CBL Lawyers

Michelle T. BoudreauxPartner
P: (713) 357-6244
F: (713) 357-6775
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Michelle T. Boudreaux


Michelle’s principal area of practice is compliance with federal and state law governing the transportation of energy commodities by pipeline. Michelle has represented clients in multiple, complex rate litigation proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). She advises clients on strategic and regulatory compliance matters, including those related to greenfield and brownfield liquids pipelines, working on numerous projects for the transportation of liquids from diverse supply areas, including the Bakken Shale, the Niobrara Shale, the DJ Basin, the Utica Shale, the Permian Basin, the Marcellus Shale, the Eagle Ford Shale, and the Cushing hub. Michelle also represents clients on a variety of regulatory matters associated with the transportation of natural gas by pipeline.

Representative Experience
Liquids Pipelines
  • Representing greenfield and brownfield liquids pipelines in various regulatory and contractual matters, including the drafting of transportation services agreements, open season materials, petitions for declaratory order, tariffs, prorationing policies, pipeline leases, pipeline operating agreements, and similar documents
  • Leading the litigation team in a proceeding before FERC regarding application of the FERC’s indexing methodology to the pipeline’s rates
  • Representing a refined products pipeline in cost-of-service and index-related litigation before the FERC
  • Led the litigation team in a liquids pipeline proceeding at FERC challenging the pipeline’s new cost-of-service rates
  • Led, with California counsel, a cost-of-service rate proceeding before the CPUC related to intrastate transportation rates and defending against claims of carrier imprudence
  • Represented, along with other CBL attorneys, crude oil and refined petroleum products pipelines in numerous protest and complaint proceedings at FERC with respect to pipeline rates and terms and conditions of service
  • Providing regulatory guidance and analysis related to the acquisition and financing of entities owning FERC-regulated liquids assets
  • Assisted in representing refined petroleum products pipelines against multiple complaints challenging the “grandfathered” status of the pipelines’ rates under the Energy Policy Act of 1992
  • Counseling liquids pipelines on operational strategies and related tariff modifications
Natural Gas Pipelines
  • Representing an interstate pipeline company in the preparation and prosecution of an application for FERC abandonment approval to allow a major segment of a natural gas pipeline system to be repurposed to serve as part of an offshore LNG export facility
  • Representing a Section 311 pipeline in a rate proceeding before FERC
  • Representing clients regarding jurisdictional analyses of natural gas pipelines, including gathering determinations, Section 311 regulations, and Hinshaw regulations
  • Represented an energy company in negotiating and preparing natural gas gathering and processing agreements for new natural gas gathering and processing facilities
  • Assisted in representing an interstate natural gas pipeline in a Natural Gas Act Section 4 rate proceeding at FERC
  • Assisted multiple natural gas pipelines with compliance with the Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers, including the drafting and implementation of compliance plans, policies, procedures, and training programs
  • Over an approximate six-month period on a full-time basis, assisted a natural gas pipeline with developing policies and procedures to comply with a stipulation and consent agreement and with achieving compliance with the requirements of the agreement
  • Assisted an interstate natural gas pipeline with its application for abandonment of compression facilities

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Education and Professional Background
  • Prior to forming Caldwell Boudreaux Lefler PLLC, Michelle was a Partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP (V&E), and she was a member of V&E’s liquids pipeline regulatory team for more than a decade.
  • Tulane Law School, J.D. magna cum laude, 2002 (Managing Editor, Tulane Environmental Law Journal; Moot Court Board; Order of the Coif)
  • Tulane University, M.S.W., 1996
  • Indiana University, B.A. Slavic languages and Literatures, 1991
  • Admitted to practice: Texas, 2002; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Professional Recognition
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers in Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory and Litigation), 2016
  • Legal Media Group's (Euromoney's) Expert Guide to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers, 2016
  • Legal 500 U.S. in energy regulation, 2013
Activities and Affiliations
  • Member: Houston Bar Association; Energy Bar Association
Publications and Presentations
  • “Energy Bar Association Energizer: FERC Oil/Liquids Pipeline Policy Developments,” Energy Bar Association, October 22, 2015 (panelist)
  • “Oil Gathering and NGL Dedications in Shale Plays: Unique Regulatory Issues and Solutions,” Annual Conference of the Association of Oil Pipelines, September 18, 2014 (co-presenter)
  • "Determining the Jurisdictional Status of NGL Pipeline Transportation Service,” Natural Gas & Electricity © December 2013 (co-author)
  • "The Evolution and Future of FERC NGL Pipeline Regulation," EUCI, December 2012 (co-presenter)
  • “FERC Liquids Pipeline Regulations: Their Evolution and Future,” EUCI, April 23-24, 2012 (co-presenter)
  • "Fundamentals of Marketing Production," 38th Annual Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, March 2012 (co-presenter)
  • "Regulatory Assurances for New Liquid Pipelines," Energy Bar Association, Oil Pipeline Regulation Committee, April 2009
  • "The Gathering Exemption Under the Natural Gas Act," 6th Annual Gas & Power Institute, 2007
  • "The Gathering Exemption Under the Natural Gas Act," Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section Report, December 2007