W. Jackson Coleman

W. Jackson Coleman

Jack has worked for 30 years representing and advising oil and gas companies, in senior positions in the Federal government, and in the Congress.

He was General Counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources from February 2007 until March 2009. Prior to that, beginning in May 2003, Jack was the Energy and Minerals Counsel for the House Committee on Natural Resources. As such, he was the leading legal expert in the House of Representatives on energy, power, and minerals production from Federal onshore and offshore lands, including renewable power, power transmission and energy pipeline issues.

From October 1992 until May 2003, Jack was Senior Attorney for Royalties and Offshore Minerals at Department of the Interior (DOI). As such, Jack advised the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding oil and gas leasing and operations, and royalties.

Prior to that, from January 1989 until October 1992, he was the Senior Attorney for Environmental Protection for DOI with responsibilities as the chief legal advisor to the Department’s Office of Environmental Policy. As such, Jack was the lead environmental attorney and NEPA expert advising the Department of the Interior’s Office of Environmental Affairs. Jack was the facilitator of resolution of inter-bureau environmental disputes, and negotiated a CERCLA consent decree, U.S. v. Schlumberger Industries, Inc., (S.D. Ill., 1992), for a $35 million cleanup at a Superfund National Priorities List site.

Prior to his work at Interior, for more than three years Jack was Special Assistant in the Office of the Administrator of NOAA. In this role he served as chief of staff and principal advisor to a Presidential appointee having the rank of Assistant Secretary. Jack assisted in the day-to-day leadership and management of an agency with an annual budget of $1.2 billion and 14,000 employees. His work included interagency coordination of major environmental matters such as wetlands protection; air and water pollution; offshore oil and gas issues; coastal zone management; fisheries regulation; endangered species protection; marine mammals protection, and global warming and climate change. Jack was the senior manager for 25-40 projects underway at any particular time using the assistance of major management consulting firms.

Prior to his work at NOAA, Jack served four years as an active duty Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Since he retired from working for the Congress, Jack has testified as an expert five times before four committees of Congress, including before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in April of 2012 related to federal oil and gas energy policy, the House Committee on Natural Resources in September and October 2011 on environmental issues related to onshore oil and gas exploration and production activities and the National Ocean Policy, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in May 2011 on proposed offshore oil and gas legislation, and the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2010 on legal liability issues related to offshore oil and gas exploration and production activities.

A native of Rosedale, Mississippi, Jack received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accountancy from the University of Mississippi, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Jack is a member of The Mississippi Bar, and the bars of the US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the US Court of Federal Claims, and the Mississippi Supreme Court. Jack is the recipient of a Special Commendation from the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, and two U.S. Army Commendation Medals. Further, Jack was selected by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management as one of the “Top 40 Managers Under 40” in the U.S. Government.

Jack was the primary author of many provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, including:

  • Categorical exclusions from further environmental reviews for oil and gas production and transportation from onshore public lands;
  • Outer Continental Shelf alternative energy provisions granting the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Department of the Interior (DOI) the authority to issue permits for alternative energy and transmission projects;
  • Provisions establishing the US national policy of energy independence in North America, on a net basis, by 2025;
  • The Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act which provided authority for leasing and development of unconventional fuels such as oil shale, oil sands, heavy oil, and coal-to-liquids;
  • Permit processing offices and other expedited permitting procedures;
  • And incentives for and other provisions related to oil and gas production, both onshore and offshore.

Further, among other legislation, Jack initiated, authored, and led the effort in the House to eliminate the OCS moratoria which resulted in passage by the House in June 2006, with the support of 40 Democrats, of the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act, the only time since 1978 that either House of Congress has passed comprehensive legislation reforming the laws relating to offshore oil and gas production.