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.

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    • Advised sovereign and their energy companies concerning their relations with the White House, US Administrative Agencies, the US Congress and NGOs.
    • Advised Independent Power Producers on solar, wind, geothermal and natural gas projects both domestically and internationally.
    • Advised multinational minerals company on the development of a US copper and nickel mining project.
    • Advised Colorado-based company on the acquisition of a utility in the Caribbean.
    • Advised nuclear company owned by foreign sovereign on US Department of Energy procurements and regulations.
    • Advised utilities and multinational EPC contractors on storage, transportation, risk management and cleanup of nuclear waste.
    • Currently representing wind, solar, renewable and nuclear energy companies on government programs to finance the construction of clean energy production facilities.
    • Advised sovereign exporters, as well as US energy companies, on issues related to the permits and approvals for North American LNG facilities.
    • Advised US and multinational energy companies on land issues (Department of Interior and US Forest Service) related to obtaining expedited permits and approvals necessary to commence timely North American mining operations and site oil and gas pipelines and drilling operations on public lands.
    • Negotiated Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAS) with the Department of Energy on behalf of clients.
    • Advised multinational energy companies regarding oil and gas concessions and production sharing agreements in various international jurisdictions.
    • Represented multinational energy company in negotiations with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
    • Advised sovereigns on structure, compliance and implementation of Offset Programs designed to stimulate, diversify and develop local in-country economies.
    • Worked with Los Alamos, Sandia and Oak Ridge National Labs on various nuclear technology initiatives.
    • Initiated and worked with the White House, the President’s Cabinet and industry on the Technology for a Sustainable Future Initiative.

    Education

    • University of Denver, J.D.
    • University of Chicago, Graduate Studies
    • Amherst College, B.A.

    Admissions

    • Colorado, 1974

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Denver Bar Association
    • Colorado Bar Association
    • American Bar Association
    • Pro bono, community, and political activities include or have included:
      • National Sponsorship Committee, Native American Rights Fund
      • National Executive Committee, Clinton for President; Clinton National Finance Committee; Presidential Inaugural Committee;
      • Clinton Transition Team, Energy and Natural Resources Section
      • Advisory Committee on the Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
      • National Finance Committee for Hillary Clinton for President
      • Pro-bono Counsel for the Lundy Foundation

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    • Speaker, "Energy Policy in 2009 and Beyond: Key factors and Opportunities with the Obama Administration and 111th Congress," Design Professional Coalition (March 2, 2009)

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