Drawing from almost two decades of experience in senior government, in-house corporate, and private law firm roles, Jeff Wood helps clients with federal enforcement, compliance, litigation, permitting, and policy challenges primarily in the energy and environmental fields.
Prior to joining Baker Botts, Mr. Wood served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). In that capacity, Mr. Wood led ENRD and its more than 600 attorneys and staff representing EPA, Departments of the Interior, Energy, and Defense, and other agencies in civil and criminal enforcement and defensive environmental, energy, and natural resources litigation.
As the top official in ENRD, Mr. Wood managed a complex organization with an annual budget exceeding $200 million and a docket of more than 6,000 cases and matters. E&E News noted that “Wood maintains a strong relationship with ENRD's career staff” (Greenwire, Oct. 31, 2018), and at the end of his service at the Justice Department, the ENRD Assistant Attorney General recognized Mr. Wood for having “served with distinction, honor, and record longevity as the Acting AAG…” (E&E News, Dec. 21, 2018).
At the Justice Department, Mr. Wood oversaw the Division's civil and criminal enforcement programs and was responsible for developing legal strategies and approving briefs in key cases including filings before the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals in coordination with the Office of Solicitor General. In this role, Mr. Wood held the highest level security clearance and worked closely with top leadership at DOJ, EPA, the Interior Department, USDA, the Energy Department, Transportation Department, FERC, NRC and across the Executive Branch, including the White House.
Previously, Mr. Wood also served as environmental counsel to U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and the Republican Staff Director of subcommittees of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. He also served as an energy and environmental policy advisor on the Trump-Pence Presidential Campaign from August to November 2016.
With many years of both private law firm and in-house legal experience, Mr. Wood has handled complex environmental enforcement, regulatory, policy, and litigation matters for electric utilities, energy companies, maritime companies, mining companies, real estate developers, financial institutions, industrial companies and manufacturers, business coalitions, associations, small businesses, and individual property owners. Drawing from his experiences in-house, Mr. Wood brings a common-sense, cost-effective, client-focused approach to his work every day.
With a strong national reputation, Mr. Wood is a frequent speaker on environmental law and policy matters in the United States and abroad, with recent speeches and presentations at the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking, Harvard Law School, Vanderbilt Law School, American University Law School, American Bar Association Environmental Law Conferences, the Texas Environmental SuperConference, Air Force Judge Advocate General School's Advanced Environmental Law Course, Baker Institute's Center for Energy Studies (Rice University), and many other venues. He frequently appears in national news to share insights on significant environmental law and policy issues, including recent quotes in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Law360, and E&E News, among others.