Allison leads the firm’s ESG Task Force, and is nationally recognized as a leader in the field of environmental law, particularly in the area of climate change, where she has guided clients through complex and politically charged precedent-setting cases before the US Supreme Court and several Courts of Appeals. She has been described in Chambers USA 2016 as “a terrific lawyer.”
For more than a decade, members of the C-suite and boards of directors for many companies and nonprofits have turned to Allison for advice on climate change issues. She also has testified multiple times before Congress on the legal issues surrounding climate change.
- Allison has represented clients before the Supreme Court in all three landmark cases involving climate change: Massachusetts v. EPA, American Electric Power Company v. Connecticut, and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA.
- Taking each client’s individual business objectives into consideration, Allison assists with compliance with environmental statutes and regulations. She provides guidance and education to clients on compliance issues and on existing and forthcoming laws, prepares comments on proposed regulations, challenges unlawful regulations in court, and defends favorable regulations from attacks by others. She has also successfully defended companies from tort suits alleging that greenhouse gas emissions from the companies’ normal business operations contribute to the “nuisance” of global climate change.
- As many companies pursue burgeoning ESG goals, Allison counsels public and private companies on environmental sustainability trends. She also advises on transactional matters in which entities seek to cut their carbon emissions by utilizing carbon offsets, RIN credits under the EPA’s renewable fuel standard program, or renewable energy credits.
Allison is well known for her ability to distill complex legal issues into easily understandable terms, and is valued for her strategic insights, practical knowledge, and ability to develop solutions with the bottom line in mind.
- Representation of client before the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Massachusetts v. EPA, which established EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act to address global climate change.
- Obtained a victory holding that corporations cannot be sued for greenhouse gas emissions under federal common law in the Supreme Court case American Electric Power Company v. Connecticut. This was the first global warming case based upon a public nuisance claim.
- Obtained a victory limiting EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V permitting programs in the Supreme Court case Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA.
- Representation of several clients as one of the select coordinating counsel in the litigation challenging EPA’s Clean Power Plan, including arguing a portion of the case before the en banc DC Circuit and helping to obtain a stay of that rule from the Supreme Court on behalf of her clients.
- Representation of client and act as liaison counsel for non-state parties in the litigation involving EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule.
- Advise client regarding EPA’s Quad Oa rule regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, EPA’s reconsideration of that rule, and in litigation.
- Advise clients regarding implementation of the Affordable Clean Energy Rule.
- Representation of clients as lead counsel in the preparation of rulemaking comments in support of EPA’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan and in the preparation of comments regarding how EPA should replace the Clean Power Plan.
- Representation of clients as lead counsel in litigation before the DC Circuit challenging EPA’s regulations to address greenhouse gas emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed electric generating units.
- Representation of client as lead counsel in litigation before the DC Circuit challenging EPA’s amendments to the regional consistency regulations.
- Defense of numerous clients against tort claims alleging nuisance based on the clients’ greenhouse gas emissions that occur as part of their normal business operations, obtaining victories in the Supreme Court, Fifth Circuit and Ninth Circuit.
- Obtained a victory for a client in rulemaking proceedings in New Mexico and resulting litigation before the New Mexico Court of Appeals and New Mexico Supreme Court, resulting in the elimination of harmful greenhouse gas regulatory programs in New Mexico.
- Advise clients on issues related to climate change and its interaction with the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act.
- Representation of clients in litigation involving whether the public trust doctrine extends to the atmosphere and can be used to limit greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.
- Assist clients in assessing their “carbon footprints” and taking advantage of opportunities associated with global climate change, including participation in voluntary markets and creation of offsets.
- Representation of a trade association in challenging a New York state law that interfered with the operation of the Clean Air Act’s sulfur dioxide emission allowance market, with the law ultimately being declared unconstitutional.
