Natural Resources

News & Analysis as of

D.C. Circuit Rules A Provision Of The SEC Conflict Minerals Rule Violates The First Amendment

On April 14, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Nat'l Ass'n of Mfrs. v. SEC, 2014 BL 102614, D.C. Cir., No. 13-5252, 4/14/14) upheld all aspects of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s conflict mineral rule,...more

Mandatory Reporting Standards For Payments By Extractive Industry Companies

The Government of Canada recently issued a Consultation Paper regarding proposed mandatory reporting standards (the proposed standards) for payments by extractive industry companies to governments, both domestic and foreign,...more

Native Gas And Storage Gas: Who Owns It?

Northern National Gas Company vs. Approximately 9117 Acres in Pratt, Camden and Reno Counties, Kansas shows the relationship between Kansas oil and gas law and the Kansas Underground Storage Act (KSA §55-1201 et seq)....more

New Information on Demand for Rare Earths Demonstrates Need to Increase Efficiency in U.S. Mining Permitting Processes

Minerals Make Life - a national, non-profit mining association - has recently developed an illuminating infographic indicating the increased demand for rare earth minerals. Presence of these minerals in the earth’s crust is...more

Substantial Rewriting of SMARA Proposed Bill Would Decrease Local Agencies' Role: SB 1270 May Also Adversely Affect Local...

Under proposed Senate Bill 1270 (Pavley), the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) would be substantially revised, reducing the role of local agencies in regulating mines in their jurisdictions. Because SB 1270 would...more

Ministerial Might – ICAC Opens the Door for Increased Oversight of NSW Tenement Dealings

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has recently introduced the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW) (Bill) in the Legislative Assembly. The Bill proposes to amend the Mining Act 1992 (NSW) (Mining Act)...more

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board Approves Model Standards For Local Silica Sand Mining Regulations

On March 19, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved its proposed model standards for local silica sand mining regulations and planning. The standards are intended to serve as guidelines for city and county...more

Water Scarcity: A Role for Reasonableness and Physical Solution in Water Law in an Era of Climate Change

Climate change is essentially a water problem. Whether it is drought, flood, changing hydrology or rising sea levels, the impacts of climate change all involve water to some extent. Even those who deny that human activities...more

Proposed EU Legislation on Conflict Minerals Published

On 5 March, the European Commission (“the Commission”) published its long-awaited draft legislation on conflict minerals. The proposal for a regulation setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence...more

Administrative Law Judge Rules Camera-Equipped Model Airplanes Are Cleared for Take-Off

A ruling by an administrative law judge punches a hole through the FAA's ban on the unlicensed use of commercial drones. The decision may be significant for ongoing discussions in Congress and in Indian Country about drone...more

Ivory Coast: New Mining Code

A new mining code (the “New Mining Code”) was voted by the Ivorian Parliament on March 5. Current mining titles will be valid for their remaining term but their renewals will be subject to the provisions of the New Mining...more

Oral Argument Recap: Ohio Supreme Court Considers Home Rule in Challenge to Zoning Ordinances Restricting Drilling

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held oral argument to determine the scope of Ohio’s constitutional guarantee of municipal “home rule.” The case—brought by the city of Munroe Falls, Ohio against Beck Energy Corp. for...more

ML Strategies’ Weekly Energy and Environment Update – Week of February 17, 2014

With Senator Max Baucus’ (D-MT) confirmation as ambassador to China, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mary Landrieu (D-CA) assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Finance and Energy and Natural Resources Committees, respectively,...more

Reaping What You Sow – City Of Dallas Sued By Trinity East Energy

Suppose I own a large tract of land in the region of the Barnett Shale, the exclusive right to allow (or prevent) drilling on the aforesaid land, and a desparate need for funds. You have $19 million and the desire to exploit...more

Feds’ Reliance on Environmental Activism Underscores Need for Lacey Act Compliance

The search warrant recently executed by U.S. Customs and Fish and Wildlife Service agents on a Virginia-based flooring wholesaler surrounded allegations that the company had illegally imported wood in violation of the Lacey...more

Mineral Matters - Winter 2014

Introduction - Welcome to the latest edition of Minerals Matters and a slightly belated Happy New Year to you all. No doubt as you read this the holiday season seems a long time ago, but hopefully you had the oppor...more

Domestic Mineral Processing and Beneficiation in Indonesian Mining Sector

Introduction and Background - As participants in the Indonesian mining sector continue to consider the implications of the 2009 mining law requiring certain types of in-country processing and beneficiation, the...more

Comparison of Typical MLP and Yieldco Structures

The rise of master limited partnerships (MLPs) as an asset class has coincided with investors’ desire for stable and growing cash flow. In 2013, there were 21 initial public offerings (IPOs) of MLPs and more are on the way in...more

ONRR Plans Aggressive Enforcement of "Marketable Condition" Rule

New ONRR initiative sets presumptive costs of making gas marketable and will require lessees to affirmatively demonstrate costs that differ from ONRR assumptions. The Department of Interior, Office of Natural...more

Senator Landrieu Ready to Take Chair's Gavel on Powerful Senate Energy Committee: A Positive Outcome for the Oil and Gas Industry

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has confirmed today that she will take the position as Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as soon as next week. (See previous post dated December 31, 3013.)...more

Tanzania's Natural Gas Policy

The publication of Tanzania's first Natural Gas Policy (NGP) is seen as a significant moment in Tanzania's ascendance in the global energy industry. The ascendance has been propelled by major gas field discoveries in the last...more

Rumblings From A Louisiana Seismic Agreement

If the significance of a lawsuit can be gauged by the 23 lawyers and 10 firms identified in the opinion, Olympia Minerals, LLC, et al v. HS Resources, Inc., et al., is as noteworthy as Bush v. Gore, Brown v. Board of...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

Future Climate Scenarios - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released phase-two of its National Stormwater Calculator. EPA highlights that “the updated calculator includes future climate vulnerability...more

White House Proposes Sustainable Shale Gas Growth Zones; Praises Role of Natural Gas in U.S. Energy Policy

A fact-sheet released by the White House following Tuesday’s State of the Union Address announced the Obama Administration’s intent to work with Congress, State and local governments to create Sustainable Shale Gas Growth...more

Indonesian Government Imposes Export Ban on Nickel and Bauxite

As of January 12, Indonesia has banned the export of the unprocessed ores, nickel and bauxite. The ban may have consequences for investments in the area and could trigger international claims by foreign investors and...more

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