Christopher B. (Kip) Power

Area of Emphasis

Kip Power is a shareholder in the Energy and Natural Resources and Litigation Services groups of Babst Calland. Mr. Power helps clients comply with environmental laws and defend related litigation while keeping their businesses running profitably. He represents companies when permitting and enforcement disputes arise, and he has successfully negotiated favorable resolutions of matters under a wide range of federal and state environmental programs.

Mr. Power also defends lawsuits by private parties claiming they have been harmed by natural resource extraction and other industrial operations. Recognizing the value of alternative dispute resolution, he has represented clients in mediation and arbitration, served as mediator in a variety of cases, and was a party-selected arbitrator in a major mineral development dispute that involved nearly 50 hearing days.

Mr. Power has served as counsel in several significant cases in federal and state courts. These include Francis O. Day Co.,Inc. v. West Virginia Reclamation Bd. of Review, 424 S.E.2d 763 (W.Va., 1992) (requiring that an appeal to a deadlocked environmental appeal board be heard by circuit court); Arch Mineral Corp. v. Babbitt, 894 F.Supp. 974 (S.D.W.Va. 1995) (finding that the federal five-year statute of limitations applied to prohibit “permit-blocking” actions against the client by the U.S. Department of Interior); Hughes River Watershed Conservancy v. Johnson, 165 F.3d 283 (4th Cir. 1999) (successful defense of dam construction approvals issued to the client by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); Citizens Coal Council v. Norton, 330 F.3d 478 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (representing amicus Interstate Mining Compact Commission in successfully defending an Interior Department policy addressing statutory set-backs); and Ohio Valley Envtl. Coal. Inc. v. Maple Coal Company, Civil Action No. 3:11-0009 (S.D. W.Va., Sept. 2, 2011) (obtained ruling that plaintiffs failed to establish standing to assert a Clean Water Act citizens suit claim).


Mr. Power graduated, cum laude, from Washington and Lee with his B.A. in 1983. He received his M.B.A from West Virginia University in 1985 and his J.D. from West Virginia University College of Law in 1986.

Memberships and Affiliations

Mr. Power is admitted to practice in West Virginia, Kentucky, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia and the Eastern District of Kentucky, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth and Ninth and the District of Columbia Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV), West Virginia Coal Association, West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA), Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF), the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, the Federalist Society and the Christian Legal Society. He is also a volunteer with HospiceCare, Inc. and Manna Meal, Inc.

Mr. Power has been ranked in Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Business Lawyers in the Natural Resources:  Environment Section. He has been named in The Best Lawyers of America® in the Commercial, Litigation – Land Use & Zoning, Litigation – Municipal, and Energy, Environment, Mining, Natural Resources and Oil & Gas Law sections. He has also been recognized as a West Virginia Super Lawyer. Mr. Power is rated “AV Preeminent” (scoring 5 out of 5 – the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards) by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating System.

  • Presenter, “The State of Primacy Under SMCRA,” Mining Symposium, West Virginia Coal Association, February 23, 2017.
  • Presenter, “The Continuing Evolution of OSM Oversight: Cooperative Federalism in SMCRA Clothing?,” Mining Symposium, West Virginia Coal Association, January 28, 2015.
  • Presenter, “The Evolving Implementation of the WV Narrative Water Quality Standards,” Water Law 2014, West Virginia Continuing Legal Education, March 21, 2014.
  • Co-author, “Water Quality Standard Setting Under the Clean Water Act: Is It Nimble Enough to Avoid Wasteful Spending on the Wrong Goals?,” West Virginia Law Review: 116 W.Va. L. Rev. 1075 (2014).
  • Co-author, “Update on Energy-related Litigation and Regulatory Developments,” Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia’s Annual Meeting, June 9, 2013.
  • Co-author, “WVDEP’s Emergency Rules on Horizontal Gas Wells,” The State Journal, September 2011.
  • Author, “The Continuing Evolution in Mine Permitting,” COAL USA magazine, March 2011.
  • Author, “Regulating the Regulators: WVDEP Forced to Issue Permits to Itself,” COAL POWER, published by POWER magazine, December 2010.
  • Author, “EPA Looks to the Sky for New Limits on Natural Gas,” The State Journal, September 10, 2010.
  • Author, “EPA’s New ‘Guidance’ on Coal Mine Permitting Reveals a Different Kind of Transparency,” The State Journal, April 30, 2010.
  • Author, “Appalachian Coal Industry Faces Challenges in 2010,” Energy Law360, January 7, 2010.
  • Co-author, “SMCRA Primacy, Mining Permit Transfers, Ownership and Control and Excess Reclamation Responsibilities – A Primer on Confusing Topics,” 31 Energy & Min. L. Inst. 8 (2010).
  • Author, “Piling On; How the Effort to Stop Surface Coal Mining Subverts the Rule of Law,” Coal People magazine, August 2009.
  • Author, “Opposition to Coal Mining in West Virginia: It’s Not About the Law,” Coal People magazine, July 2009.
  • Author, “The Clean Water Act Becomes a Primary Weapon in the Fight to Stop Coal Mining,” COAL USA magazine, March 2009.
  • Author, “Federal Appeals Court Once Again Gives New Life to Coal Industry in West Virginia,” The State Journal, February 27, 2009.
  • Author, “Carbon Capture and Storage: Cornerstone of a Sound Energy Policy,” The State Journal, January 9, 2009.
  • Presenter, “Emerging Legal Issues Associated with CO2 Injection and Geologic Storage,” 2007 Winter Energy Workshops, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, January 26, 2007.
  • Author, “The Clean Water Act and Economic Development: Irreconcilable Differences?,” WVMA’s Mountain State Manufacturing magazine, Spring 2005.
  • Co-author, “You Have No Idea – Environmental Regulation of the Coal Industry Today,” 25 Energy & Min. L.
    Inst. 6 (2005).
  • Author, “Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes: Coal Combustion Byproducts Returned to the Mine Site,” Natural Resources and Environment; ABA Section of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law (Winter 1997).
  • Author, “OSM’s Applicant Violator System: Recent Developments, Continuing Uncertainty,” 17 Eastern Min. L. Inst. 11 (1996).

Additional Presentations/Publications Available Upon Request

Best Lawyers Award Badge