Tuesday, August 23, 2016

'Legal rebel' sets her sights on pipeline projects

As a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lawyer in the 1980s, Carolyn Elefant annoyed her co-workers by doling out free advice to landowners. "My colleagues would say, 'You know, they should hire their own lawyers. We don't work for them,'" Elefant recalled recently. "No, we do work for them," she would reply, relishing her quiet rebellion. Today, Elefant is a hired gun for landowners battling her former employer and some of the nation's biggest energy companies. The 52-year-old New Jersey native works for small towns, ranchers and farmers fighting pipelines and other infrastructure linked to the nation's natural gas production boom. Her solo law firm in suburban Washington, D.C., is on the rise. "She's the pipeline lawyer. Nationally, she's the first go-to person," said Lynda Farrell, who hired Elefant in the 1990s to keep a gas pipeline from crossing her Chesterfield, Pa., farm. "She's the staunchest advocate for the landowner I've ever met."...more

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