News & Analysis as of

Indigenous Peoples Energy & Utilities

Read Indigenous Peoples Law updates, alerts, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

U.S. Supreme Court Considering Case with Major Implications for Western Water Rights

by Snell & Wilmer on

Several months ago, an earlier post in this blog described a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that recognized a federal reserved water right to groundwater [see Ninth Circuit Holds that Federal Reserved Water...more

DOI Actions Underscore Need For Tribal Consultation

At this point in the Obama administration eight years ago, Secretary Ken Salazar was clear on his commitment to restoring tribal homelands. Embracing his trust and treaty responsibilities, Secretary Salazar left no ambiguity...more

Currents - Energy Industry Insights - October 2017 #4

EPA to Restrict Scientific Advisers Who Get Agency Grants - "Pruitt did not say how restrictive the policy would be. But it has the potential to greatly reduce the body of expert scientists who could serve on the boards...more

Court Declines to Vacate Environmental Assessment of Dakota Access Pipeline, Permitting Oil to Flow during Remand

On October 11, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia declined to vacate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) Environmental Assessment (“EA”) of the Dakota Access Pipeline while the agency...more

The Department of the Interior Proposes Additional Regulatory Hurdles to Restoring Tribal Homelands

On October 4, the Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs proposed substantial changes to the current land into trust process by circulating a Consultation Draft to Tribal leaders. This new proposal impacts every Tribe....more

Court Holds Project Construction Constitutes “Mining” on Tribal Lands

by WilmerHale on

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that excavation work performed by a private company when installing wind turbines constituted “mining” under the federal regulation governing mineral...more

Schwabe Defends Tribal Sovereignty

The trial team of Brien Flanagan, Aukjen Ingraham and Sarah Lawson successfully stood up to outside parties attempting to interfere in the Navajo Nation’s economic activity. Federal Judge Steven Logan granted the Navajo...more

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Issues Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Natural Gas...

by Hogan Lovells on

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Office of Energy Projects, recently issued its Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Natural Gas Projects (Guidelines)....more

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies when regulatory bodies may be relied on to fulfill the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal...

by Dentons on

As the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) explained in Haida and Carrier Sekani, it is open to legislatures to empower regulatory bodies to play a role in fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal peoples. Carrier Sekani...more

Making a constitutional case out of constructing pipelines

by Dentons on

In recent years, one of the most significant challenges faced by major pipeline projects has been the constitutional question of whether governments have satisfied their duty to consult Aboriginal groups as required by...more

California Governor Signs Climate Change Law Extending the Cap-And-Trade Program Until 2030

by Holland & Knight LLP on

AB 398 passed in both the California State Senate and Assembly with a two-thirds majority of bipartisan lawmakers. It received support from businesses and environmental advocates alike. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill...more

The National Energy Board's Role in Crown Consultation

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court released two seminal decisions that clarify the role of administrative tribunals, such as the National Energy Board ("NEB"), in fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult with Indigenous...more

SCC Confirms the Role of Regulatory Tribunals in Aboriginal Consultation

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released two decisions on the role of the National Energy Board (NEB) and other regulatory tribunals in aboriginal consultation: Clyde River (Hamlet) v. Petroleum...more

Funding Opportunities Available for Energy Development on Tribal Lands

by Holland & Knight LLP on

As the Trump Administration seeks to promote American energy independence, new funding opportunities for deploying tribal energy projects on tribal lands are now available. These opportunities are the first step by the...more

Indian Country Should Defend Environmental Protections

Doing exactly what he promised to do throughout his campaign, Donald Trump has been rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations since his first full day in office when he issued an executive order to expedite approval of...more

Canadian Government's Proposal to Reform Canada's Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Regime

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On June 29, 2017, the federal government released a discussion paper entitled "Environmental and Regulatory Reviews" ("Discussion Paper"), which proposes broad changes to the federal environmental assessment and regulatory...more

Treaty Obligations to Protect Fish Habitat From Degradation Upheld

by Perkins Coie on

In July 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington violated tribal treaty obligations by building and maintaining barrier culverts that block 1,000 linear miles of streams suitable...more

Foley Hoag Releases Summary Report on Good Practices for Oil Pipelines, as Commissioned by the Dakota Access Consortium of Lenders

On May 9, we released a public summary of our report “Good Practice for Managing the Social Impacts of Oil Pipelines in the United States.” The independent report was prepared by Amy Lehr, Cicely Parseghian, and Gare...more

Two Bureau of Land Management Regulations on Life Support Under President Trump

by Jones Day on

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to pull the plug on two rules issued by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") in 2015 and 2016. Legal and legislative developments over the next...more

Trump Administration's Budget Blueprint Calls For Significant Impacts to Environmental Programs

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Trump Administration unveiled significant rollbacks in funding for federal agencies when it released its Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again on March 16, 2017. The President's proposed budget priorities would...more

Tribes’ Federal Water Rights Include Groundwater—But How Much?

by Stoel Rives LLP on

The Ninth Circuit recently ruled that federal reserved water rights held by Indian tribes extend to groundwater underlying reservation lands. Determining the quantity of that groundwater, however, is reserved for another day....more

US Army Corps of Engineers Updates Five-Year Nationwide Permits – USACE Generally Declines to Apply More Rigorous Limits, but...

by King & Spalding on

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reissued 52 nationwide permits (NWPs) and issued two new NWPs, along with general conditions and definitions. NWPs are a type of general permit authorized under...more

Economic Conditions, Not Environmental Regulation, to Shutter Arizona Coal Plant 25 Years Sooner Than Expected

by Snell & Wilmer on

In a demonstration that not all regulations solve the problems they were intended to, and a testament to the power of market conditions, owners of the controversial Navajo Generating Station (NGS) power plant near Lake Powell...more

BB&K Represents Water District in Historic Indian Water Rights Settlement

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Congress enacted the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indian Water Rights Settlement Act in late 2016 as part of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (S.612). The Act, in part, culminates years of...more

EIB Energy Highlights: Dakota Access & Keystone XL Pipelines Revived, FERC on Energy Storage & Pipeline Rates & More

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC on

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

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