- The George Washington University Law SchoolJD1998
- California State University, NorthridgeBS1993
Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
Member, Virginia Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association
- Speaker, ESG: Current Pressures, Trends and the Mysteries of Ratings, June 27, 2023
- Speaker, "Biden Administration Regulatory Update on Gas, Renewals and Coal", Biden Administration Regulatory Update on Gas, Renewals and Coal, May 4-6, 2022
- Speaker, "Understanding the Landscape: Legal and Regulatory Initiatives Driving ESG", The Energy Industry ESG Leadership Forum, Corporate Counsel Business Journal, April 28, 2022
- Co-presenter, "What Are Congress and the White House Doing on Federal Climate Policy?", American Public Power Association’s 2022 Legislative Rally, February 28, 2022
- Presenter, "Takeaways and Wrap Up: What Should Your Company Be Doing on ESG?", ESG: What Companies Need to Know, February 16, 2022
- Presenter, "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: ESG Litigation Risks", ESG: What Companies Need to Know, January 26, 2022
- Presenter, "Overview of ESG and Latest Trends", ESG: What Companies Need to Know, January 19, 2022
- Panelist, Energy Private Equity and Independent Sponsors Virtual Roundtable, October 6, 2021
- Speaker, Bank Boards of Directors Key Risks and Responsibilities in 2021: Actions Counsel Should Take Now, Strafford Webinars, August 17, 2021
- Speaker, "ESG In Action – Showcasing Success", Environmental, Social and Governance in Action!, Corporate Counsel Business Journal, June 2, 2021
- Speaker, Pipeline Infrastructure and Coal Redevelopment Opportunities, May 25, 2021
- Speaker, Energy and Environmental Initiatives Arising From the Biden Presidency, May 12, 2021
- Presenter, "Biden’s Anticipated “Day One” Environmental Actions", Presentation to Goldman Sachs & Co. Investors & Corporates, December 16, 2020
- Speaker, "The Future for Energy in the Biden Administration", Presentation to Goldman Sachs & Co. Investors & Corporates, December 9, 2020
- Speaker, The 2020 Post-Election Environmental Landscape: Impacts You Should Know, Complimentary Webinar, November 17, 2020
- Speaker, "The Avalanche of Undecided Environmental Issues", Presentation to Goldman Sachs & Co. Investors & Corporates, November 6, 2020
- Speaker, "Recent Clean Air Act Developments for the Oil and Gas Industry: EPA’s Regional Haze Program and Methane Rules", Infocast Webinar, September 16, 2020
- Speaker, "Recent Clean Air Act Developments for the Oil and Gas Industry: EPA’s Regional Haze Program and Methane Rules", Presentation to Goldman Sachs & Co. Investors & Corporates, September 16, 2020
- Speaker, ESG and Climate Issues, September 15, 2020
- Instructor, "Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Regulation (GHG)", Environmental Law & Litigation 101 for Electric Utilities, September 10, 2020
- Speaker, "The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule: Everything You Need To Know", Energy, Utility & Environment Conference, San Diego, CA, February 25, 2019
- Speaker, "The Clean Air Act: Compliance, Enforcement, and Current Trends", ALI CLE Environmental Law 2019 Annual Advanced Course, Washington, DC, February 7, 2019
- Speaker, "Perspectives on the Affordable Clean Energy", American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity Policy & Strategy Committee meeting, Washington, DC, December 13, 2018
- Speaker, "Workshop on the Affordable Clean Energy Rule", American Legislative Exchange Council’s State and National Policy Summit, Washington, DC, November 30, 2018
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers In America, Environmental Law, 2023, 2024; Litigation – Environmental, 2024; Woodward/White, Inc.
Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Environment: Litigation; Environment: Regulatory, 2021, 2022, 2023
Selected for inclusion in “Lawdragon Green 500: Leading Environmental Lawyers” Lawdragon, 2023
Selected for inclusion in America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Climate Change: Nationwide, 2016-2023; Environment: District of Columbia, 2022, 2023, Chambers USA
Recognized as a leader for Climate Change Law (2017-2022), Environmental Law (2018-2022) and Thought Leaders: USA (2023), Who’s Who Legal
Selected for inclusion for Environment, Euromoney Expert Guide: Women in Business Law, 2022
Selected as a Super Lawyer for Environmental Litigation, Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2022
- Co-author, "Proposed PHMSA Rulemaking Affects Natural Gas Pipelines", IEL Energy Law Advisor: Volume 17, Issue 2, June 2023
- Co-author, Proposed PHMSA Rulemaking Affects Natural Gas Pipelines, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, May 31, 2023
- Author, "EPA Ruling Signals Arrival Of ‘Major Questions Doctrine’", Law360, July 14, 2022
- Quoted, "‘Big problems’: The Supreme Court handcuffed EPA on climate change. What comes next?", USA Today, July 5, 2022
- Quoted, "Supreme Court Decision Hinders EPA but Leaves Avenues Open for Climate Regulation", Scientific American, July 1, 2022
- Quoted, "EPA lives to fight another day", Politico, July 1, 2022
- Quoted, "High court hinders climate action but ‘clears the way’ for EPA", E&E News, July 1, 2022
- Quoted, "Supreme Court Limits EPA Authority to Regulate Power Plant Emissions", POWER, June 30, 2022
- Quoted, "Supreme Court Ruling a Setback for Federal Regulation of Power Plant Emissions", T&D World, June 30, 2022
- Author, SEC Releases Proposed New Rules on Climate-Related Disclosures, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, April 5, 2022
- Quoted, "Supreme Court weighs ‘major questions’ in EPA climate fight", E&E News, February 28, 2022
- Author, Data Centers Still Critical in 2022 for Infrastructure, Environmental and Policy Developments, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, February 22, 2022
- Quoted, "‘Blockbuster’ Case Threatens EPA’s Climate Action, Rule Delays", Bloomberg Law, November 1, 2021
- Author, President Biden Issues Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, June 1, 2021
- Featured, "The Next Generation of ESG Disclosure Consumers", Corporate Counsel Business Journal, March/April 2021
- Author, A Change Comin’ On: Biden’s Anticipated “Day One” Environmental Actions, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, December 2, 2020
- Mentioned, "Like CEOs at Davos, Law Firm Leaders Face Climate Quandaries Too", Big Law Business - Bloomberg Law, January 24, 2020
- Contributing Author and Editor, "Clean Air Handbook", Bernan Press, December 27, 2014
- Author, "EPA’s Clean Power Plan Represent Unwise Regulatory Overreach", New Jersey Law Journal, June 20, 2014
- Author, "EPA’s Clean Power Plan Represent Unwise Regulatory Overreach", The National Law Journal, June 10, 2014
- Author, "Will The EPA Embrace Cap and Trade?", Environmental Finance, March/April 2010