Friday AM December 17th, 2010

A former Department of Energy Congressional contact is transitioning from helping develop energy policy to helping the private sector understand that policy. Ed Mayberry reports.

Lisa Epifani

As DOE’s lead contact with Congressional members and staff, Lisa Epifani promoted the administration’s energy policies, as well as negotiated positions on appropriations and authorization bills.  She now helps companies dealing with those regulations as an adviser at Van Ness Feldman.

“Texas is so well-positioned as the energy state, and Houston, in particular. It’s really exciting to see the traditional energy continuing, and the energy reality requires that. But also an embracing of this clean energy technology. I mean, diversifying our sources, taking advantage of these new technologies. Texas has, I think, a very good mind towards the benefits of the clean energy jobs, but it’s not letting go of the fact that, you know, oil and gas are going to be a big part of the picture as well, and it’s ‘all of the above,’ and Texas offers ‘all the above.'”

Epifani spent ten years serving in governmental roles, including Assistant Secretary at the Department of Energy for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

“As a staffer, you didn’t fully appreciate the consequences of the words on the paper to a company trying to implement them. You didn’t think about those things as a staffer. You just sort of took it for granted and said, ‘yeah, the companies will do it.’ But now when you’re on the other side watching them do it, understanding the manpower and the money and just the capital that they’re going to have to move from what they may have invested into infrastructure needs into something different, it makes you question things you did as a staffer, and if I ever go back — which I would love to do one day — I think I would be a much better staffer.”

Epifani now advises clients on energy and environmental matters, with a focus on climate change strategy, oil and natural gas issues, nuclear policy and financial regulations.