The energy and natural resources team at Jones Walker LLP, with decades of experience representing clients on compliance matters, has not only developed extensive relationships with national and multinational energy companies, but also has a history of working cooperatively with federal and state government agencies and officials to promote industry goals while protecting vital resources and quality of life.
Our team includes former government regulators, general counsels, and assistant general counsels for a number of agencies, including the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana Mineral and Energy Board, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as elected officials, including a former governor of the state of Mississippi and a member of the Mississippi state legislature. One of our partners served as president of the Alabama Public Service Commission and as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
We regularly represent clients in applying for and obtaining permits for projects involving nuclear energy, pipeline expansion projects, and water use, including permits for Class III wells for the creation of subsurface hydrocarbon storage caverns, as well as "bona fide prospective purchaser" letters, "comfort" letters, lien waivers, and other approvals and agreements from regulatory agencies. We also provide advice on transferring environmental permits and zoning and land use issues, as well as compliance with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, U.S. Coast Guard, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, and other agency and statutory requirements.
Before disputes with government agencies arise, we conduct regulatory audits that can identify environmental, safety, financial reporting, and other issues, provide oversight on technical reports, and help clients develop proactive remedial strategies. When regulatory and law enforcement agencies launch investigation or administrative, civil, or criminal actions against energy companies, we work with clients to protect their interests and respond appropriately. While we are not afraid to take a dispute to trial, we often find that a nuanced, negotiation-driven approach can achieve client objectives without sacrificing positive working relationships between business and government.
When litigation or administrative appeals are required, we provide strong representation of energy companies in defending against compliance orders and penalty assessments.