Chair, Regulated Industries (Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Regulated Substances)
Dan Clearfield concentrates his practice in the areas of utility, energy, and communications regulatory litigation; alternative energy development; shale gas drilling and mid-stream issues; administrative litigation; and government relations. In addition to his energy practice, Dan provides government relations assistance to companies, including energy companies and a leading pharmaceutical company.
Dan also coordinates the firm’s Regulated Substances Group, a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers and government affairs professionals who advise clients establishing and operating businesses involved in the financing, manufacturing, processing, distribution, marketing, and retail sale of marijuana for medical use where authorized by state law. He helps clients navigate licensing and other complex legal and regulatory issues surrounding the fast-growing business of medical marijuana, and has been on the leading edge of the industry in Pennsylvania, which legalized medical cannabis in May 2016.
Prior to entering private practice, Dan served as executive deputy attorney general in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and as senior assistant consumer advocate in the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate. He is one of the firm’s representatives on the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Dan is also instrumental in Eckert Seamans’ Regulated Substances Group.
- Represents the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas distribution company in emergency and general rate cases, gas cost rate and conservation proceedings and numerous other PUC cases; advises owner regarding potential sale.
- Represents leading electric generation suppliers in licensing and regulatory issues, electric distribution default service procurement and pricing cases, market opening proceedings, and utility merger proceedings.
- Represented natural gas producers association in proceedings to set the rates, terms, and conditions for local gas gathering and other services.
- Represented cogenerators in administrative litigation to determine the ownership of Renewable Energy Credits under the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.
- Represented Adams County Pennsylvania biomass energy project in obtaining net-metering and interconnection agreements from local utility.
- Acted as regulatory counsel to international sovereign fund in acquisition of major interest in Pennsylvania electric utility.
- Serves as secretary to the Center For Sustainable Shale Gas Development.
- Currently leading an Eckert Seamans team in assisting clients in preparing applications to obtain permits to grow, process, and dispense medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
- Pennsylvania Bar Institute Medical Marijuana Committee, Member
- Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Former Executive Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Public Protection Division (1990-1994)
- Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, Former Senior Assistant Consumer Advocate (1987 – 1990)
- Center for Sustainable Shale Gas Development (Pittsburgh), Secretary/Treasurer
- Cardoza Society of the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, Co-Chair
- Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, Past Member of the Board of Trustees and Past Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee
- Jewish Home of Harrisburg, Board of Directors
- Served on Governor Elect Tom Wolf’s Transition Team for the Public Utility Commission
Awards and Recognition:
- Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America 2023 for Energy Law and Energy Regulatory Law
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America – Energy Law and named the Best Lawyers® 2021 Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Harrisburg
News and Insights
- “Preparing for Phase 2: Securing Dispensary and Grower/Processor Permits,” co-authored for The Legal Intelligencer, April 2018.
- “Preparing For Phase 2 Of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program Advice For Securing Dispensary And Grower / Processor Permits,” co-authored for Investorideas.com, March 2018.
- “A Potentially Promising Future For Pa. Medical Marijuana,” co-authored for Law360, March 2018.
- “Broad Prior Convictions Language in PA. Marijuana Law,” co-authored for The Legal Intelligencer, June 2016.
- “Protecting Medical Marijuana Users From DUI Prosecution,” Law360, May 2016.
- “Unusual Challenges Facing Legal Marijuana Businesses,” The Legal Intelligencer, April 2015.
- “Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) Gaining Momentum in Pennsylvania for Financing Improvements to Commercial Real Estate,” Co-author, Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update, August 22, 2022, also appeared in the Fall 2022 Construction Law Update.
- “Pennsylvania’s Safe Digging Law Expanded,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Fall 2017.
- “Leveraging Low Energy Prices for Future Savings — Do’s, don’ts and what to watch out for,” EnergyCentral.com, March 2016.
- “Energy/Bankruptcy Alert: Competitive Suppliers — Bankruptcy Priority for Electricity,” Eckert Seamans’ Energy/Bankruptcy Alert, November 2015.
- “Benefits of Going Green with Alternative Energy,” The Energy and Environmental Law Supplement to The Legal Intelligencer, July 2014.
- “Are Demand Response programs a good fit for your business?” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update, Spring 2013.
