Natural Resources Law Insights
Revisiting the Deed Records in Texas – Is It “One and Done” or Constant Monitoring?
Terry I. Cross | McClure & Cross LLP
Once title in a transaction is confirmed and the transaction closes, does the new owner need to periodically recheck or constantly monitor the Deed Records to make sure a villain has not “stolen” their title or some other threat to owner’s title has not been recorded? The Deed Records were not designed to serve as a bulletin board for the posting of title claims, but there may be fact patterns that send the owner back to the Deed Records after their title vests.
Read More Here.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Revisions to Eagle Take Permit Regulations
Sandra Snodgrass | Holland & Hart
On September 30, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule that would revise the regulations for the eagle take permit program under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The new regulations would include provisions regarding the administration of specific and general permits for incidental take, compensatory mitigation requirements, incidental take permits for three specific activity types, and the take of eagle nests.
Read More Here.
The “Free Rider” in Louisiana – The Louisiana Risk Fee Act
Patrick Ottinger | Ottinger Hebert L.L.C. and Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University
In Louisiana, the practice of “free riding” was essentially unrestrained or unfettered before adoption of the Risk Fee Act in 1984. In 2012, controversial amendments were made to the Risk Fee Act that required the operator to pay over to a free-riding lessee the necessary proceeds to pay its lessor royalty. In August, the Legislature adopted amendments to the Risk Fee Act that made additional progress to address the situation of the free rider.
Read More Here.
Like Inflation, Investment in Critical Minerals Isn’t Transitory
John Jacus, Almira Moronne, Martine Ventello | Davis Graham & Stubbs
As part of ongoing attempts by the U.S. government to promote domestic availability of “critical minerals,’” certain provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act use tax credits as an incentive. Outside the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. government and other organizations may use other definitions and rely on additional criteria to identify a mineral as “critical.”
Read More Here.
Ownership and Utilization of Subsurface Pore Spaces in North Dakota – A Comment on Recent Legal Developments
Tade Oyewunmi, LLD | University of North Dakota School of Law
In 2019, the North Dakota Legislative Assembly enacted SB 2344 to clarify ownership and use of pore space. The law essentially authorizes mineral estate holders to utilize pore space without compensation to the surface owner. In its recent 2022 decision in Northwest Landowners Association v. State, the North Dakota Supreme Court invalidated certain provisions of the law as unconstitutional “takings” of surface owners’ property rights.
Read More Here.
Members in the News!
Jana Grauberger, Liskow & Lewis and the current Chair of the 69th Annual Institute, recently interviewed Rebecca Watson on a Women’s Energy Network podcast about her expansive career, from creating policy and law for the federal government to counseling oil and gas, renewable, and mining companies on regulatory compliance. Rebecca is the former Assistant Secretary of Lands and Minerals Management at the U.S. Department of the Interior and a former president of the Foundation. Listen to the podcast.
Professor Erin Ryan, Florida State University College of Law and current member of the Foundation’s Natural Resources Law Teachers Committee, has been awarded the 2021-2022 University Teaching Award for Innovation in Teaching – Graduate. The University Teaching Award recognizes teaching excellence as multi-faceted, involving areas such as providing a positive role model to students, imparting a respect for truth and love of learning, challenging students’ thinking and assumptions, showing respect for all person, and innovative instructional techniques.
Professor Tara Righetti, Vice Chair of the Foundation’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, was recently named the University of Wyoming Occidental Chair in Energy and Environmental Policies, an endowed chair jointly administered by the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. Read the press release.
Casey Terrell, Crowley Fleck, PLLP, was named a 2022 “On the Rise” Honoree from the American Bar Association. Casey serves as the Vice Chair of the Foundation’s Young Professionals Committee. Read the release from the ABA.
Joseph J. Perkins, Stoel Rives LLP, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Tectonic Metals, Inc. Joe is a past Trustee of the Foundation, has served on numerous committees, and is currently a reporter for the Foundation’s Mineral and Energy Law Newsletter. Read the press release.
