waste permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, provides advice on complex environmental audits, and conducts environmental reviews for energy and real estate transactions. Assisted in the development and financing of over two dozen wind and solar energy projects, as well as numerous natural gas-fired power plants.
- Advises pipeline clients on compliance with FERC regulations and the Interstate Commerce Act. Recently assisted several clients conduct open seasons, draft petitions for declaratory orders, and file tariffs with FERC.
Rising Star, Super Lawyers – Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters, 2016-2019
- O’Connor’s Texas Oil & Gas Statutes & Regulations, Editor, 2014-2018
- “Legal Roundtable: Is Texas Still Energy Friendly?”, MIDSTREAM Texas Conference, Midland, Texas (June 6, 2018)
- “Interstate Determinations under the Natural Gas Act and Interstate Commerce Act,” Pipeline Safety Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (August 10, 2016)
- “Emergency Demand Response Under EPA’s RICE MACT Rules,” San Antonio, Texas (March 10, 2016)
- “GHG Regulation and the Politics of Climate Change for the Oil and Gas Industry,” 61st Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, Anchorage, Alaska (July 17, 2015)
- “Regulatory Compliance After the West Fertilizer Explosion,” Texas Ag Industries Association Regional Meeting, Belton, Texas (October 8, 2013)
- “Compliance with EPA and TCEQ Air Quality Regulations Affecting Oil and Gas Operations,” San Antonio Association of Professional Landmen Mid-Winter Seminar, San Antonio, Texas (February 9, 2013)
- “The Denbury Decision – Its Impact on Pipeline Construction and How the Legislature and Railroad Commission Will Respond,” Obtaining and Expanding Pipeline Capacity in the Shale Oil and Gas Revolution, Houston, Texas (January 16, 2013)
- “Environmental and Clean Air Regulations Affecting the Midstream,” Midstream Oil and Gas Law Conference, Houston, Texas (December 7, 2012)
- Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program, Advisory Board, 2017-Present
- Generation Waller
- Vice President, 2015-2017
- Volunteer Committee Chair, 2014
Ben has given numerous presentations regarding environmental and pipeline regulations, and in July of 2015, he gave a presentation titled, “GHG Regulation and the Politics of Climate Change for the Oil and Gas Industry,” which was published in the 61st Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute.
Environmental Permitting and Regulatory Compliance
- Advised a major oil and gas production company regarding multiple environmental audits under the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act covering upstream and midstream oil and gas facilities located in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale.
- Assisted client in removing unwarranted violations and significantly reduce penalties assessed by MSHA.
Environmental Due Diligence
- Conducted environmental due diligence for over 3,000 MW of wind energy electric generation.
- Assisted with environmental due diligence and permitting relating to a major corporate reorganization of one of largest electric energy providers in the U.S.
FERC Compliance – Open Seasons, Tariffs, Petitions for Declaratory Orders
- Assisted multiple clients to prepare and conduct successful open seasons and petitions for declaratory orders.
- Assisted client in conducting environmental, pipeline safety, FERC compliance audit of major interstate liquids pipeline.