Hrobsky, Jon

Director of Policy and Government Affairs, National Ocean Industries Association

Deputy Director of Policy and Planning, U.S. Minerals Management Service

Deputy Director for Congressional Affairs in the Secretary’s Office, U.S. Department of Interior

Legislative Director for Congressman Bob Schaffer (R-CO)

Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Scott McInnis (R-CO)

When it comes to offshore and onshore energy development, the Endangered Species Act and environmental and natural resources, Jon Hrobsky is well versed in the nuances of policy and politics that affect his clients. Jon has played a key role in crafting policy and shaping legislation for some of the major issues affecting energy production and natural resources in the United States.

Jon is co-chairman of Brownstein’s Energy, Environment & Resource Strategies (EERS) Group. Our bipartisan group of lawyers and senior policy professionals bring a unique combination of skill and previous federal experience to deliver policy outcomes, project approvals or legal decisions on matters related to energy, the environment and natural resources. With collective insights gathered from decades of experience working as decision makers across various federal agencies, we know how to best position our clients for a successful outcome before Congress, federal administrative agencies and the courts.

Jon works on matters across the energy, environment and natural resources spectrum—from oil and gas, wind and solar, utilities, water and mining, to clean air, public lands and the Endangered Species Act. His most recent success was getting a provision signed into law on Continuous Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Extensive experience at the Department of the Interior in the Office of the Secretary and as the deputy director of the U.S. Minerals Management Service gives Jon an unmatched perspective from which to counsel his clients. Jon has either been part of authoring or been deeply engaged in offshore regulations or legislation since the Energy Policy Act of 2005. His views on offshore energy policy continue to be sought in Congress and multiple administrations. He frequently provides policy analysis on energy, environment and natural resource matters at conferences and professional and financial association meetings.

 

Previous Experience

Director of Policy and Government Affairs, National Ocean Industries Association

Deputy Director of Policy and Planning, U.S. Minerals Management Service

Deputy Director for Congressional Affairs in the Secretary’s Office, U.S. Department of Interior

Legislative Director for Congressman Bob Schaffer (R-CO)

Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Scott McInnis (R-CO)

Practices & Industries
Energy

As director of policy and government affairs for the National Ocean Industries Association, Jon worked on offshore energy policy and legislation affecting energy exploration and development, ranging from the potential expansion of offshore energy exploration in the Southeastern United States to the Deepwater Drilling Moratorium and de facto Shallow Water Moratorium.

As the deputy director of policy and planning for the U.S. Minerals Management Service, he helped lead the way in fostering conditions to enable the Service to achieve many benchmarks, including:

  • the largest Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lease sale in history
  • the largest Arctic Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lease sale in history
  • the creation of the first renewable energy office for the offshore
  • over $23 billion collected and distributed, the highest amount of mineral revenue collections and distributions in history

He also served as the principal Minerals Management Service liaison and advisor with the White House for all information and decisions made involving the historic decision to amend the Presidential Withdrawal of the Pacific coast, Atlantic seaboard and parts of the Central and Eastern Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas development. In that role, Jon worked closely with staff and members of Congress as Congress made the decision to not reinstate the annual Congressional Moratoria for the first time in a generation.

As deputy director for the Secretary’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of Interior, Jon played a crucial role in formulating key provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act and Amendments to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. His responsibilities also included:

  • managing presidential appointment nominees through the Senate confirmation process
  • assisting with drafting legislation and the formulation of the administration’s position in testimony
  • managing witness preparation for meetings and hearings
  • creating communication and outreach plans while serving as a liaison with the Department’s Congressional authorizing committees, individual members of Congress and officials in the White House
Infrastructure

Jon lobbies on behalf of companies, state agencies, associations and nonprofits in the energy, natural resources and environmental space. His experience with oil and gas pipelines and utilities includes advocacy, permitting, compliance and approvals. Jon currently works with a major offshore wind developer on its project developing wind offshore New York and consults for a large Midwestern utility. His insight into the federal permitting and approval process along with a history of major legislative successes make Jon a valued member of any team seeking success on infrastructure projects.

Representative Matters
  • Represents a deep water, independent oil and gas company on offshore related policy and legislation.

  • Provides representation and works with federal stakeholders on various wind opportunities and projects throughout the United States as it relates to the federal government.

  • Provides strategic advice and counsel regarding regulatory, permitting and agency approvals for a large, independent oil and gas company pursuing onshore and offshore projects.

  • Provides strategic counsel in navigating federal permitting and approvals on behalf of a calcium carbonate mine.

  • Represents one of the largest recreation software developers on federal and state engagement with the administration and Congress to increase recreation participation on public lands.

  • Represents a large oil and gas exploration and production company on federal engagement for both onshore and offshore projects.

  • Provides strategic counsel on navigating approvals for an arctic oil and gas development.

  • Provided strategic direction to a major national nonprofit conservation organization regarding a proposed listing of a species under the Endangered Species Act.

  • Represents a large Midwestern utility on energy legislation and energy policy.

  • Represents a hard rock mining company permitting a large gold mining project on federal land.

  • Successfully represented oil and gas trade association in federal district court matter related to the Endangered Species Act, resulting in dismissal of the underlying action.

  • Represents a liquified natural gas company on dredging permits and policy.

  • Provides representation and works with a coalition of stakeholders on a large public lands and conversation bill.

