There has been increasing opposition, sometimes vehement, to the development of energy projects of all kinds over the last decade.

This opposition has been fueled by a number of factors, including concerns about climate change; impacts to natural and cultural resources; the alteration of the natural landscape; public safety and health; all within a context of changing technology, politics, and culture. Pipelines have become focal points of conflict.

Pipeline construction conflict can occur due to harm or fear of harm to landowner property, the environment or other physical assets, poor communication, or even for symbolic reasons. Building relationships and improving understanding during a pipeline project is essential yet especially difficult due to the pace of construction and the geographic extent of these projects.

To help reflect on this significant challenge, the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), a nonprofit organization committed to building collaboration on today’s most significant and complex social, environmental, and economic challenges, and ERM undertook a joint effort to investigate the following question:

Given current controversies across the United States regarding the construction of natural gas, oil, and liquids pipelines, what are "better" practices in conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution before and during project construction?

This white paper is intended to help those seeking to minimize social, environmental and material damage due to conflicts during pipeline construction. Moreover, it aims to highlight and promote respect, cooperation, and continuous improvement as an industry standard.