Department of the Interior

News & Analysis as of

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

New Offshore Well Control Regulations Unveiled to Mixed Reviews

The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced final well control regulations for offshore drilling last week. The rules will purportedly make offshore drilling safer and...more

Well Control Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) has released its final Well Control Rule for off-shore rigs (“Rule”). The Rule is intended to reduce the risk of an offshore blowout,...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

Interior Releases Final Rule for Blowout Prevention Systems and Well Control in Offshore Drilling Operations

On April 14, 2016, the Department of the Interior (DOI), through the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), released a final rule establishing requirements for certain offshore oil and gas drilling,...more

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell: No Drilling in Atlantic Ocean

In a major reversal of the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program announced by the Obama administration on January 28, 2015, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced yesterday that the U.S. government...more

Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing Issued by Secretary Jewell

On January 15, 2016, Interior Secretary Jewell halted federal coal leasing on public lands. Western coal companies are attempting to sort out the implications of the moratorium and exemptions set out in Secretarial Order...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

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (January 2016)

With most state legislative sessions in recess and federal legislative action unlikely until after the November 2016 election, it was no surprise that there were only a handful of new developments in the fracking world during...more

Department of the Interior Announces Comprehensive Review of Federal Coal Program

On January 15, Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the Department of the Interior will launch a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program. During the review, which is...more

US Suspends Coal Leasing on Federal Lands

Legal challenges to moratorium likely as US Department of Interior considers reforms. On Friday, January 15, 2016, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the US will “pause” federal coal...more

New Right-of-Way Regulations on Indian Lands

Every once in a while, infrastructure projects we’re working on involve traversing Indian lands. For those of you involved in such projects, you should take a look at the Final Rule published by the Department of the...more

Alaska Presses D.C. Court of Appeals to Reject Trust Acquisitions in Alaska

The question of whether Alaska Natives may place land in the same federal trust status as Indian tribes in the lower 48 states was widely thought to have been resolved but is now before the Court of Appeals for the District...more

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) New Rights-of-Way Regulations to Become Effective

On December 21, 2015, new rights-of-way regulations on Indian lands will go into effect. These new regulations likely will have an immediate and substantial impact throughout Indian Country, for both Tribes and businesses...more

Seeking Net Benefits: President Obama Issues New Federal Policy on Addressing and Mitigating Environmental Harm Early in the...

On November 3, 2015, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum intended to encourage federal agencies to consider land use planning more holistically, clearly and consistently, addressing mitigation needs before they...more

Presidential Directive Establishes New Compensatory Mitigation Policy, Expanding Future Costs and Obligations for Federally...

On November 3, 2015, President Obama directed key federal agencies to adopt new or more extensive compensatory mitigation policies over the next six to twenty-four months. Once implemented, these policies could block...more

Natural Resource Conservation Subject of White House Directive to Agencies

A recently released Presidential Memorandum will likely spur new policies related to development and natural resources, possibly impacting public agencies, developers and the like. “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources...more

Sen. Barrasso Introduces Carcieri Compromise Bill

More than six years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, has introduced the “Interior Improvement Act” to fix...more

Is There a New War on Indian Country?

Over the past week, two proposals have surfaced that could have profound impacts on Indian Country, and they likely would not be for the better. The first proposal surfaced on October 20 when a Utah congressman...more

To Mitigate or Not to Mitigate: No Longer a Question for Environmental Reviews?

Even the casual college football observer has probably seen by now the wild final play of the Duke-Miami game on October 31. After the game ended, it was determined that Miami literally stole the win as a result of referee...more

Presidential Memo Imparts “Moral Obligation” on Agencies to Mitigate Impacts of Natural Resource Development

On Tuesday, November 3, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum: “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment” (“Memorandum”). The Memorandum was sent to the...more

EIB Energy Highlights: SCOTUS on FERC, Nat Gas Record Year, Oil & Gas Exports, Winter Outlook, Cybersecurity & More

Our goal is to serve as a leading-edge resource for companies navigating the rapidly evolving landscapes of the domestic and global energy markets. Moore & Van Allen’s EIB Energy Highlights is a complement to our Energy...more

Energy & Environment Update - November 2015

Energy and Climate Debate - In his final major effort prior to retiring last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) reached a bipartisan agreement, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, with other House and Senate...more

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