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Michael B. Wigmore
Michael B. Wigmore
Partner — Environmental & Natural Resources
Partner — Environmental & Natural Resources

Michael B. Wigmore

Michael B. Wigmore

2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037

Michael B. Wigmore

Mike’s practice focuses on representing clients with respect to public lands and natural resources matters in federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the EPA.

Mike has extensive experience in matters arising under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Rivers and Harbors Act, Clean Air Act (CAA), Oil Pollution Act (OPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and related state statutes.

Mike has represented clients in obtaining, and defending in court, permits and authorizations for such projects as upstream oil and gas development, industrial and manufacturing facilities, high-voltage electric transmission lines, gas and liquids pipelines, undersea fiber optic cables, and waterfront commercial developments.

According to Chambers USA, “Clients compliment [Mike’s] ability to combine ‘detailed knowledge of statutes, impending regulations and case law with sound business advice’” (2009) and “praise his ‘unbelievably good case-handling abilities’” (2010).

Experience Highlights

  • Successfully defended several oil and gas companies in litigation in federal district court and the court of appeals brought by national environmental groups against a 2,000-well natural gas project, and defeated a motion for preliminary injunctive relief seeking to halt development of the project pending review

  • Represented a major electric utility in obtaining all necessary permits for a 765-kV transmission line constructed across national forest land, a national scenic trail, an American Heritage River, and an endangered species habitat, and successfully defended the permits in litigation brought by a national environmental group

  • Representing a major oil and gas company with respect to permitting and third-party liability issues relating to the use of hydraulic fracturing for the development of oil and gas resources from shale and other unconventional formations in Pennsylvania, Texas, and the Rocky Mountain Front Region, and advising on fracking issues relating to the CWA, CAA, SDWA, ESA, FLPMA, NEPA, TSCA, and applicable state laws

  • Representing a major oil and gas company in an original jurisdiction matter before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the company’s groundwater uses in the context of an interstate water compact dispute

  • Representing a major oil and gas company in litigation in federal district court regarding Endangered Species Act listing decisions

  • Representing investors in and developers of energy projects with respect to NEPA, ESA, MBTA, NHPA, and wetlands permitting issues

  • Represented the nonoperating investors in the Macondo well with respect to all federal and state environmental and natural resources issues relating to the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico

  • Representing a variety of energy and industrial facilities in defense of CWA citizen suits and challenges to CWA permits around the country

  • Represented a pulp and paper facility located in the Southeast in a Clean Air Act/New Source Review enforcement action, which the U.S. Department of Justice declined to prosecute after an enforcement referral from the EPA

  • Represented a consolidated recycling and manufacturing facility in the Southeast in a series of four RCRA/CWA citizens suits filed in state and federal court, all of which were successfully resolved on motions to dismiss


  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with High Honors, 1990 (Order of the Coif)
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy, B.S., with Highest Honors, 1984
  • Nuclear Engineer, General Electric Company/Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory
    • Responsibilities included plant operations and environmental compliance for a land-based naval nuclear submarine prototype
  • Chambers USA, Environment (District of Columbia), 2009-2020
  • Legal 500 U.S., Environment Litigation, 2013–2015; Environment: Transaction & Regulatory, 2013—2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), “Lawyer of the Year,” Litigation – Environmental, 2018 and 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), Litigation: Environmental, 2013—2021
  • Selected to the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2020
  • Member: American Bar Association
  • Member: Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • District of Columbia and New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • “Environmental Citizens’ Suit Defense: Preparing for “Private Attorneys General” in the Trump Administration,” V&E Houston Office, February 7, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Trump Administration Acts to Advance Infrastructure Projects and Pipeline Development,” V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, January 26, 2017 (co-author)
  • “The Future of Clean Water Act Enforcement and the Jurisdictional Determination Program in the Wake of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc.,” V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, June 7, 2016 (co-author)
  • “Fifth Circuit Narrows the Scope of “Takings” Prohibited Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,” V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, September 14, 2015 (co-author)
  • “Domestic Regulatory Update,” V&E Fourth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium, October 15, 2014
  • “An Achievement — And A Warning — For Corps Of Engineers,” Law360, March 11, 2014 (co-author)
  • “Endangered Species Act Issues Related to the Oil and Gas Industry,” Houston Bar Association Environmental Law Section Meeting, November 2013 (panelist)
  • “Shale Oil and Gas Development in the USA: The Evolving Regulatory Environment – What Are the Regulations Today?,” Ninth Annual China Energy Investment Forum, April 2013
  • “EPA Regulations as They Relate to Horizontal Drilling and Fracking, Advanced Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Course,” Texas Bar Association, Houston, Texas, October 19, 2012
  • “The Evolving Regulatory Environment – What are the Regulations Today?,” Shale Gas Drilling Operations (Fracking) Conference, HB Litigation Conferences, New York City, New York, 2012
  • “Effects of the Endangered Species Act on Oil and Gas Operations — Current and Emerging Issues,” 63rd Oil & Gas Law Conference, Institute for Energy Law, The Center for American and International Law, Houston, Texas (2012); Texas Oil & Gas Association Meeting, Houston, Texas, 2012
  • “Square Pegs and a Round Hole: Why the Endangered Species Act is Ill-Suited to Address Emissions of GHGs and the Effects of Global Climate Change,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter, October 2009 (co-author)