Regulatory and Legislative
As a New Mexico administrative lawyer, David has represented clients before a variety of administrative agencies at the state and federal level, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the White House Office of Management and Budget, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, the New Mexico Environment Department, and the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission. David is familiar with the unique procedures and legal doctrines that apply to administrative proceedings, having authored countless comment letters and published on administrative law issues including the Chevron doctrine, cooperative federalism, and the application of federal Administrative Procedure Act. David can help clients navigate these and other doctrines to obtain the results they want before the agency, or, if that is not possible, on appeal from the agency’s decision.
David has also worked with clients to draft legislation, regulations, and local ordinances. Regulatory and legislative advocacy requires a combination of policy and technical knowledge, an understanding of the political environment, and legal skill. Regulatory programs that are ideal from a policy perspective are useless if they won’t stand up in court. But a creative lawyer can usually find a way to achieve the desired policy goal in a way that minimizes legal risks. Enacting new regulations or legislation requires assembling a team of policymakers, lawyers, and advocates. David has extensive connections in New Mexico and beyond and can help organize a powerful and effective team to push for regulatory or legislative change.
Administrative lawyers practicing in New Mexico are called upon to explain highly technical information to generalist judges and policymakers. This is an area where David excels. David is familiar with cost-benefit analysis and can help explain why a particular policy is likely to produce net benefits or why this inherently limited form of analysis fails to capture important quantitative benefits. David is also quick to identify faulty technical analysis—for example, when an agency or advocate has unreasonably discounted (or failed to discount) the future benefits of a policy, has double-counted costs or benefits, or has failed to quantify costs or benefits that are readily quantifiable.
David also excels at mastering and explaining complex scientific and technical information. This might include explaining the chemistry of ozone formation, why underground injection of produced water can cause seismic activity long after injection stops, or why nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions are positively correlated with one another but negatively correlated with emissions of hydrocarbons. David takes particular pride in his ability to work with specialists in translating their ideas into terms that generalist policymakers can understand.
Based in New Mexico, David’s administrative law practice spans the entire country to the extent it involves representation before federal agencies. In recent years, he has worked with low-carbon biofuel producers to draft comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuels Standards program, represented clean energy trade associations before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, and served as a member of New Mexico’s Methane Advisory Panel, an advisory group convened by the state’s environmental regulators to study options for reducing methane pollution from oil-and-gas operations. If you require the services of a New Mexico administrative lawyer, contact us today.
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