Patrick Ottinger, Ottinger Hebert L.L.C., was recently awarded the LSU Mineral Law Institute Distinguished Service Award for his invaluable service to LSU Law and the LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center. Read the press release.
Carlos Vilhena, Pinheiro Neto Advogados in Brazil, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of G Mining Ventures Corporation. Carlos currently serves as the Secretary of the Foundation and has been an active leader for almost a decade serving on the Foundation’s Board of Directors and various other committees. Read the press release.
Highlights of Recent In Person Programs
The Foundation has held five in-person institutes and short courses, one virtual institute, and two webinars since the 68th Annual Institute in July. Read more about these timely, informative, and engaging programs organized and presented by Foundation volunteers and how you can still access these programs.
West Virginia v. EPA – Major Questions and the Future of Climate Change Regulation
This webinar that was presented live on September 20 addressed the recent Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA that struck down the Clean Power Plan, a regulation promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act, based on the “major questions doctrine.” The speakers also discussed the extent to which the decision impacts EPA’s ability to develop new climate change and other regulations and policies. The presenters included Jennifer Biever, a Director with Williams Weese Pepple & Ferguson, Dan Walters, an Associate Professor at Texas A&M School of Law, and Peter Zalzal, Senior Counsel and Associate Vice President for Clean Air Strategies with the Environmental Defense Fund. The presentation is available for you to view for CLE credit on our Online Natural Resources Education Library here.
Domestic Development, Energy Independence, and Advances in Indian Country
This virtual institute was held on the afternoons of September 21 and 28 and featured presentations on supply chain issues, domestic production, and the demand for Indian resources; mineral development and basic materials on Indian reservations; manufacturing, assembly, and modern trade relating to tribes and tribal governments; and deploying energy, renewable, and mineral resources. The presenters included Pilar Thomas, a Partner at Quarles & Brady, Carolyn Clark Loder, a Board Member of Integra Resources Corp., Marian LaLonde, a Director at Fennemore Craig, Joshua Simmons, the President and Founder of Prosper Sustainably, and Maranda Compton, a Founder of Lepwe. All the presentations from this virtual institute are available for you to view for CLE credit on our Online Natural Resources Education Program library here.
The Inflation Reduction Act – The Future of Energy Production in the United States
This two-hour webinar, presented live on September 27, addressed the major energy and natural resources provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, including tax credits related to renewable energy generation and carbon sequestration, changes to the federal oil and gas leasing program, new fees and taxes that will affect the oil and gas industry. The speakers also discussed troublesome unresolved issues relating to the permitting of energy infrastructure projects. This webinar featured James Coleman, a Professor at SMU Dedman School of Law, Randy Dann, a Partner with Davis Graham & Stubbs, Nicole Elliott, a Partner with Holland & Knight, and Katie Schroder, a Partner with Davis Graham & Stubbs. If you would like to view this presentation for CLE credit, it is now available on our Online Natural Resources Education Library here.
Short Courses on International Oil & Gas Law, Contracts, and Negotiations, Parts 1 and 2
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the International Oil & Gas Law Short Courses, Parts 1 and 2 once again took place on October 3-7 (Part 1) and October 10-14 (Part 2). With a large faculty of experienced and expert international oil and gas lawyers, professors, and professional negotiators, these interactive week-long courses covered all aspects of international oil and gas contracts and transactions from concept to discovery in Part 1, and from discovery to decommissioning in Part 2. Since 1994, these Short Courses, chaired by Energy Negotiator and Professor Harry Sullivan, have been attended by more than 3,000 delegates from 67 countries. The Short Courses are operated in a partnership among the Foundation, the Association of International Energy Negotiators (AIEN), and the Institute for Energy Law (IEL). The Short Courses will be held again next year on September 25-29, 2023, and October 2-6, 2023, in Houston, Texas. Registration for the 2023 courses will open in the spring.
