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“Regulation, Litigation, and the Effect of the Presidential Election,” DRI Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Newsletter

June 12, 2020
Larry D. Mason

“Changes in presidential administrations often alter environmental policy and regulatory direction when the newly elected president’s party affiliation differs from his or her predecessor’s,” Goldberg Segalla’s Larry D. Mason and Scott M. Press write in DRI’s Toxic Torts and Environmental Law newsletter. “The debate over natural gas use and regulation will continue to heat up as the 2020 presidential election nears, with differing views about the industry evident between the two major political parties.”

In their article, Larry and Scott, members of the firm’s Environmental Law practice, provide an overview of the regulatory history of natural gas, particularly as it pertains to pipelines; trends in litigation, including issues involving eminent domain and state-owned land; and “pipeline politics” in a presidential election cycle, including a recap of Trump administration actions and forecasting about the possible effects of a Democratic presidency after 2020.

“While there will undoubtedly never cease to be challenges at the permitting stage, we anticipate that the result of the presidential election will either lead to an uptick in newly approved projects, or a more stringent regulatory process aimed at reducing natural gas development in favor of alternative energy sources,” Larry and Scott write. “One thing is for sure: pipeline developers will continue to seek section 7 certificates while natural gas is still viewed as a viable energy source, and litigators should be cognizant of the different stages in the permitting and approval process where they can expect challenges from landowners, states, and other interested parties.”

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