On June 26, 2021, passing with bipartisan support, Minnesota’s Natural Gas Innovation Act (Special Session HF6, the Commerce and Energy Omnibus) was presented and signed into law by Governor Walz.
Mike is an experienced counselor and advocate dedicated to helping his clients find practical solutions to environmental, carbon and permitting matters. Clients describe him as creative and pragmatic.
Mike has extensive experience successfully helping clients navigate federal and state environmental review processes and securing federal, state, and local permits for wind, solar, transmission line, and pipeline facilities. In addition, Mike frequently advises clients in mergers, acquisitions, and real estate transactions on environmental due diligence, risk assessment, allocation of liability, and negotiation of purchase agreements. Mike combines his environmental and transactional practices to draft and negotiate agreements related to the monetization of environmental and green attributes, including carbon related transactions.
Mike’s business-savvy approach draws greatly on his experience as an environmental consultant in the areas of environmental review, permitting, and agency consultations on energy projects. He also has a particular interest in the future of energy, including emerging energy technologies and energy sector decarbonization, and is a frequent speaker and author on these subjects.
Mike also supports oil and gas exploration and production companies in real estate transactions, preparing drilling and division order title opinions and other documents, primarily in North Dakota’s Bakken formation.
Renewable Energy and Carbon Management
- Drafted and negotiated agreements related to the monetization of environmental and green attributes, including carbon related transactions.
- Advised wind and solar energy companies on environmental and federal, state, and local permitting related to project development, acquisitions, divestitures and project financing, including preparation of numerous permitting legal opinions.
- Represented a wind energy developer in proceedings before the county board of commissioners and planning and zoning commission for a proposed 250-MW wind farm.
- Advised forest management carbon sequestration client on regulatory matters in connection with financing.
- Advised electric utility on air permitting matters related to carbon capture and storage.
- Advised client on permitting and environmental requirements for the installation of modular technology product onto an existing ethanol plant.
- Advised oil and gas pipeline companies on environmental and permitting matters, including Clean Air Act, construction stormwater and wetlands permitting.
- Prepared drilling and division order title opinions in North Dakota’s Bakken field with complex mineral and leasehold chains of title and ownership, including the Missouri River, abandoned townsites, railroads, metes and bounds tracts, federal exploratory units and secondary recovery units.
- Served as environmental counsel to private equity funds on hundreds of platform acquisitions and sales and add-on acquisitions across a broad spectrum of industries, including medical device, technology, bulk oil and fuel distribution, electronics and manufacturing companies.
- Drafted and negotiated environmental provisions in stock, asset, and real estate purchase agreements.
- Managed environmental due diligence for hundreds of mergers and acquisitions and real estate transactions.
- Prior to joining Fredrikson & Byron, as an environmental consultant, assisted energy companies with federal, state and local environmental permitting and compliance, including oil and natural gas transmission pipelines, natural gas utilities, and ethanol and biofuel facilities.
Articles & Presentations
January 15, 2021
Of particular note for the energy industry, the Corps reissued and modified NWP 51 (land-based renewable energy generation facilities) and has split NWP 12 into separate permits.
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Presenter “Renewable Biogas Electricity and the RFS: A Look at the Current Status and Potential Future Actions of the EPA Regarding e-RINs Under the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Wisconsin Public Utilities Institute, Public Utilities Law Update, March 2, 2022
- Presenter, “Minnesota’s Community Solar Program,” Issues in Minnesota Energy and Electric Utility Regulation Webinar, June 4, 2021
- Co-author, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization Model Law, Biogas Facility Permitting, May 2021
- Presenter, “Emerging Technologies in Renewable Energy and Deep Decarbonization,” Wisconsin Public Utilities Institute, Public Utilities Law Update, March 3, 2021
- Moderator, “Deep Decarbonization: Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage,” American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Webinar, September 13, 2020
- Co-Presenter, “Carbon Sequestration as a Potential Interim CO2 Emissions Reduction Solution,” Law Seminars International’s Twelfth Annual Conference on Renewable Energy in the Midwest, October 2, 2020
- Moderator, “Update on Carbon Capture and Storage,” American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Podcast, July 2, 2019
- Featured in “Estate Planning Workshops: Estate Planning Counsel Offered to Seniors,” Toward Justice, Spring 2015
Honors & Education
- University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 2006, with distinction
- Iowa State University, B.S., 2002, with distinction
- Minnesota, 2009
- North Dakota, 2011
- Iowa, 2006
- Minnesota State Bar Association, North Star Lawyer, 2015-2016, 2020
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section Council
- ABA SEER Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee, Marketing and Communications Vice Chair
- ABA SEER Oil & Gas Committee, Program Vice Chair
- Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
- Volunteer attorney for Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid