Energy & Utilities Indigenous Peoples

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Tribal Groundwater Resources – Management Considerations Under Current Law

In the arid southwest, water is the most important and precious natural resource. In some communities, groundwater is the primary source, and often sole source, of water for domestic, agricultural irrigation, industrial, and...more

Alberta’s Metis Consultation Framework

On April 4, 2016, the Government of Alberta (“GoA”) released The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2015 (the “Policy”) as well as The Government of...more

Three Key Takeaways from NAFOA's 34th Annual Conference

The Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) held its 34th annual conference on April 17-20, 2016, at the Gila River Indian Community's Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Phoenix. NAFOA is a national non-profit...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (April 2016)

The new year brought with it several noteworthy developments in the fracking world. These include: a new lawsuit in connection with the Keystone Pipeline; legal action against the Department of Interior (“DOI”) Federal Bureau...more

Court Holds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is Not Obligated to Ensure Migratory Bird Treaty Act or Bald and Golden Eagle...

On March 29, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) in a lawsuit involving the grant of a lease to Tule Wind, LLC for...more

Supreme Court Nominee Has No Clear Track Record on Indian Country Cases

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland on March 16, 2016, to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Garland now serves as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Despite...more

Supreme Court to Hear Appeals on Role of Tribunals in Duty to Consult

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted leave to appeal in two cases concerning the ability of a regulatory tribunal to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult. In Hamlet of Clyde River v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical...more

Environmental, Regulatory and Aboriginal Developments in the Canadian Energy Sector: Federal Government Announces Interim Measure...

On January 27, 2016, the Government of Canada (“GOC”) introduced interim measures for pipeline reviews. The new GOC made an election promise to overhaul the current regulatory system for major natural resource projects....more

Northern Gateway: British Columbia must Issue its Own Approval and Consult with First Nations

In Coastal First Nations v British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34, the Court decided British Columbia must issue its own environmental decision and consult First Nations on the Northern Gateway Project (NGP), instead of...more

Suspension of coal leasing

The United States Department of the Interior has announced a temporary suspension of coal leasing on public lands pending a comprehensive review of the federal coal program by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Public...more

Interior's Proposed Rule on Flaring Would Restrict Oil and Gas Development on Tribal Lands

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), on Jan. 22, 2016, proposed a rule developed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that would limit the flaring, leaking and venting of natural gas on public and tribal lands....more

Department of the Interior Releases Proposed Rule to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas

Advances in oil and gas production technology, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have dramatically increased the production of oil and gas in the United States by unlocking shale gas and other resources...more

Supreme Court Update: Montgomery V. Louisiana (14-280), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission V. Electric Power Supply Association...

The decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana (14-280) was a biggie, and not just because it retroactively applied the Court's 2012 holding that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth...more

Utah Congressmen Unveil Landmark Public Land Bill

On January 20, Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz unveiled a “discussion draft” of the Utah Public Lands Initiative Act. The proposed bill undertakes the difficult task of balancing economic development and...more

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway...more

First Nations Must Show Specific Impact on Rights to be Entitled to Pursue a Regulatory Appeal

The Alberta Court of Appeal, in O’Chiese First Nation v Alberta Energy Regulator, dismissed two applications by the O’Chiese First Nation seeking permission to appeal decisions by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) approving...more

2015 ONRR Civil Penalties: Where, Why, and How Much

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (“ONRR”), a unit within the United States Department of the Interior, is responsible for collecting and disbursing revenues from energy production on federal and Indian lands and...more

BIA Finalizes Reforms for Obtaining Rights of Way on Indian Lands

On November 19, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published a final rule that makes sweeping changes to the process for obtaining rights of way for proposed oil and gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, railroads,...more

Failing on the Big Stage: Another Attempt to Regulate Fracking Falls Short

In March 2015, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) became the most prominent governmental entity to join in on the attempts to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. More specifically, the DOI’s sweeping...more

Federal Energy Legislative Update

There has been recent action in Congress on issues important to the oil and gas industry. This post provides an overview of the major energy-related bills in Congress. H.R. 538, the Native American Energy Act – On...more

Alberta Court Strikes Out Pleadings Challenging Validity of Oil and Gas Permits

A challenge to the validity of oil and gas permits outside the judicial review process is a collateral attack and will be struck, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench held recently in Ominayak v Penn West Petroleum Ltd, 2015...more

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Blocking Enforcement of New BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming granted a motion for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recently issued hydraulic...more

BREAKING: Wyoming Federal Court Halts Implementation Of Public Lands Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

Late yesterday, Judge Scott Skavdahl of the federal district court in Wyoming issued a much-anticipated order granting a series of preliminary injunction motions filed in litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. New Interim DEP Commissioner - On Tuesday, September 8, at 4:30 pm Avery Day was sworn in as...more

U.S. EPA Proposes New Rules on Air Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector: Impacts to Owners and Operators

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a suite of proposed actions affecting the oil and gas industry. EPA’s proposed Clean Air Act rules address methane emissions from new and modified...more

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