Mr. Cooper has over thirty years of legal and business experience in both the energy and environmental and the government affairs sectors.
Prior to joining McConnell Valdés, he served as Staff Director for the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources. The Committee on Natural Resources has jurisdiction over Puerto Rico affairs. Mr. Cooper provided advice and counsel to the Chairman regarding Puerto Rico, energy, and environmental policy issues. Additionally, he served as Senior Policy Advisor on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the full committee.
Mr. Cooper was the lead drafter of and negotiator for the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). PROMESA establishes an oversight board for Puerto Rico to successfully address its fiscal problems and regain access to the capital markets, sets forth a framework for debt restructuring, and streamlines infrastructure permitting.
Prior to his work on the Natural Resources Committees, he was the Executive Director, and later President, of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG), a trade association of Liquefied Natural Gas producers, shippers, terminal operators and developers, and energy trade associations. As President of CLNG, he led the association’s issue advocacy initiative with the U.S. Congress, the White House, and Federal agencies, providing legislative and regulatory analysis and alternative solutions to pending bills on oil and gas matters, particularly with respect to liquefied natural gas. He also worked closely with the Board of Directors to establish and implement the vision and strategic goals for CLNG, including all aspects of the administration of the organization, the development and implementation of communications strategies for the organization, and the management of media and public outreach programs.
Mr. Cooper also served as Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, drafting legislation and assisting members of Congress with briefings, hearings, and markups, as well as constituent services, with emphasis on domestic and international energy issues, particularly oil and gas.
- Drafter of and lead negotiator for the bipartisan Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002.
- Lead negotiator for the House on several provisions of H.R. 4, the comprehensive energy bill, in conference with the Senate in the 107th Congress.
- Drafted several provisions of H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2003, and was lead negotiator for the House on several provisions in conference with the Senate in the 108th Congress. Several of those provisions provided the template for the energy bill ultimately enacted into law during the 109th Congress.
- Lead House negotiator for the passage of the Norman Y. Mineta Research & Special Programs Improvement Act in the 108th Congress.
- Lead staffer for the Speaker’s Task Force for Affordable Natural Gas, which held field meetings across the country to focus on the critical need for more natural gas supply during the 108th Congress. Frequent speaker on energy issues.
- General counsel for a natural gas utility company, providing legal support for all areas of the company’s business. Participated in planning and strategy meetings, provided input for long-range initiatives of the company, and assisted in compliance with regulatory requirements. Developed various policies concerning purchases, customer relations, alcohol misuse, anti-drug plans, and employee relations. Assisted in employee training. Participated in budgetary matters of the company. Represented the company in several municipal bond issuances. Negotiated and drafted contracts to buy, sell, and transport natural gas from wells, storage, and interstate pipelines.
- County Attorney for Scott County, Tennessee, represented all departments of county government, including the County Commission, Board of Education, Sheriff’s Department, Road Department, and all county-wide elected officials. Represented the county government in over 40 lawsuits in just over three (3) years, including disputes in the following areas: contract, labor law, landfill regulations, education, civil rights, and personal injury.
News & Publications
- An McV Government Affairs AlertNovember 8, 2017
- An McV Government Affairs AlertNovember 1, 2017
- An McV AlertOctober 12, 2017
- FAFFA Approves Regulation On Procedures For Compliance With PROMESA-Certified Fiscal Plans and BudgetsAn McV Corporate AlertMay 26, 2017
- An McV Bankruptcy & Debt Restructuring AlertMay 5, 2017
Director, Washington D.C. office
- State of Tennessee
- District of Columbia
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
- United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
A.B. in Economics, Wabash College
J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law
- Tennessee State Bar
- District of Columbia Bar