- “Marcellus Shale Impact Fee Alert – If You Drill It, You Will Pay,” Eckert Seamans’ Energy Alert, February 2012.
- “Simple strategies for companies to save money on energy bills,” co-author, Pittsburgh Business Times, December 2012.
- “Electric Competition: What’s in the Contract?,” The Legal Intelligencer, July 2011.
- “Business Strategies and Opportunities from Electric Competition,” co-author, insidePOLICY, November 2009.
- “Pennsylvania Finalizes Medical Marijuana Research Regulations,” Cannabis Business Times, March 23, 2018.
- “For Medical Cannabis Lawyers, It’s Crunch Time,” The Legal Intelligencer, June 2017.
- “Big Law Feeling Freer to Advertise Medical Marijuana Practices,” The Legal Intelligencer, December 2016.
- “What’s new in medical marijuana regulations,” Central Penn Business Journal, November 11, 2016.
- “Medical marijuana is coming to Pennsylvania: Here’s what you need to know about this burgeoning industry,” Pittsburgh City Paper, August 31, 2016.
- “The ‘alternative universe’ of cannabis law,” Central Penn Business Journal, August 19, 2016.
- “Potential biz owners laud Pa. hemp legislation,” York Dispatch, July 25, 2016.
- “Medical marijuana: Building a legal industry,” The Sentinel, April 29, 2016.
- “Medical marijuana: What happens next in Pa.?” The Sentinel, May 1, 2016.
- “Marijuana business: Uncharted territory?,” Central Penn Business Journal, April 22, 2016.
- “Medical marijuana business will be big business,” The Morning Call, April 15, 2016 and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 16, 2016.
- “Ethics Rules Haven’t Caught Up To Medical Marijuana Legislation,” The Legal Intelligencer, April 15, 2016.
- “When will medical marijuana be available in Pennsylvania?,” Central Penn Business Journal, April 15, 2016.
- “Legalized Pot Might Create Work Lawyers Fear Going After,” The Legal Intelligencer, September 15, 2015.
- “Medical Cannabis Industry in Pennsylvania,” Twitter chat with the Central Penn Business Journal, May 6, 2015.
- “New Pa. Task Force Heralds Emerging Pipeline Fight,” Law360, May 29, 2015.
- “Drug Law Policy and Practice: Marijuana Regulation,” guest lecturer, Temple University Beasley School of Law, April 2018.
- “Medical Cannabis-Business Best Practices,” co-presented at a legal seminar sponsored by the PA Medical Cannabis Society, May 2016.
- “A Closer Look at Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education Seminar, August 2016.
- “Alternative Energy Opportunities: What to Look For and What to Avoid,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education, September 2015.
- “How the Arrival of the Wolf Administration in Harrisburg will Affect Energy and Environmental Policies in the Keystone State,” panelist, Villanova Environmental Law Journal Symposium, February 2015.
- “Beyond Regulation: Two Approaches from the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the Center for Sustainable Shale Development,” panel moderator, Progressive Development: The State of Government and Non-Government Efforts to Ensure Safe and Reasonable Natural Gas Extraction in the Appalachian Basin, Eckert Seamans’ CLE, February 7, 2014.
- “Involving Consumers in Energy Distributed Generation and Net-Metering,” presented at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law 2013 Energy Law and Policy Institute, August 2013.
- “A Conversation with the Advocates” and “Natural Gas Workshop” PUC Law Conference in Harrisburg, May 2013.
- “The Low Carb(on) Diet. Will Marcellus Shale be the Magic Pill to Quench Our Domestic Hunger?” 29th National Regulatory Conference, May 2011.
- “Legal Issues Associated with Marcellus Shale Development,” Eckert Seamans’ CLE, August 2010.
- “What to do When the Electric Rate Caps Come Off in Pennsylvania,” co-presenter, November 2009.
- “Public Utility Law Primer,” Eckert Seamans’ CLE, August 2009.
- “Navigating the Alternative Energy Investment Act,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE, 2008.
- “Public Utility Bench-Bar Conference – Lobbying by Lawyers,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE, 2006.
- “Pennsylvania Public Utility Law Conference – Natural Gas Pricing Issues,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE, 2005.