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Ronald J. Colwell

Ronald J. Colwell Associate, Energy Regulation

R.J.’s practice focuses on energy regulation and administrative litigation before various federal agencies, including rate regulation, regulatory compliance, and certificate and authorization matters. He also advises clients in the negotiation of various agreements related to the production, gathering, transportation, and storage of petroleum and natural gas (to include NGLs and LNG), and advises clients on energy regulatory issues associated with the sale or acquisition of petroleum and natural gas assets.

Prior to joining V&E, R.J. served as an Honors Attorney and then as an Attorney-Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. As an Attorney-Advisor, R.J. provided legal counsel to the Office of Fossil Energy on a broad array of operational, transactional, regulatory, R&D, and policy issues involving coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other fossil fuels. He also represented the Department’s National Labs and other national security sites in utilities matters before state public service commissions across the country.


Before attending law school, R.J. served in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery Officer, attaining the rank of Captain in three years. During his military service, R.J. deployed to Iraq and received several prestigious decorations, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.  

Contact Details


T +1.713.758.2138
F +1.713.615.5797
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
Local time: 3:35 AM
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R.J.'s Practices

  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D., 2015 (Staff Editor, University of Denver Water Law Review; Vice President, Land Use Law Society; Secretary, Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honors Fraternity; 2014 Student Outreach awardee, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. with Distinction, History, 2007 (Distinguished Military Graduate)
  • Admitted to practice: Colorado; District of Columbia; Texas

Attorney-Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy, 2017–2018

  • Represented DOE in matters before state public service commissions and in negotiations with natural gas and electric utilities across the country.
  • Drafted and ensured regulatory compliance with orders authorizing natural gas imports and exports, including LNG, as well as DOE’s regulations and policies under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act.
  • Provided operational, transactional, and regulatory counsel to the Office of Petroleum Reserves, comprised of over 600 million barrels of crude oil, diesel fuel, and blended gasoline stock.


Honors Attorney, U.S. Department of Energy, 2015–2017

  • Provided legal advice, counsel, and support to various Assistant General Counsel offices during four-month rotations throughout the Department of Energy, to further the Department’s mission of advancing the national, economic, and energy security of the United States through scientific and technological innovation and the environmental clean-up of the national nuclear weapons complex.


Field Artillery Officer (Captain), United States Army, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, 2007 –2011

  • Served in increasing positions of responsibility both stateside and while deployed to Iraq, including combat patrol leader, fire support officer, intelligence support team leader, executive officer, and assistant Brigade S-1.
  • Bronze Star Medal, U.S. Army
  • Meritorious Service Medal, U.S. Army
  • Combat Action Badge, U.S. Army
  • Iraq Campaign Medal (two campaign stars), U.S. Army
  • Secretary of Energy Achievement Award, U.S. Department of Energy, 2016
  • Member: Energy Bar Association; Colorado Bar Association
  • Life Member: Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Co-founder and Chief Administrative Officer: Veteran Leadership Development Group