Charles has broad experience in energy regulation, including counseling clients on complex regulatory issues, representing oil and gas pipelines in matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state regulatory agencies, and federal appellate courts, and advising in energy transactions. He provides regulatory and business counseling to a range of pipeline clients, including BP Pipelines (Alaska), Buckeye Pipe Line, CenterPoint Energy/Enable, Kinder Morgan, and the True Companies.
Charles has litigated a number of highly complex pipeline cases before the FERC and has helped his clients successfully negotiate settlements and obtain regulatory approvals in numerous matters. He brings wide experience in assisting clients with regulatory aspects of energy transportation projects.
- Represented a refined petroleum products pipeline before the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) in successfully defending FERC’s rejection of complaints against its rates and upholding FERC’s approach to indexing of oil pipeline rates (D.C. Cir. No. 07-1163)
- Represented a refined petroleum products pipeline before the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) in successfully defending FERC’s rejection of a complaint against the indexing of its rates (D.C. Cir. No. 07 1461)
- Represented a refined products pipeline before the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) in successfully defending FERC’s income tax allowance policy for utilities owned by master limited partnerships and other tax-pass-through entities (D.C. Cir. No. 04-1102)
- Represented a refined products pipeline before the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) in successfully defending FERC’s dismissal of protests against the indexing of its rates (D.C. Cir. No. 05 1471)
- Represented a national organization of oil pipelines before the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) in its intervention in the appeal of FERC’s denial of a major crude oil pipeline’s market-based rate application
- Representing a crude oil field services company in development of an oil gathering project in the Bakken Shale, including filing of a petition for declaratory order with FERC in support of the project
- Led a cross-office team in representing a refined petroleum products pipeline in obtaining a FERC declaratory order in support of a $400 million expansion
- Represented a refined petroleum products pipeline on various pending rate matters before the California Public Utilities Commission
- Advised a crude oil pipeline as to a pending rate matter before the California Public Utilities Commission Representing a crude oil pipeline in establishing initial rates and in negotiating a unanimous settlement of resulting protests
- Defended a refined petroleum products pipeline against complaints before FERC challenging the grandfathered status of its transportation rates under the Energy Policy Act of 1992
- Defended the owners of an interstate crude oil pipeline system before FERC against protests of the inclusion in rates of repair and remediation costs, resulting in settlement prior to hearing and development of an innovative private dispute resolution mechanism for future claims (co-counsel)
- Represented a refined petroleum products pipeline system in an application to charge market-based rates for a segment of its system
- Negotiated a pipeline lease and related settlement to ensure continued movement of crude oil from an offshore project in the Gulf of Mexico
- Represented an interstate natural gas pipeline in various rate cases and subsequent appellate proceedings
- Represented an interstate natural gas pipeline in its Order 636 restructuring proceeding
- Represented a natural gas producer-marketer in a hearing regarding the production-area rate design of an interstate natural gas pipeline
- Represented a natural gas producer-marketer in proceedings addressing the gathering classification of certain production-area pipeline facilities
- ExxonMobil Oil Corp. v. FERC, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 2620; 363 Fed. Appx. 752 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 5, 2010)
- Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. v. FERC, 552 F.3d 868 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 23, 2009)
- ExxonMobil Oil Corp. v. FERC, 487 F.3d 945 (D.C. Cir. 2007)
- ExxonMobil Oil Corp. v. FERC, No. 05-1471, 2007 WL 754800 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 27, 2007)
- Enterprise Products Partners L.P. et al.v. FERC, CTADC No. 12-1222
- Calnev Pipe Line LLC, Docket No. OR07-10
- MarkWest Michigan Pipeline, Docket No. IS06-41
- ARCO Products v. SFPP, Docket No. OR96-2, et al.
- SFPP, L.P., Docket No. OR98-11, et al., Docket No. IS05-230; Docket No. IS06-283
- ARCO Transp. Alaska, Docket No. IS94-34, et al.
- CenterPoint Energy Bakken Crude Services, LLC, Docket No. OR13-21
- Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp., Docket No. RP92-137
- Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp., Docket No. RP93-136
- Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp., Docket No. RS92-86
- Texas Eastern Transmission Corp., Docket No. RS92-11
- Assisted a U.S. independent exploration and production company in negotiations leading to development of a major offshore gas production and processing platform
- Represented a Brazilian natural gas distributor in negotiating its upstream supply contract and downstream sales agreements with several gas-fired independent power projects
- Provided regulatory counsel to a crude oil gathering and transportation company in a large acquisition to expand its system, including coordination of regulatory approvals in 10 states
- Negotiated natural gas and condensate sale and transportation agreements for offshore projects in India
- Negotiated farm-in and natural gas and crude oil sales agreements for an offshore development in Brazil on behalf of an independent oil company
- Represented an electric utility's power development subsidiary in the negotiation of natural gas transportation arrangements for a merchant power plant project in Florida
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Education and Professional Background
- Prior to forming Caldwell Boudreaux Lefler PLLC, Charles led the liquids pipeline regulatory team of Vinson & Elkins LLP (V&E) and was a Partner at V&E for fourteen years. He was a member of V&E’s liquids pipeline regulatory team for twenty-three years.
- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1990 (Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Law & Politics)
- Rice University, B.A. magna cum laude, 1985 (Phi Beta Kappa)
- Judicial clerk to The Honorable George P. Kazen, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- Admitted to practice: Texas, 1990; U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- The Best Lawyers in America® in natural resources law, 2005, energy law 2006 - 2015
- Houston Lawyer of the Year in Energy by The Best Lawyers in America® (2015)
- Legal Media Group's (Euromoney's) Expert Guide to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers in Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory and Litigation), 2005 - 2014 (Band1)
- Legal 500 U.S. in energy regulation, 2013
Activities and Affiliations
- Member: American Bar Association; Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law Section, State Bar of Texas; Energy Bar Association (Chair, Oil Pipeline Committee, 2008 - 2009; Past President, Houston Chapter)
Publications and Presentations
- Speaker, Association of Oil Pipeline’s Annual Business Conferences, since 2006
- U.S. Co-Editor, Oil Regulation 2008 and 2009; Global and U.S. Co-Editor, Gas Regulation 2003 (Global Competition Review/Getting The Deal Through)
- Regular speaker at continuing legal education and client regulatory compliance programs