Logo for print Skip to main content
Toggle navigation MENU MORE

About Heather

Heather Corken Palmer offers clients in-depth environmental regulatory knowledge and experience in energy-related environmental issues. She helps energy, petrochemical and pipeline companies and clients in the power and utility sector that are seeking guidance on environmental compliance and the allocation of environmental liabilities in mergers and acquisitions.

She practices all aspects of environmental law, advising clients on regulatory requirements, assisting them in the evaluation and negotiation of corporate and real estate transactions and representing them in environmental enforcement matters. Her areas of focus include onshore and offshore oil and gas regulation; solid and hazardous waste; oil and gas waste; coal combustion residuals (coal ash); environmental remediation; water quality; water rights; wetlands; endangered species; Superfund litigation; and compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. She plays a major role in advising clients on the environmental issues surrounding shale play development, hydraulic fracturing and the permitting, construction and operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import/export facilities in the U.S.

Clients highlight her "outstanding service," going on to note her "practical and pragmatic advice" and broad experience.
Chambers USA, 2016


Recent Notable Matters

New York Stock Exchange-listed energy company — construction, permitting and operation of LNG import/export facilities in Sabine Pass, Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas

International drilling company and a major independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company — compliance advice with environmental and safety requirements in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Great Plains Energy Inc. — $12.2 billion acquisition of Westar Energy, the largest deal in the U.S. electricity distribution market in 2016

Talen Energy Corporation — $1.175 billion acquisition of MACH Gen, LLC, the holding company of three natural gas-fired power plants located in New York, Massachusetts and Arizona with a total capacity of over 2,500 MW

Fortune 500 company — $2.16 billion acquisition of a major manufacturer of chemicals used in operating oil and gas wells

Apache Corporation — $1.4 billion sale of approximately 90,000 net acres in southern Louisiana and 115,000 net acres in the Anadarko Basin to Tapstone Energy

Pioneer Natural Resources Company — acquisition of 28,000 acres in the Midland Basin from Devon Energy Corporation for $435 million

Chevron Corporation — sale of a natural gas liquid logistics system to Phillips 66 Partners LP

Arroyo Energy Investment Partners LLC — acquisition of the Broad River Energy Center, an 847 MW natural gas-fueled electric generation plant located in Gaffney, South Carolina from affiliates of Energy Capital Partners

Rockland Capital, LLC — acquisition of an 85 MW combined cycle cogeneration facility located in Nevada and a 121 MW dual-fuel combined cycle facility in Florida from affiliates of Quantum Utility Generation, LLC

Chevron Corporation — sale to ONEOK Partners, LP. of the Mesquite Pipeline and its 80% interest in the West Texas LPG Pipeline Limited Partnership for approximately $800 million (2014)

Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas, LLC — $102 million sale of an oil and gas mineral asset package, which includes 1.2 million gross mineral acreage in 20 states and an estimated production of 850 BOE/D, to Black Stone Minerals, L.P.

Rockland Capital, LLC — acquisition of the Michigan Power Generating Facility, a 125 MW natural gas-fired, combined-cycle electric generation facility in Ludington, Michigan from affiliates of ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC

Integrys Energy Group, Inc. — sale of a portfolio of over 50 distributed solar projects to TerraForm Power, LLC

Optim Energy LLC — Chapter 11 proceedings, including the $126 million sale in a bankruptcy auction of the 305 MW coal-fired Twin Oaks Plant to a unit of Blackstone Group LP and the confirmation of a plan of reorganization for its other operational power plants

La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec — investment of up to approximately $593 million in AES US Investments, Inc. and IPALCO Enterprises, Inc., subsidiaries of the AES Corporation and parent companies of Indianapolis Power & Light Company, for an aggregate direct and indirect interest in IPALCO of up to 30 percent

Howard Midstream Energy Partners, LLC — purchase of northeast Pennsylvania gathering assets from Southwestern Energy Company for $500 million

Chevron Pipe Line Company and Chevron Midstream Pipelines LLC — sale of Gulf Coast natural gas pipeline assets to EnLink Midstream Partners, LP and EnLink Midstream, LLC for $235 million

Chevron Pipe Line Company — sale of Chevron Petrochemical Pipeline LLC, which owns the Evangeline ethylene pipeline system for $295 million, to Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP

Pioneer Natural Resources Company — sale of all of its assets in the Hugoton field for $340 million

Phillips 66 — sale of Phillips Specialty Products Inc., a flow improver business, to Berkshire Hathaway in a deal valued at approximately $1.4 billion

Energy and chemical companies — negotiated reduced settlement amounts for clients in enforcement actions brought by the EPA and states under RCRA, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the Clean Air Act (CAA)

Major energy and chemical companies — assisted in obtaining Section 404/Section 10 permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), preparing permittee-responsible mitigation plans, and negotiating contracts for compensatory wetlands mitigation in connection with the construction of major energy projects and chemical facilities in Texas and Louisiana

Manufacturers, chemical producers and energy companies — counsel to clients named as potentially responsible parties under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) at state and federal Superfund sites in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, including serving as common counsel in connection with the Many Diversified Interests Superfund Site in Houston, Texas

International oil and gas, energy and manufacturing companies — counsel on the disclosure of the financial impacts of environmental compliance and loss contingencies, including the potential impact of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and hydraulic fracturing on business operations and financial performance, in Form 10-Ks, 10-Qs and other public filings

Publications and Speeches

“Watch Your Wallet-Federal Penalties Are Going Up,” InsideCounsel, July 15, 2016.

