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.
Ben was formerly an attorney in the Environmental Law Division of the TCEQ where he represented the Executive Director in permitting matters and provided guidance to various TCEQ air programs. Ben also clerked for the Office of General Counsel and in the Litigation Division as a law student.
B.A., University of Richmond
J.D., University of Houston Law Center
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.
- 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.
“Texas Rising Star,” Super Lawyers – Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters, 2016-2019
- “Key Permit Used in Keystone XL Pipeline Put On Hold – Potential Far-Reaching Impacts on Other Projects,” Jackson Walker Insights (May 1, 2020)
- “EPA Proposes to Revise Significant Aspects of Methane Rule,” Jackson Walker Insights (September 13, 2018)
- “Petition for Rulemaking Requests Standards of Conduct for Oil Pipelines,” Jackson Walker Insights (February 13, 2018)
- “DOI Reverses Course and Declares Migratory Bird Treaty Act Does Not Prohibit Incidental Take,” Jackson Walker Insights (January 11, 2018)
- “Appeals Court Decision Requires Air Emissions Reporting for Animal Waste,” Jackson Walker Insights (May 10, 2017)
- “Denbury v. Texas Rice “Texas Rice II”: The Texas Supreme Court Affirms Common Carrier Status,” Jackson Walker Insights (January 9, 2017)
- 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)
In the News
- “EPA’s Methane Emission Proposal Fuels Oil And Gas Uncertainty,” Hart Energy (September 10, 2019)
- “Don’t Worry, Texas Will Still Be Energy Friendly,” MIDSTREAM Business (June 27, 2018)
- “Texas Supreme Court Establishes a Pipeline-Friendly Threshold,” Texas Lawyer (March 1, 2017)
- Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program, Advisory Board, 2017-Present
- Generation Waller
- Vice President, 2015-2017
- Volunteer Committee Chair, 2014