Natural Resources

News & Analysis as of

Monumental Effort By Some To Comply With Conflict Minerals Rule: Is It Helping Or Hurting?

For some companies, compliance with the SEC’s conflict minerals rule required a truly monumental effort. According to this article in the WSJ, one company identified over 38,000 suppliers– pause on that a moment: thirty-eight...more

Drilling at depth – proposed changes to subterranean rights

The government’s consultation on underground drilling access for the extraction of gas, oil and geothermal energy came to an end on 15 August 2014. The consultation sought views on the government’s proposal to introduce new...more

International News: Focus on Mining and Metals

In This Issue: - Features ..Investors in Africa Benefit from Regional Trading Blocs ..Understanding the COMESA Merger Control Regime ..Protecting Your UK Business Against Departing...more

House Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing On Characteristics Of Bakken Crude Oil

On September 9, 2014, the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittees on Energy and Oversight held a joint hearing entitled Bakken Petroleum: The Substance of Energy Independence. The hearing examined the...more

Malian Mining Sector Update: Mining Licenses Revocations and Mitigation Strategies

On 31 July 2014, the government of Mali announced that approximately 30 % of all mining permits—spanning a surface area of more than 5,000 square miles—had been cancelled in order to “clean up the sector.” Permits revocations...more

United States Claims Victory As WTO Appellate Body Issues Report In Dispute Over China's Rare Earth Export Restraints

On August 7, 2014, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body upheld a March 2014 Panel decision regarding China's export restrictions on rare earth materials including tungsten, molybdenum, and other rare earth...more

House Committee Holds Hearing on Proposed Endangered Species Act Amendments

This morning, the House Committee on Natural Resources is holding a legislative hearing on six proposed amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The six proposed amendments are...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

EPA Lays Out Its Vision for the Future of the RCRA Regulatory Program

Enacted in the bicentennial year of 1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is approaching its 40th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, and to lay a path forward for the future of the RCRA program, EPA...more

Zinc: It's Not Just for Lifeguards

Minerals Make Life - an initiative created by the National Mining Association - has recently developed an infographic explaining the importance of the mineral zinc....more

What Remains of Act 13 in Pennsylvania after Robinson? Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Strikes Further Provisions of Act 13 as...

Earlier this year, we reported in our Client Alert dated January 15, 2014, on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013). In Robinson, the Supreme Court...more

Alaska Department of Natural Resources Seeks Comment on Precedent-Setting Instream Flow Water Right

Instream flow rights can be controversial among consumptive water users because they decrease the legally available supply of water for other uses that may arise in the future. Conversely, instream flow rights are often...more

Did an Ohio Spill Expose a Leak in Ohio’s Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Laws?

After a recent accident at an Ohio unconventional drilling site, Governor Kasich expressed concern about the state’s fracturing-fluids-disclosure laws. The June accident spilled chemicals ­– including the drilling company’s...more

Will the Commerce Department’s Approval to Export Condensate Change the World?

The reporting in late June of the Commerce Department’s private rulings that authorized two companies to export condensate has ignited discussions regarding the real prospect of changes in U.S. oil export policy. Industry...more

Environmental Alert: "EPA's Inspector General Says EPA Must Improve Efforts regarding Methane Emissions from Pipelines"

On July 25, 2014, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines.” In this report, OIG cited President Obama’s Climate...more

Congress Moves to Assist Renewable Development on Government Land

Congress recently considered three bills intended to facilitate renewable energy development on federal lands. On July 29, the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources considered H.R....more

Court Provides Guidelines on Valuing Natural Resources in Eminent Domain Proceedings

Valuing mineral rights in eminent domain proceedings is inherently speculative and can lead to wide swings in property valuations. So how do appraisers best deal with the uncertainty involved in mineral exploitation? The...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

Regulatory Activity - EPA TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON CLEAN POWER PLAN - This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold public hearings in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh to...more

Provincial Jurisdiction Confirmed Regarding Treaty Rights – Supreme Court of Canada’s Keewatin Decision

In Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48 (Decision), also known as the Keewatin Decision, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) confirmed that provinces have the power to take up treaty lands for...more

Colorado Supreme Court Clears Ballot Initiative Aimed at Bolstering Local Control of Oil and Gas Drilling

On June 30, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2013–2014 #89[1] (Initiative 89). In affirming the finding of the state’s Ballot Title Setting...more

Exports of Lightly Refined Natural Gas Condensate Approved by Federal Agency

On June 24, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of Commerce issued two advisory opinions (AOs) allowing for the export from the United States of what was reported to be “unrefined” oil. The...more

Capital Thinking: Energy

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY - SENATE ENR COMMITTEE VOTES TO APPROVE FERC NOMINEES, KEYSTONE XL BILL - On Wednesday, June 18, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a business meeting in executive...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

REGULATORY ACTIVITY - EPA APPROVES NEW MEASUREMENTS FOR OZONE - In significant news for entities attempting to maintain or attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs), the Environmental Protection...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

Congress and Industry Want Resource Extraction Rules Finalized

In 2013 the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the SEC resource extraction disclosure rules that were mandated by Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Fifty-eight Democratic lawmakers have...more

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