Chip Moldenhauer interview

Law IQ Shares its Role in the Energy Industry- An Exclusive Interview with Energy Dialogues

The North American Gas Forum is just around the corner. In advance of the event, we spoke with NAGF speaker, CEO and Founder of LawIQ, Chip Moldenhauer, about the conversations that will take place this October in Washington D.C.

Chip is the CEO and Founder at LawIQ LLC, an energy industry-focused technology company that is transforming the way market participants make critical business and investment decisions dependent on regulatory and legal events. Chip founded LawIQ with a Naval Academy classmate to help improve the strategic decision making needed to sustain America’s critical infrastructure and achieve energy independence.

This addition to our exclusive interview series provides a high-level overview of LawIQ’s current goals, their collaboration with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the impact of pipeline projects on greenhouse gas emissions, and more.

We are pleased to share our recent conversation with Chip.

ED: Can you please share with us LawIQ’s specific role and impact in the energy industry?

CM: We combine data, technology, and expertise for customers that own or invest in energy assets and markets, so they can better anticipate events impacting their growth.

We seek to help our customers make the essential decisions they face at the intersection of business, law, and strategy. In the case of the energy industry, this is where most of the risk is, so modeling that risk with as much insight and data as possible is imperative.

Our analytics platforms, research content, and advisory services help customers model and assess their risks and opportunities and serve as a foundation for teams across their enterprises to better understand regulatory, and market dynamics from origination to ongoing operations.

I founded the company because I saw an opportunity to leverage emerging technologies in a way that would not only help individual companies in the industry, but could also, with scale, lift the whole industry to more sustainably build and operate the optimal amount of infrastructure to ensure America’s immediate energy independence, while also bridging us to a future that needs to continue identifying and commercializing new energy sources.

ED: How will the recent acquisition of the leading liquids pipeline rate and tariff data company provide value to new and existing clients?

CM: This was an exciting acquisition for us because it extends and builds our data and analytics covering oil and other liquids products’ pipelines and – similar to what we’ve built on the gas side – really improves access to valuable insights buried in tariffs and other filings. Energy transportation is a competitive business, and our customers need to know the details of origin and destination points and rates, so that they can position themselves effectively and profitably.

And again, to the extent this knowledge is disseminated industry-wide, it helps rationalize and optimize the total pipeline footprint by getting product to market in the most cost-efficient manner, which is good for all stakeholders.

ED: What are some of the success stories as well as challenges that you can share with us from your collaboration with FERC?

CM: We are really fortunate to be able to support FERC’s mission, and proud to work with their talented teams.

We’ve learned that acquiring, structuring, and analyzing regulatory and legal filings is hard on both sides of the regulatory equation. And, FERC has a really complex policy and intragovernmental landscape to navigate that requires evidence-based decision-making.

They actively analyze their data and stakeholder input to address policies and priorities within FERC, the Congress, and the Administration. And these priorities change, sometimes unexpectedly, so it’s a tough job.

We also try to provide unbiased perspectives, which we think is helpful, because most everyone in Washington has a bias. We go where the data takes us.

ED: What is your perspective on how FERC policy may change going forward for evaluating the impact of pipeline projects on greenhouse gas emissions?

CM: Well, we definitely are not in the business of predicting election outcomes, but I think the answer to this question largely depends on the 2020 elections. Between now and then, we do not expect Republicans to make any changes to the current methodology FERC adopted in May of 2018, barring any contrary rulings from the courts, to only look at downstream GHG emissions from a project if the end-use was known to FERC and would allow for a reasonably accurate calculation of those emissions. If those circumstances are not met, FERC will not account for any GHG impacts in its deliberations and decisions.

If Democrats win and replicate the position of current Democratic Commissioner thinking, then downstream GHG emissions will likely need to be mitigated in some way.

ED: In your opinion, what are some of the takeaways from the Marcellus and Utica bottlenecks?

CM: Growth in production will never match takeaway. There is always a period of falling prices followed by an increase when pipeline capacity comes online, then another drop with additional capacity. Supply / demand imbalances and periods of price volatility / instability are persistent across basins. Production capacity is generally a smooth curve and pipeline capacity is a step function, so they don’t overlay very well.

From a regulatory perspective, when the path to the Northeast was closed off, markets became creative as to where to take gas. Gas will find a way out of the basin somehow, and where it goes will be driven by forces outside the control of pipelines or producers, such as regulatory change or political coalitions.

ED: You will be joining the North American Gas Forum on October 21-23 in Washington D.C. on the panel: Gas Infrastructure Concerns and Priorities to Meet Demands and Move Supplies. In your opinion, what are some of the hurdles to be conquered in the natural gas infrastructure and how can data and analytics contribute to its success?

CM: Predicting regulatory timelines and costs drives ROI and optimal infrastructure capacity. To the extent industry, regulators and other stakeholders can use the same baseline datasets and normalize and model them for changing dynamics, it will lead to better strategic decision-making.

There is a lot of room to leverage new predictive technologies, but also a lot of uncertainties that challenge machine-driven models.

On the developer side, having the very best quantified understanding of the sensitivity of the variables impacting project costs and schedules, with objective expertise to challenge assumptions and spot unknown variables, will improve proactive risk management and execution.

ED: As you know, the North American Gas Forum brings together the entire value chain for an in-depth discussion on some of the most crucial topics the industry is facing today. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s forum?

CM: The event is unique in that it brings industry, government, advocacy groups, and media together in a pretty small and collegial setting, which is important for building the cross-sector and disciplinary relationships to solve big problems. I am really looking forward to strengthening current relationships and building new ones, as well as being part of the dialogue.


Energy Dialogues proudly presents the 2019 North American Gas Forum, taking place in Washington D.C. this October. Featuring a cutting edge program, fabulous speaker line-up, and premium networking opportunities, NAGF is the ideal platform to share unbiased perspectives and drive solutions to the multidimensional complex that is energy. Join Chip Moldenhauer and other prominent energy front-runners for panel discussions, round tables, networking opportunities, and commercial benefits. 


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