Resume: Christopher T. Ellison


Partner – Ellison, Schneider & Harris L.L.P.; 2600 Capitol Avenue Suite 400; Sacramento, California.

Partner in law firm specializing in environmental, water, land use, and energy matters. Areas of expertise include public utility and energy law, land use, air quality, renewable energy and arbitration. Manages the firm's energy practice. Represents government agencies, non-utility energy developers, trade organizations and consumers in administrative proceedings, negotiations with utilities, litigation and arbitration. Serves as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association.

Deputy Attorney General (Environmental Section) – California Department of Justice, Sacramento (1988 to 1990)

Represented state agencies and the Attorney General in federal and state court litigation regarding the enforcement of environmental statutes, reclamation law, water rights, and hazardous waste management, including enforcement of laws on safe storage and cleanup of hazardous releases. Lead attorney for the Attorney General and the California Department of Health Services in litigation concerning compliance with federal and state hazardous waste laws at major federal facilities, such as Fort Ord, as well as private industrial facilities, such as the Liquid Chemical Corporation facility at Hanford.

Attorney – Downey , Brand, Seymour & Rohwer, Sacramento (1985 to 1988)

Represented large industrial customers including General Motors, Union Carbide, Nabisco Brands, Anheuser Busch, New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., and others on utility rate matters before the California Public Utilities Commission. Represented energy developers in power plant licensing matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California Energy Commission.

California Energy Commission, Sacramento (1978 to 1985)

Positions included:

Assistant Executive Director for Governmental Affairs – Managed an office charged with analyzing legislation, advising the Commission on legislation and strategy, and representing the Commission's views in the Legislature and Congress. Represented the Commission before the Legislature on the extension and amendment of the solar and energy conservation tax credits.

Special Adviser to the Chairman – Advised the Chairman and Commissioners regarding administrative hearings on environmental compliance and licensing of new power plants, application of local, state and federal restrictions on land development, California planning and zoning laws, and the Coastal Act. In addition, advised the Chairman and Commissioners on matters including forecasting future statewide energy production and demand, energy research and development, and setting statewide energy efficiency standards for new buildings and appliances. Represented the Chairman and the Commission before the Governor's office, the Legislature, other government agencies, business and community groups, and the public.

Staff Counsel – Represented the Energy Commission and its staff in proceedings before the Commission, other federal and state agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Administrative Hearings, and the California Public Utilities Commission, and in court. Lead attorney in major adjudicatory power plant licensing proceedings, in general rate cases before the California Public Utilities Commission, and in multiple rulemaking proceedings before federal and state agencies. Successfully petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission to change its line extension policies to remove disincentives, and alternatively provide incentives for energy conservation. Lead staff attorney in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission inquiry into the safety of the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant after the accident at Three Mile Island. Briefed and argued the successful appeal of a Superior Court ruling setting aside Commission regulations affecting all new homes.


Appointed to the California Bar Association Committee on the Environment, 1988-1990.

Selected as the initial chairman of the Western Regional Transmission Association's Pricing, Access and Tariff Committee. Elected to the Association's Board of Directors in 1999.

Selected by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an expert witness to address the Commission on matters of electric transmission policy and the formation of regional transmission organizations.

Member of the American Arbitration Association's National Roster of Neutrals.

"Northern California Super Lawyers" Environmental/Land Use category
(2005, 2006).

"Best Lawyers in America" 2006 selection, Energy Law.

"Best Lawyers in Sacramento" 2006 selection.

"Chambers USA" 2008 Band 1 ranking for Projects & Energy: Regulatory & Litigation.

Professional Activities

Since the founding of his current firm in 1990, Mr. Ellison has been a frequent speaker and author of several papers on electric power issues, regional transmission organizations, electric market restructuring, transmission access, renewable energy development, power marketing and related matters. Copies of these speeches and papers are available upon request. In addition, Mr. Ellison has received specialized training in conducting arbitrations through the American Arbitration Association and the Western Regional Transmission Association.

Professional & Trade Organizations

State Bar of California, admitted 1977

American Bar Association

Sacramento County Bar Association


J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1977

Emphasis: Environmental law, water rights, natural resources, and land use law.

B.A., University of California at Riverside (Psychology), with Honors, 1972