Celebrating 75 Years of Serving Nevada’s Legal, Business, Government, and Civic Communities

Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Law

Special Expertise in Energy Utility, Renewable Energy, and Mining

McDonald Carano’s Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Practice Group provides legal services, as well as government affairs and legislative advocacy assistance, relating to environmental law, natural resources law, public lands, and land use,  particularly in the areas of utilities, water, mining, and clean energy transition and renewable energy including solar power and wind power. The practice covers all significant federal and Nevada state environmental laws and natural resources laws, along with the full spectrum of the energy regulatory, energy utility, and energy policy landscape. The Chair of our practice group is also the Chair of the Energy, Utilities, and Communication Section of the Nevada State Bar.

Our team provides expertise in compliance counseling, administrative proceedings, regulatory approvals, enforcement actions, business transactions, and litigation services on a comprehensive range of projects that includes public and private infrastructure, commercial developments, master-planned residential communities, industrial and manufacturing facilities, energy/power generation, and economic development projects. Our team is highly sought after for its unique combination of knowledge in both the law and local governance of Nevada. We track legal and regulatory developments of natural resources, energy, and environmental law at the regional, state and national levels, and advise on agency rulemaking and legislation for clients such as trade associations, landowners, project developers, and corporations.

Our energy litigation team has significant experience representing many of the business entities that are the largest energy users in Nevada in general rate cases and other contested proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission. The practice extends to environmental permitting due diligence for renewable energy projects and general environmental compliance matters. We also represent developers and tax equity investors in connection with project development, permitting, and finance of renewable energy projects throughout Nevada. For example, since 2017, McDonald Carano has served as construction and finance counsel for over half of the major renewable energy projects in Nevada.

Our McDonald Carano team has hands-on experience in both government and business and possesses the scientific and technical training needed to offer comprehensive advice to energy, environment and natural resource clients. Our team identifies legally compliant, efficient strategies that achieve the commercial objectives of each client whether the projects involve regulations relating to environmental laws, natural resources laws, water laws, mining laws, wind and solar power laws, or energy utility laws.

The realm of energy, environment and natural resources laws change constantly. Economic and political forces heavily influence this sector, and laws and regulations often differ at the local, national and international levels. As counsel and advocate, McDonald Carano attorneys and government affairs and legislative lobbyists guide clients through the ever-evolving legal, financial, business, and political aspects of this dynamic field. We fully understand the significance of natural resources, and energy, and environmental law in the western United States, and we are skilled in helping our clients navigate their challenges and opportunities.

Our reputation and track record of proven results is underscored by many practice group team members being included in The Best Lawyers in America and the Practice Group is ranked in the highest Band 1 category in Chambers USA and the highest Tier 1 category in The Best Law Firms in America. McDonald Carano is the only Nevada-headquartered firm that Chambers ranks Band 1 in Environmental Law in Nevada. 

While conducting its research on McDonald Carano, Chambers USA received the following comments from our clients.

  • “The team at McDonald Carano shows great attention to detail, responsiveness, and substantive knowledge. It’s a highly skilled team which is responsive and communicative under time pressure.” “They are experts on federal and tribal land laws and permitting restraints in Nevada.” “Their team combined deep subject-matter expertise in water law with great writing and advocacy.” (Chambers USA, 2023)
  • “McDonald Carano’s lawyers are knowledgeable regarding matters occurring in the community.” (Chambers USA, 2022)
  • “The legal services of McDonald Carano are knowledgeable, timely and cost-efficient. They have the relationships with and respect of the regulatory community.” (Chambers USA, 2021)
  • “The firm is well versed in the subject matter and handles engagements very efficiently.” (Chambers USA, 2020)
  • “The team’s knowledge is tremendous, as are the attorneys’ communication skills and their sincere ability to find a solution favorable to all parties where possible.” (Chambers USA, 2019)



Practice Area News

Best Lawyers in America Recognized 12 Women Lawyers from 9 Practice Groups

McDonald Carano proudly announces that 12 women lawyers from nine Practice Groups in our Reno and Las Vegas offices have been recognized in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers in…

McDonald Carano Receives Highest Number of Rankings in Chambers 2023

Chambers produces the global legal profession’s most respected and comprehensive rankings of lawyers and practice areas. Chambers researched law firms with offices in Nevada for inclusion in the 2023 edition…

McDonald Carano Receives 19 “Tier 1” Practice Group Awards in Best Law Firms® 2024

Tier 1 Practice Groups McDonald Carano proudly announces that 19 areas of expertise in our Reno and Las Vegas offices received the highest “Tier 1” ranking in the 2024 edition of…

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