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 W.Va. Dept. of Transportation v. CDS Family Trust, LLC, No. 16-1163 (W. Va. Supreme Court; 2017) (addressing standards for determining just compensation owed by the government for property that could serve as an environmental compensatory mitigation area), EQT Prod. Co. v. Wender, No. 16-1938 (4th Circuit 2017) (finding county ordinance was preempted by state environmental laws); Ohio Valley Envtl. Coal. Inc. v. Maple Coal Company, Civil Action No. 3:11-0009 (S.D. W.Va. 2011) (obtained ruling that plaintiffs failed to establish standing to assert one of two Clean Water Act citizens suit claims); 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); 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); 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); and 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 the circuit court).
Mr. Power graduated, cum laude, from Washington and Lee University with his B.A. in Economics in 1983. He received his M.B.A from the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics in 1985 and his J.D. from the 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, West Virginia Coal Association, West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, the Federalist Society and the Christian Legal Society. He is also a volunteer with HospiceCare, Inc. and Legal Aid of West Virginia.
Mr. Power has been ranked among West Virginia’s top natural resources and environmental lawyers in Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Business Lawyers. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers of America© in the Environmental Law Section since 2003; Natural Resources Law Section since 2006; Mining Law Section since 2008; Energy Law Section since 2009; and Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Environmental, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning, Litigation – Municipal, Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) and Oil and Gas Law sections since 2011 by BL Rankings. Mr. Power was also recognized as the Best Lawyers® 2019 Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year,” 2020 Litigation – Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” and 2021 Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Charleston, W.Va. He has been selected to the West Virginia Super Lawyers list (Thomson Reuters) since 2007. 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, “SMCRA Primacy Update: Big Brother Gets Out of the Way” Mining Symposium, West Virginia Coal Association, January 31, 2018.
- 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).
Christopher B. (Kip) Power
- Energy & Natural Resources
- West Virginia
B.A. in Economics, Washington and Lee University, cum laude, ‘83
M.B.A., West Virginia University, ‘85
J.D., West Virginia University College of Law, ‘86