Energy pipeline projects have always incited local conflict, yet over the past decade these disputes have exploded in intensity and scope. Local opposition has gone national, with protestors concerned about climate change and the environment expanding the debate. The need for strategies that help build collaborative, long-term relationships with stakeholders and mitigate conflict is clear. 

To address this need, the Consensus Building Institute and its partner Environmental Resources Management embarked on a project to determine better practices for addressing conflicts related to pipeline construction. The results of this project – practical, actionable approaches to addressing conflict – are outlined in our recently released report, Stakeholder Engagement and Conflict Mitigation in Pipeline Construction. CBI Managing Director Pat Field’s reflections on the project can be found in his recent blog post.

This project involved more than 30 in-depth interviews with stakeholders, a two-day meeting with industry and community leaders, and a literature review. Recommendations for companies from this process include:

  • Expand outreach and communications to a wide range of stakeholders. Despite corporate communication efforts, many stakeholders feel they have not been informed of projects underway.
  • Fund tribes to undertake their own ethnographic studies before construction starts and hire tribal monitors throughout the project
  • Work with local, tribal, and state resource managers to map natural resources along pipeline routes

This report was introduced today (February 12, 2020) at the Southern Gas Association's Technical Conference on Environmental Permitting & Construction.