39th Annual Oil & Gas Law Short Course
On October 17-21, the Foundation, in partnership with the Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, held the 39th Annual Oil & Gas Law Short Course in Houston. This is the only course of its kind – a one-week comprehensive, immersive course on U.S. domestic oil and gas law taught by law professors from law schools throughout the nation and a select few practitioners who are experts in their fields. The course is essential for anyone new to the oil and gas field or wanting a comprehensive refresher and update on oil and gas law. If you missed it or want to send a colleague, we will be holding the 40th Annual Oil and Gas Law Short Course on October 16-20, 2023, in Westminster, Colorado. Registration for the 2023 course will open in the spring.
Commercial Renewable Energy Project Development
This two-day special institute held on October 27-28, was co-chaired by Courtney Shephard from Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Mark Burghardt from Dorsey & Whitney, and was co-sponsored by American Clean Power Association, our newest constituent organization. The institute was designed to equip attorneys and other land-use professionals with tools and legal knowledge to develop commercial-scale wind and solar projects recognizing the evolution of energy markets and policies and the shift in the work of many energy, natural resources, and other lawyers and professionals. All the presentations from this institute are available for you to view for CLE credit on our Online Natural Resources Education Library here. In addition, you may purchase the course materials here.
Annual Water Law Institute
This annual gathering of water law practitioners, academics, and professionals was held on November 4-5, in San Diego, California, and co-chaired by Reed Benson, a Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, and Pam Bush, the Commission Secretary and Assistant General Counsel of the Delaware River Basin Commission. The institute included presentations on Klamath Basin water, climate adaptation and federal reservoirs, California water conservation, water supply infrastructure and equity, the Colorado River in 2022, water and food, water markets, and the Clean Water Act. If you missed this excellent institute, all the presentations are available for you to view for CLE credit on our Online Natural Resources Education Library here. In addition, you may purchase the course materials here. Save the date for the 2023 Annual Water Law Institute that will be held on November 2-3, 2023, in Chandler, Arizona, concurrently with the Special Institute on Indian Law and Resource Development.
Upcoming 2022 - 2023 Programs
- Webinar – Taking a Natural Resources Case to Trial – FREE for members
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
- Webinar – The Ethics of Practicing Law Across State Lines
Thursday, December 15, 2022, or Thursday, December 29, 2022
- Oil & Gas Agreements: Purchase and Sale Agreements
January 19-20, 2023, Houston, Texas
- Second Annual U.S. Oil and Gas Renewable Energy Law Seminar at NAPE
February 1, 2023, Houston, Texas
- Mining Law Seminar and Reception During PDAC
March 5, 2023, Toronto, Ontario
- National Environmental Policy Act
March 16-17, 2023, Washington, DC
- International Mining and Energy Law, Development, and Investment
April 19-21, 2023, Mexico City, Mexico
- Permian Basin Legal Issues and Developments
May 25-26, 2023, Santa Fe, New Mexico
- 69th Annual Natural Resources and Energy Law Institute
July 20-22, 2023, Salt Lake City, Utah
See all upcoming Foundation Programs!
Do You Have an Idea for a New Book on a Natural Resources, Energy, Environmental, Water, or Related Legal Topic?
Are you a budding author? Have an idea for a book that would be ideal for publication by the Foundation? If so, we would like to hear from you! The Foundation can edit and publish your manuscripts and assist in bringing your publication ideas to fruition. Contact Ryan Minton, Director of Publications, with your thoughts and ideas. Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2022-2023 Membership Directory Is Now Available!
The 2022-2023 Membership Directory has been updated and is available on our website (searchable online and digitally). You can access the membership directory by signing into your account with your email address and password and clicking on the Member Directory from your Personal Snapshot. If you need to update your information, please Edit Your Profile, which will automatically update the searchable online directory, and then email email@example.com so a staff member can update the digital edition. Thank you for your membership in the Foundation!