James D. Albright

James D. Albright is a practicing energy attorney and advisor specializing in public utility law and policy governing the economic regulation of natural gas utilities, electric utilities, and interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines.

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Bio

James Albright provides business, regulatory and legal counsel to gas and electric public utilities and their partners. He has extensive experience in regulatory matters, administrative litigation, commercial transactions and project development for energy companies. His clients include large retail electric utilities, gas distribution companies, natural gas pipelines, and a district steam service company.

Mr. Albright assists his clients in preparing and prosecuting utility rate cases, defending against major formal complaints, obtaining certificates of need, advancing various other regulatory and tariff initiatives, and navigating the ever-changing regulatory environment to achieve corporate objectives. Mr. Albright has served in a primary role as legal counsel in 36 major rate cases in various jurisdictions for gas, electric, and steam utilities and intrastate and interstate pipeline companies, mostly as lead attorney or co-counsel. View Selected Cases.

Mr. Albright has particular expertise representing clients in all segments of the natural gas industry in matters affected by its regulation. He has practiced before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state regulatory commissions, as well as before federal and state courts concerning the judicial review of agency decisions.

In addition to his administrative litigation and regulatory counsel practice, Mr. Albright assists his energy clients in commercial matters, including consulting on and drafting a wide assortment of agreements related to the development of energy infrastructure, distributed generation (particularly solar resources), natural gas gathering, processing transportation and supply, and electric and gas system interconnections.

In his 30 years of practicing law, Mr. Albright has worked 14 years as an in-house attorney for energy companies, 14 years as outside counsel in the energy practice of major law firms, and the last two years as an independent practitioner. He thus has a unique understanding of the needs of legal departments and how best to serve those needs.

Mr. Albright advises on legislative matters and has testified twice before the US House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Committee on Commerce. He has represented clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission, and the Wyoming Public Service Commission.


Professional Background

Experience

Mr. Albright offers soup-to-nuts energy regulatory consulting and legal services, supporting electric and natural gas utilities, utility partners and other affiliated businesses that benefit from expertise and practical experience in the nuances of rate regulation and all facets of public utility regulation.
Mr. Albright has detailed knowledge of complex accounting principles and ratemaking policy concepts, as well as the fundamental legal underpinnings and historical context of these principles and policies. He is well-versed in recent ratemaking trends and governmental and public policy developments.

Mr. Albright has had extensive involvement in the development and defense of revenue requirement studies, class cost of service studies, depreciation studies, lead-lag studies, cost assignment and allocation manuals, and rate design.

Mr. Albright played a major role in developing the legal structure for the initial establishment of distributed solar generation, community solar gardens and other renewable energy initiatives, including renewable natural gas (or biogas).

Mr. Albright has significant commercial transactional experience, having drafted and consulted on numerous agreements for natural gas gathering, processing, transportation and sales all along the upstream and downstream pipeline path

Professional Background:

Mr. Albright has spent his entire 40-year professional career in the energy industry, having worked during the 10 years before earning his law degree as a natural gas sales accountant and gas settlements auditor for a large natural gas producing and processing company, and as a gas buyer, gas contract administrator and law clerk for a diversified natural gas company having various business segments including natural gas production, gas gathering, interstate and intrastate pipeline services, and retail local distribution.

During his 30 years of practice as an energy lawyer, Mr. Albright has had major responsibilities in an assortment of regulatory, contractual and commercial litigation matters and initiatives for the regulated and non-regulated business segments of major energy companies, including retail electric utility, natural gas utility, district steam service, chilled water service, interstate and intrastate gas pipelines, and natural gas marketing.

Mr. Albright began his legal career in 1989 at an energy law boutique in Washington, D.C., representing interstate gas pipeline companies regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as other energy companies subject to state regulation, including gas and electric utilities, gas producing companies and intrastate gas pipelines.

Before permanently relocating to Colorado in 1995, Mr. Albright worked as a Senior Attorney at a major Northeast interstate pipeline company, handling all regulatory and commercial legal matters immediately following the pipeline’s construction and commencement of commercial operations.

For the next 12 years, Mr. Albright worked as an Associate General Counsel for Public Service Company of Colorado (later to become an operating subsidiary of Xcel Energy), the largest gas and electric utility in Colorado, where he was the primary attorney covering regulatory and commercial matters for the natural gas and steam service businesses in Colorado, practicing before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the FERC, state and federal courts.

For the past 13 years, Mr. Albright has represented his clients as an outside attorney within the energy law practices of two major law firms in Denver, Colorado, until 2018, when he opened his own independent law and consulting practice to more efficiently serve the specialized and sophisticated needs of his energy clients.


Education

  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Juris Doctor, 1989

  • Albright College, Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 1979


Affiliations

  • Colorado Bar Association – Member

  • Wyoming State Bar – Member

  • State Bar of New Mexico – Mexico

  • Denver Bar Association – Member

  • Energy Bar Association – Member

  • National Lawyers Association – Member

  • American Gas Association – Associate Member

  • Christian Legal Society – Member


Recognitions

best lawyers logo

Best Lawyers in Colorado
2016–2020


Practice Areas

  • Administrative & Court Litigation

  • Corporate & Commercial Transactions

  • Energy Regulation

  • Enforcement

  • State Utility Regulation


Licenses/Court Admissions

State Bar Licenses

  • Colorado

  • New Mexico

  • Wyoming

Federal Court Admissions

  • Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

  • Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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