Bernard McNamee

Senior Advisor, Federal Public Affairs

Richmond, VA

+1 804 775 1942


Former FERC Commissioner Bernard L. McNamee is a senior advisor at McGuireWoods Consulting and partner with McGuireWoods LLP. McNamee provides clients legal, policy and legislative guidance on a wide range of energy and environmental issues. His practice focuses on strategic planning and policy development, legislation, and rulemakings, including issues involving Congress, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as well as regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs). In addition, McNamee works with private equity investors and portfolio companies to help them understand the implications of federal and state energy policy decisions and market trends for their investment and business decisions.

McNamee completed a term as a commissioner on FERC in 2020, a position for which he was nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate in 2018. During his time on the Commission, McNamee was recognized as a leader on a number of important energy issues and participated in more than 1,700 published orders on issues related to wholesale electricity markets, natural gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities, oil pipeline rates, hydro facilities, reliability standards, and ratemaking. He also testified before Congress and was invited to speak before energy organizations throughout the country. McNamee assists clients with high-stakes and complex issues involving the Federal Power Act (FPA), Natural Gas Act (NGA), Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), Interstate Commerce Act (ICA), and Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). 

McNamee develops coalitions for clients and works with state attorneys generals in developing multilevel engagement on important energy and environmental issues.

Before joining FERC, McNamee served in the U.S. Department of Energy as executive director of the Office of Policy and deputy general counsel for energy policy. His career in public service includes key leadership positions under Attorneys General in Virginia and Texas and policy advisor roles for a U.S. Senator from Texas and a Governor of Virginia.

McNamee previously was a partner in McGuireWoods’ Regulatory & Compliance Department. He assisted electric and natural gas utilities in rate cases and in obtaining approvals to build generating facilities and transmission lines, as well as the development of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and integrated resource planning (IRP). He played an integral role advising clients during implementation of the 2007 Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act, which returned the state’s utilities to a modified cost-of-service regulatory model.


While at FERC:

  • participated in over 1700 orders and issued numerous separate concurrences and dissents;
  • widely recognized as having helped develop pathway that allowed for the approval under section 3 of the NGA of over 14 LNG export facilities in a little over a year and ending a two year period in which no LNG export facility had been approved;
  • approved numerous natural gas pipelines under section 7 of the NGA;
  • worked on a number of wholesale market orders impacting PJM, ISO-NE, NYISO, MISO, SPP, and CAISO;
  • worked on issues related to transmission, interconnection, storage, ratemaking, and reliability;
  • worked on a number of cyber and physical security issues and standards, including NERC standards; and
  • worked on approval for hydroelectric facilities.

While at U.S. Dept. of Energy, worked on LNG export applications, renewable fuel standards, electric market reliability, and nuclear waste issues, including Standard Contract for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel.

While serving in the Texas Office of the Attorney General, he led the Texas team in a multistate effort challenging EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States (WOTUS).

While working in the U.S. Senate, played leading role in drafting energy policy legislation filed in the U.S. Senate.

While at McGuireWoods:

  • represented electric utility in obtaining CPCNs to build three utility-scale solar facilities;
  • represented electric utility in obtaining CPCN to convert three coal-burning facilities to operate on biomass;
  • represented electric utility in obtaining approval for integrated resource plans (IRP);
  • represented electric and natural gas utilities in various rate cases;
  • represented electric utility in obtaining CPCN for electric transmission lines;
    • represented natural gas utilities in obtaining decoupling mechanism and conservation program; and
    • represented electric utility in approval of renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS).

Street Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Appalachian School of Law

Member, Federalist Society, 1990-present

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Energy, Law360, 2021, 2022

Lincoln Fellow, Claremont Institute, 2014

Member, Attorney General’s Task Force on Access to Higher Education, 2003

Member, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, 2002-2003

Special Assistant, Virginia Preparedness and Security Panel, 2001

Member, Administrative Law Advisory Committee, Virginia Code Commission, 2000-2002

Trustee, Virginia 4-H Foundation, 1998-2002

Member, Council for America's First Freedom, 2006-2007

Member, Appalachian School of Law Natural Resource and Energy Law Task Force, 2013




Bernie McNamee