  • Provides engagement with state and local stakeholders in California regarding a potential offshore wind development.

  • For a utility client, worked to modify onerous EPA regulations and coordinated a strategy to amend those rules, including meetings with senior agency officials and other Administration policy makers. Also enlisted a congressional strategy that brought together a coalition of Members to push for a more favorable outcome in the rules. Ultimately, the EPA amended the rules in a way that saved our client hundreds of millions of dollars.

News & Events
Publications & Presentations
  • Bipartisan Bill Could Increase Renewable Energy Development on Public Lands

    Renewable energy on public lands may receive a boost from legislation introduced by Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Mike Levin (D-CA) on July 17.

    The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (H.R. 3794), or PLREDA, seeks to balance renewable energy production with conservation and thereby promote increased development of wind, solar and geothermal energy on federal lands. The legislation’s key provisions include:

    • Revenue sharing: the legislation creates a revenue-sharing mechanism whereby affected stakeholders will benefit
       
      • States – 25% to the states where projects are located
         
      • Counties – 25% to the counties where projects are located
         
      • Sportsmen and Conservation – 25% into a fund for sportsmen and conservation purposes including increased access to outdoor recreation
         
      • Permitting – 15% to be used for finding permitting efficiencies and reducing current backlog
         
      • Deficit reduction – 10% for deficit reduction
         
    • Renewable energy goal: places a goal for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to permit 25 gigawatts by 2025
       
    • BLM personnel: requires the Bureau of Land Management to designate specific employees who will be responsible for monitoring, planning and permitting renewable energy projects
       
    • Renewable Energy Coordination Office: seeks to improve management of project permitting through the creation of a Renewable Energy Coordination Office
       
    • DOI fees discretion: allows DOI authority to reduce rental rates and capacity fees to encourage development
       
    Congressional Support

    The legislation has broad bipartisan support within the House of Representative including both the House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva (AZ-3) and Ranking Member Rob Bishop (UT-1). At present, it has 15 Republican and 12 Democratic cosponsors:

     

    Republicans

    Democrats

    Mark Amodei (NV-2)

    Donald Beyer (VA-8)

    Andy Biggs (AZ-5)

    Matt Cartwright (PA-8)

    Rob Bishop (UT-1)

    Ed Case (HI-1)

    Paul Cook (CA-8)

    Suzan DelBene (WA-1)

    Matt Gaetz (FL-1)

    Debbie Dingell (MI-12)

    Greg Gianforte (MT-At Large)

    Debra Haaland (NM-1)

    Dour LaMalfa (CA-1)

    Jared Huffman (CA-2)

    Roger Marshall (KS-1)

    Mike Levin (CA-49)

    Dan Newhouse (WA-4)

    Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)

    David Schweikert (AZ-6)

    Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3)

    Michael Simpson (ID-2)

    Doris Matsui (CA-6)

    Peter Stauber (MN-8)

    Mike Thompson (CA-5)

    Chris Stewart (UT-2)

     

    Scott Tipton (CO-3

     

    Don Young (AK-At Large)

     

     

    Stakeholder Support

    The legislation has broad support from a range of industry, environmental and conservation stakeholders including EDF Renewables, National Association of Counties, American Sportfishing Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Wilderness Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Solar Energy Industries Association.

    Outlook

    Currently, 40% of the total geothermal electric generating capacity and 5% of utility-scale wind and solar energy capacity comes from public lands. PLREDA seeks to change this dynamic and encourage local, state and federal governments as well as renewable energy companies to invest in renewable energy projects on federal lands. Unlike many energy issues in Washington, PLREDA enjoys bipartisan support and conveys a desire by both sides of the aisle to work toward a common goal of increasing renewable energy’s percentage in the country’s energy mix. This early, bipartisan support has caught the attention of the House Natural Resources Committee where the legislation is scheduled to have a hearing on Thursday, July 25 before the Energy and Minerals Resources Subcommittee. While the legislation will need to be marked up before it can proceed to a vote of the committee and sent to the full House of Representatives, the support of both Chairman Grijalva and Ranking Member Bishop bode well for the legislation’s potential passage.

  • Brownstein Government Relations Podcast Series: Nevada Public Land Issues
    Brownstein Podcast Series, August 1, 2018

  • Brownstein Government Relations Podcast Series: EERS Update
    Brownstein Podcast Series, October 5, 2017

  • Brownstein Government Relations Podcast Series: Top Issues for New Administration
    Brownstein Podcast Series, February 23, 2017

  • Top Issues for the New Administration – Energy
    Brownstein Podcast Series, February 22, 2017

  • 2015 Washington Outlook
    Brownstein Client Alert, Feb. 2, 2015

  • Republicans Won Control of the U.S. Senate—Now What?
    Brownstein Client Alert, November 6, 2014

  • The Top 6 Takeaways From the EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rules
    Brownstein Client Alert, June 2, 2014

  • 2014 Washington Outlook
    Brownstein Client Alert, January 30, 2014

  • Proposed Carbon Rules for New Power Plants: What They Are and What They Mean
    Brownstein Client Alert, September 20, 2013

  • Obama's Climate Change Agenda Revealed
    Brownstein Client Alert, June 25, 2013

  • Natural Resources in the New Political Landscape: the election's impact on natural resources law and policy
    Panel, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, November 13, 2012

Education
    • B.A., 1997, Fort Lewis College
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