Natural Resources

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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

EU Timber Regulations - How Robust Are Your Due Diligence Systems?

Whilst the European Timber Regulation dates back to 2010, it only took direct effect in Member States last year. Amongst other things, it requires operators to ensure they have due diligence systems in place to properly...more

New Disclosures Required Regarding Subsurface Rights In Florida

On May 12, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law CS/CS/CS/HB 489, regarding subsurface rights disclosures. The bill creates a new Section 689.29, Florida Statutes. Beginning October 1, 2014, a seller of residential...more

SMARA Amendments Moving Forward in State Senate

SB 1270, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), survived the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water on April 29, 2014 by a 7-2 vote. ...more

Congressional Questions on LNG Exports Could Impact the Jones Act

Last month, Congress began consideration of comprehensive legislation to reauthorize the Coast Guard and other maritime transportation programs. Consideration of such legislation is an annual occurrence and generally moves...more

Trade & Manufacturing Alert - May 2014

In This Issue: - United States And Japan Hit Bumps On The Road To TPP Agreement - Senate Commerce Committee Passes Manufacturing Bill - WTO Panel Finds China's Export Restraints On Rare Earth Minerals Violate Trade...more

House Natural Resources Committee Sends Four ESA Reform Bills To The House Floor

After a heated markup hearing on Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee voted to send four bills that would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. ...more

SEC Deadline for Conflict Minerals Rule Fast Approaching

Companies have until May 31, 2014 to comply with the conflict-minerals provisions of the Dodd-Frank law (Section 1502). Enacted in response to U.S. concern about funding violent activities in the Democratic Republic of the...more

Why Conflict Minerals Reporting May Be Good for Business

If your company files with the SEC and uses components that contain tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold (3T&G) sourced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries, yours is one of thousands of U.S. companies...more

A Resurgence in U.S. Manufacturing Requires a Sensible Mining Permitting Process

A new short video found at the website for Minerals Make Life - a National Mining Association initiative - illuminates the close ties between the widespread resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and the need for...more

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

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