Michael Driver has served as counsel to Independent Power Producers on wind, solar, geothermal, waste-to-energy and natural gas power projects; additionally, he has represented sovereign governments and private companies on a variety of energy-related, government procurements and contract matters and has provided public policy and strategic counsel to his clients. Prior to joining Squire Patton Boggs, Michael was in private practice and also served as general counsel and an officer of two independent energy companies based in Colorado and Los Angeles. His years of experience in environmental and land-related regulatory matters, and related siting/permitting of energy and mineral projects, have assisted clients in expediting permitting and accelerating timeframes for bringing energy resources and minerals to market.
Michael recognizes that having a deep understanding of his clients' business goals and objectives is critical to both solving problems and creating commercial opportunities. Based on a thorough understanding of his clients’ businesses, issues and commercial opportunities, Michael is better able to select from the combined resources and expertise of the firm and to assemble a team tailored to each client’s specific situation.
He also has had considerable success helping clients who encounter problems while dealing with government entities, as well as issues encountered by sovereigns in dealing with private entities. Michael is often called upon to set up a mediated process that can considerably expedite projects that span numerous jurisdictions – such as the permitting of a pipeline, the siting of a large energy or mineral facility or wind, solar or geothermal facilities. He attributes his success in this area to his ability to listen to the concerns of all parties and get everyone focused on the process and agreed-upon milestones and timetables.
Energy and Natural Resources
Michael has spent a considerable part of his career in the energy, natural resources and environmental arenas. He has experience assisting clients in all aspects of work with the US Department of Energy, the Forest Service and the Department of Interior. He has also worked with state and local governments throughout the US on client projects. Representative projects include: wind, solar, waste-to energy projects, mining and mineral projects, cleaning up and remediating nuclear sites, siting transmission lines and other energy facilities on public lands. A large part of the value he provides to clients in the energy area is to spot any political sensitivities and to help the disparate parties communicate with each other, and to negotiate difficult agreements between his clients and adverse parties. He also has a solid understanding of the grants and loan guarantee process within DOE, and can help companies navigate the funding process. Michael has represented clients at a number of nuclear sites, including Rocky Flats, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the DOE Oak Ridge facility and the Savannah River Project.
In addition, Michael has represented energy, mineral and large engineering and consulting firms in their contractual relationships with governments and large nuclear utilities.