WASHINGTON, D.C. – Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is pleased to announce the launch of its new department, Energy, Environment and Resource Strategies, which will be based out of its Washington, D.C. office and focus on complex infrastructure and policy matters that require a multi-disciplined approach utilizing legal, lobbying and strategic services.
Leading Brownstein's new department is David Bernhardt, former Solicitor of the Department of the Interior. "Energy, environment, and natural resources issues have been a focus of ours for quite a while and the formalization of this group demonstrates our commitment to having exceptional talent in this important area.”
Bernhardt will be joined by new hire Larry Jensen, who served several senior roles at the Environmental Protection Agency including General Counsel and Assistant Administrator for Water. He also was Deputy Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior. The team also added Luke Johnson who served as the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management and Senior Policy Advisor in the office of U.S. Senator Robert F. Bennett (R-UT). Luke joined the firm in March from the National Ocean Industries Association where he was the Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs.
Bernhardt explained, "The demand for energy and natural resources in our society has grown immensely and today, these types of projects face a complicated, uncertain and challenging landscape. As a result, companies that seek to develop energy and natural resources encounter a complex array of federal administrative, legislative and judicial requirements, particularly if the resources are located on public land or the Outer Continental Shelf. Today, there is a greater need to bring together senior individuals who can drive these highly-complex matters with an approach that brings all three branches of government together to create strategies to achieve successful outcomes."
To assist companies in understanding and meeting today's federal administrative, legislative and judicial requirements, Brownstein gathered a unique group of attorneys and policy advisors with broad and deep experience in the federal agencies and congressional committees with jurisdiction over energy and natural resource development issues. Additional leaders of the bipartisan Energy, Environment and Resource Strategies department are Elizabeth Gore, Policy Director, former Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget; Jon Hrobsky, Policy Director, former Deputy Director of the Minerals Management Service and Deputy Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of the Interior; Ryan Smith, Of Counsel, previously Senior Legislative Advisor to U.S. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Deputy Counsel to the Arizona Department of Water Resources; and Chris Stephens, Shareholder, who has worked on regulatory approvals and project development issues for multiple renewable energy, mining and development projects plus has extensive experience with NEPA, Clean Water Act, public land, and mining laws. The Energy, Environment and Resource Strategies group is supported by an additional two dozen natural resource and environmental lawyers within the firm’s offices in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.
With its team, Brownstein now becomes the only firm in the U.S. to feature both a former Solicitor at the Department of the Interior and a former General Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Tapping into the unmatched skill and resources of this team, the department will provide critical expertise to companies, associations, nonprofits and other organizations in the energy, natural resource and environmental space.
"We have been growing our expertise and capabilities regarding energy, the environment and natural resources for a while," said Bernhardt. "The arrival of Luke and Larry strengthens our team, a group that already had strong substantive expertise. We are unique in that our department is made up of individuals who have actually led executive agencies and who can work with our clients to solve complex problems in the courts, executive agencies or the Congress. Larry and Luke are both terrific additions."