Energy & Utilities Indigenous Peoples

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Changes To Iron Ore Royalties In Western Australia

On 28 November 2014, the Western Australian Government made changes to the manner by which iron ore royalties payable to the Government are calculated. These changes more clearly prescribe the scope of permissible deductions...more

FERC rules tribes exempt from some energy regulation

When a Native American tribe acquires a hydroelectric power plant licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, does the project become exempt from some federal regulations? Yes, according to a FERC order...more

The Myth of the Regulatory Gap: BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Compared to Existing State Law

For the better part of the last decade, oil and natural gas production from domestic wells has increased steadily. Technical advancements in identifying promising sources of oil and gas and extracting hydrocarbons from...more

Senators Critique Proposed Federal Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

On September 30, 2014, a block of twelve Democratic U.S. Senators presented a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), urging stricter fracking regulations. The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”),...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds TERO Requirements in Indian Country Mineral Leasing

Conducting commercial operations on tribal lands can pose significant challenges for non-Indian companies. Demonstrating sensitivity to the cultural nuances of Native American society and navigating the complex web of federal...more

Governor Signs Two New CEQA Bills

Governor Brown has signed two new bills amending the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). AB 52 establishes new consultation procedures with California Native American tribes, and provides that an adverse change to a...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewables provide 56 percent of new U.S. generating capacity in first half of 2014: Electric Light & Power - Jul 21: Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower provided 55.7 percent of...more

The Wind River Reservation Treatment-as-State Controversy: How Confusion Undermines Opportunities for Cooperative Governance

Under certain statutes, tribes can exercise civil jurisdiction over non-Indians. For instance, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act allows tribes to pursue claims for natural resource...more

Saskatchewan Court Holds That Duty to Consult Not Triggered for Crown-Issued Oil Sands Exploration Permits

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench held in Buffalo River Dene Nation v The Minister of Energy and Resources and Scott Land & Lease Ltd, 2014 SKQB 69, that a decision of the Minister of Energy and Resources to post for...more

EPA’s Proposed Rule for New Power Plants Could Trigger Excessive Title V Permit Fees

Proposed Greenhouse Gas Performance Standards for new power plants will have broader implications for Clean Air Act operating permit fees. The public comment period will soon close on May 9, 2014 for the Environmental...more

Snohomish tidal project wins FERC pilot license

Federal regulators have issued a pilot license for a proposed tidal energy project in Washington. Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a 10-year pilot license to Public Utility District No. 1 of...more

Bureau of Land Management to Focus Anew on Venting and Flaring on Federal and Indian Lands

Consistent with the administration’s ongoing focus on methane emissions, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is initiating a process of inviting feedback for the anticipated rulemaking regarding Onshore Oil and Gas Order 9,...more

Fish And Wildlife Service Considers Increased Regulation Of Oil And Gas In Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on February 24 that it will be developing proposed regulations to adopt a significantly more stringent approach to the management of oil and gas activities associated with any...more

Alberta Court Grants Order Under Public Lands Act Halting Lubicon Blockade

On December 16, 2013, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench granted a long-term Order to Penn West Petroleum Ltd. prohibiting several members of the Lubicon Lake Cree from continuing to blockade a permitted access road in the...more

Adoption Of Bill 70 Amending The Mining Act: Overview Of Amendments

After several failed attempts at reforming the Mining Act, on December 10, 2013 the National Assembly finally adopted Bill 70, An Act to amend the Mining Act (“Bill 70”). Bill 70 draws upon a number of the measures...more

Adoption Of Bill 70, An Act To Amend The Mining Act: Amendments Relating To Native Communities And Reactions Of Those Communities

On last December 10th, the National Assembly of Québec adopted Bill 70, An Act to amend the Mining Act (“Bill 70”). The adoption of Bill 70 came in the wake of three aborted attempts to modify Quebec’s mining regime in recent...more

Australia: Federal Court confirms National Native Title Tribunal's approach to future act determinations

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article may refer to the names of people who are deceased. Summary - In Watson on behalf of Nyikina & Mangala v Backreef Oil Pty Ltd...more

Tighter Regulations Amid the Fracking Fray: The Bureau of Land Management’s proposals could affect production on 700 million acres...

The federal government is poised to tighten regulation of hydraulic fracturing — the drilling method behind the boom in U.S. natural gas production — by proposing to revise rules affecting 700 million acres of federal and...more

Washington State Supreme Court Issues Landmark Ruling: “Overriding Considerations Of The Public Interest” Do Not Justify...

On October 3, 2013, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in Swinomish Indian Tribal Community v. Wash. Dept. of Ecology (No. 87672-0, Wash. Oct. 3, 2013) that the Department of Ecology exceeded its authority by applying...more

Envirnomental Regulatory Update: Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy - Volume 32, Issue 3 - October 2013

Oil and Gas Update - Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations - Bureau of Land Management: On May 16, 2013, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a Supplemental Notice of Proposed...more

Alberta's Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2013

On August 16, 2013, the Government of Alberta ("Alberta") released its Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Natural Resource Management, 2013 (the "Policy"). The Policy is the product of extensive consultation with...more

House Committee Advances Bill to Override BLM Fracking Regulations in Favor of State Rules

Last Week, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee advanced a bill that would require the Department of Interior (DOI) to defer to state rules regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. HR 2728,...more

Tax Issues on the Navajo Nation

Recent Updates - Effective January 1, 2013, the Sales Tax for goods and services delivered on the Navajo reservation increased from 4% to 5% of gross receipts. Services are so broadly defined that, unlike many states,...more

Posed Amendments To The Yukon Quartz Mining Act And Placer Mining Act

As a result of the Ross River Dena lawsuit against the Yukon Government with respect to consultation on the granting of rights to miners to conduct work without consulting and accommodating First Nations, the Yukon Court of...more

ICMM Releases Position Statement on Indigenous Peoples Establishing Commitment to FPIC

The International Council of Mining & Metals (“ICMM”) recently released a position statement on indigenous peoples and mining that explicitly requires its 22 member companies to work to obtain the free, prior, and informed...more

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