Department of the Interior

News & Analysis as of

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

Administration Announces New Mitigation Policies

This afternoon, the Administration issued two policies intended to encourage private investment in natural resource conservation and to facilitate application of the mitigation hierarchy—avoiding, minimizing and compensating...more

Energy & Environment Update - October 2015 #3

Energy and Climate Debate: Congress returns from the Columbus Day holiday this week to full schedules in both chambers, including several energy and environment hearings of interest. In the meantime, the Obama...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

Indian Tribes Have Important November 19 CSC Filing Deadline - The DOI Settlement Funds are Available for Tribes with...

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico has preliminarily approved a final settlement for the parties in Ramah Navajo Chapter et al. v. Jewell, a class action against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)...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

Greater Sage-Grouse Avoids ESA Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, that it would not list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). This decision represents a change of direction...more

Sage-Grouse Not Listed Under Esa In Wake Of New State-Led Conservation Efforts

Federal officials deem that state-led efforts are sufficient to protect the bird’s habitat for the near future. On September 22, the administration of US President Barack Obama announced that, given the “unprecedented”...more

Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing Vacated by Federal Court - What It Means for Energy Development

Last week, in a decision that surprised many, a federal court in Texas overturned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision last year to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as “threatened” under the federal...more

Federal District Court Strikes Down Eagle Act Rule

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck down the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s so-called “30-Year Rule,” which had extended from 5 years to 30 years the duration of...more

Federal Government Continues to Target Big Coal

The United States Department of Interior’s (DOI) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has proposed new regulations requiring coal mining companies to protect and restore streams impacted by nearby mining...more

Proposed Rule from US Department of the Interior Increases Pressure on Coal Mining Industry

On July 27, 2015, the US Department of the Interior, through its Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), proposed to revise regulations adopted under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of...more

D.C. District Court Judge Chastises the Department of the Interior, Ordering It to Deliver a Plan on a BLM Drilling Permit, After...

On July 27, 2015, D.C. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon entered a strongly worded order in Solenex LLC v. Jewell, chastising the defendants, including the Department of the Interior and numerous other federal agencies,...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Survey Habitat Conservation Banks

On July 24, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a notice seeking authorization from the Office of Management and Budget to evaluate habitat conservation banks established under the Endangered Species...more

Lawsuit Filed Over State Water Board’s Temporary Modification of Water Quality Objectives

Consistent with Governor Brown’s Drought Proclamation and Executive Orders, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) sought and obtained a temporary modification of certain...more

Practical and Ethical Considerations in Confessing Error on Appeal

A new client calls and hires you to uphold on appeal the splendid order its trial counsel obtained in its favor. You eagerly read the order but quickly realize, to your horror, that the trial judge got it wrong. What should...more

Salazar Says Draft NEPA GHG Guide Leaves Host Of Unresolved Issues

Former Obama administration Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is warning that the White House’s proposed guide for assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) leaves open a host of...more

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