A Push for Clearer Guidance on Energy Infrastructure Projects

Feds' Tribal Talks May Yield Clarity for Wary Energy Cos.
– Law360

Law360 quoted Manatt’s Craig Moyer, co-chair of the firm’s energy practice, for an article about the U.S. federal government’s meetings with tribal leaders as part of an effort to improve tribal input on pipelines and other infrastructure projects. Attorneys say those talks could actually help developers avoid acrimony and last-minute litigation if they lead to clearer standards.

There are pros and cons for energy companies in both working within the current system and changing the system, according to Moyer.

New legislation may not be needed, but a new set of regulations would still take many years to put into place, Moyer said. That would create more uncertainty for courts over how the process should work in the meantime, but would ultimately earn more deference from the courts, having been subjected to a thorough review process, he said.

"But if you don't do that, and you have a [memorandum of understanding] or a guidance document, that could be done more quickly, but might get less deference," Moyer added.

"As the energy industry has consistently proven, if you tell them what the rules are, they'll find a way to accomplish these projects," Moyer concluded.

Read the article here

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