“Wyoming Federal Judge Sides with States Industry, Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, July 15, 2016.

“Another Win for Statewide Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, May 2016.

“Addressing Environmental Issues in Energy Transactions,” Association of Corporate Counsel South/Central Texas Chapter's Oil & Gas Law Lunch and Learn, San Antonio, April 28, 2016.

“Regulatory Perspectives: Safety Jurisdiction on the Outer Continental Shelf,” Offshore Magazine, November 2015.

“California Hydraulic Fracturing Update,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, August 12, 2015.

“Local Regulation of Oil and Gas: The Battle Continues,” Modern Shale Gas & Oil Production Forum, The Aspen Institute, June 2015.

“Regulatory and Infrastructure Challenges,” Ground Water Protection Council Annual Forum, October 2014.

“OCS Regulatory Update,” Offshore Safety Conference USA 2014, September 2014.

“Battles Continue Over Local Bans on Hydraulic Fracturing,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, August 7, 2014.

“Regulatory and Infrastructure Challenges,” Modern Shale Gas & Oil Production Forum, The Aspen Institute, July 2014.

“Secrets to the Boom Revealed,” Energy Executive Magazine, June 2014.

“LNG Regulatory Prospects for 2014,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, March 2014.

“Updates on North American Projects in Development,” Platts 13th Annual LNG Conference, February 2014.

“Offshore Safety,” Bracewell Environmental Forum, February 2014.

“Project Opposition: The Expanding NGO Toolkit,” Bracewell Environmental Forum, February 2014.

“LNG Exports Year in Review: Unfreezing Regulatory Approvals,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, January 6, 2014.

“California's Next Frontier: Development of the Monterey Shale,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, December 2, 2013.

“Hydraulic Fracturing: The U.S. Experience,” Environmental Law and Regulation in Alberta Conference, November 2013.

“Environmental Challenges in the Marcellus Shale,” American Gas Association Sixth Annual Energy Market Regulation Conference, October 2013.

"Environmental Implications of DOE's Approval of Fourth LNG Export Project," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, September, 30, 2013.

"NY High Court to Hear Cases Determining Future of Hydraulic Fracturing," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, September, 12, 2013.

"Regulatory Challenges for Contractors in the Gulf of Mexico," Offshore Process Safety Conference, September 2013.

"Environmental Disclosures in SEC Filings," Texas Environmental Superconference, August 2013.



Vanderbilt University,
Rhodes College,
B.A., History and International Studies
cum laude

Bar Admissions



United Way of Greater Houston
Alexis de Tocqueville member
United Way of Greater Houston
Women's Initiative member




November 5, 2015
Offshore (UK) - Online

California hydraulic fracturing update

August 12, 2015
Oil & Gas Financial Journal

Deal of the Week: $235 Million Energy Deal

October 9, 2014
Texas Lawyer - Houston Bureau

Texas Environmental Update

September 11, 2014

Battles continue over local bans on hydraulic fracturing

August 7, 2014
Oil & Gas Financial Journal - Online

Secrets to the Boom Revealed

June 27, 2014
Energy Executive

LNG regulatory prospects for 2014

March 14, 2014
Oil & Gas Financial Journal - Online

LNG exports year in review: Unfreezing regulatory approvals

January 6, 2014
Oil & Gas Financial Journal - Online

California's next frontier: Development of the Monterey Shale

December 2, 2013
Oil & Gas Financial Journal - Online

Environmental implications of DOE's approval of fourth LNG export project

October 1, 2013
Oil & Gas Financial Journal - Online

Texas Environmental Update

September 17, 2013

NY High Court to hear cases determining future of hydraulic fracturing

September 12, 2013
Oil & Gas Financial Journal - Online



Chambers USA
Texas Environment, 2006 - 2012, 2016 - 2017
The Legal 500 United States
Energy: Transactional, 2015 - 2016; Environment: Litigation, 2014
Woodward/White, Inc.
Best Lawyers
Environmental Law, 2009 - 2017
Thomson Reuters
Texas Super Lawyers
2010 - 2015
Thomson Reuters
Texas Super Lawyers
Rising Stars, 2006 - 2008
Lawdragon 3000 Leading Lawyers in the United States
2010 - 2011
500 New Stars, New Worlds
Bayou City Publishing, LLC
H Texas
Houston's Top Lawyers, 2007