Regional energy lawyers received a tip of the hat from the Energy Bar Association last month as the association organized a Rocky Mountain Chapter.
The association on its website said it chartered the new chapter "in recognition of the significant number of association members who live and work in energy law" in the region. The chapter is only the seventh in the nation, and includes the states of Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana and Utah.
Membership for the chapter was broken out regionally from the Western Chapter, where Oregon, California and Washington had historically dominated discussion, according to Rocky Mountain Chapter board member Crystal McDonough, a lawyer with Associated Legal Group LLC in Cheyenne.
"The Rocky Mountain Region in particular has very unique needs," she told the Business Report,
calling out interstate transmission access and possible CO2 pipelines for enhanced oil recovery as two hot-button issues in the region.
She said she looks forward to the ensuing open dialogue that will occur as a result of the chapter's organization.
"Though the EBA does not specifically promote policy recommendations, I believe that this regionally focused chapter does present a great opportunity to educate others around the country about energy matters important to Wyoming such that better informed decisions affecting Wyoming's energy sector interests can be affected in the future," wrote Don Collins, CEO of the Western Research Institute in an email.
Collins was instrumental in earning the region a chapter, having written a letter of support for the endeavor to the national director of the Energy Bar.
"The support and assistance of organizations like the Western Research Institute was critical to the success of our efforts," said Gregory Johnson, the Denver-based president of the new chapter.
According to Johnson and Collins, the chapter will host networking and educational meetings and conduct webinars to discuss various energy topics of interest to members.
"This is a great opportunity for Wyoming to communicate on the vast array of energy topics and matters important to our energy sector companies and Wyoming's overall economic well-being," Collins said.
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