Nate’s work spans energy and utility issues, from reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants to advancing energy efficiency programs that lower energy bills and cut emissions. He litigates cases at Virginia’s State Corporation Commission, which regulates state utilities, and works on related legislation at the General Assembly.
I love that SELC is pragmatic and focused on progress.Nate Benforado
“We use every tool at our disposal to achieve results, which gives us great creativity in our work. We also are so connected to the people and the places we are trying to protect, which makes us passionate about what we do, and better able to achieve results.”
SELC’s coal ash cleanup efforts inspire Nate. “Throughout our region, SELC has been instrumental in forcing utilities to get ash out of the groundwater and away from rivers,” he says. “In Virginia, I’m proud to have been part of the trial team litigating a Clean Water Act case, and ultimately helping advance legislation that required Dominion Energy to clean up its unlined coal ash ponds, and Appalachian Power to clean up an unlined pond at one site.”
Nate is also excited about helping to advance legislation that makes Virginia a leader in the South when it comes to tackling power plant emissions and making a fair transition to clean, renewable energy. “We are on a great path here in Virginia, and I love that SELC will be involved every step of the way to make sure these historic laws are properly implemented,” he says.
Growing up in Falls Church, Va., Nate and his family spent time at his favorite place in the SELC region. “Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park will always be special for me,” Nate says. “After a day of hiking and a meal at the lodge, we’d go out to the meadows at twilight. Exploring the deer paths, looking at the stars, hearing the frogs—just a magical experience. And now I’m able to share this experience with my daughter and wife.”
- Jenner & Block, Complex Commercial Litigation, attorney
- J.D., New York University School of Law, cum laude; New York University Annual Survey of American Law
- B.S., University of Virginia, high distinction
- With SELC since 2016