Natural Resources Law Network

December 2021


PHMSA Finalizes Rule Expanding Regulation of Gas Gathering
Catherine D. Little, Annie M. Cook, Mandi Moroz | Troutman Pepper

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a prepublication copy of its new rule on November 2, 2021, that significantly expands reporting and safety requirements for operators of gas gathering pipelines, including lines that were previously unregulated.
Read More.

In Dispute over Groundwater, Court Tells Mississippi It’s Equitable Apportionment or Nothing 
Robin Craig | University of Southern California Gould School of Law 

Less than two months after oral argument, in its first interstate groundwater case, the Supreme Court unanimously decided that Mississippi must rely on a doctrine known as equitable apportionment if it wants to sue Tennessee over the shared Middle Claiborne Aquifer.
Read More.

Biden Administration Issues New Global Climate Change Policies for Federal Minerals as Legal Storm Clouds Gather
Andrew Emrich, Emily Schilling | Holland & Hart LLP

The Biden administration released two significant policies aimed at analyzing and curtailing the impact of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the development of federal minerals reflective of its “whole of government” approach to climate change. But the Supreme Court’s surprise decision to hear a monumental case addressing the authority of the EPA to regulate GHG emissions from industrial sources could curtail the administration’s agenda.
Read More.

Canadian Provinces Advance Critical Minerals Plans: December 2021 Update
Andrew H. MacSkimming | A.H. MacSkimming Law Office

This article updates “Canadian Provinces Advance Critical Minerals Plans,” which was published in the July 2, 2021, edition of the Natural Resources Law Network and described critical mineral plans and activities in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Québec. This update covers recent critical mineral legal and policy developments for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.  

Diving into Deep Sea Mining: Balancing the Need for Metals with Environmental Protection
Jane Carmody | Perkins Coie LLP

This article provides a short summary of the basics of deep sea mining and reviews the authority of the International Seabed Authority that was established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to organize and control all mineral related activities in the international seabed. 

Book Review: The Law and Governance of Mining and Minerals: A Global Perspective
Stuart R. Butzier | Modrall Sperling
Darrell W. Podowski | Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

In her ambitiously conceived recent book, The Law and Governance of Mining and Minerals: A Global Perspective, Dr. Ana Elizabeth Bastida, a senior lecturer at the University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, offers important and welcome new paradigms for contemporary studies and teachings about international mining law and governance, and for understanding mining’s place, promise, and challenges during this time of transition.
Read More.

 

The Foundation News

The Foundation Has a New Name and Logo!

On December 8, President Scot Anderson announced that the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is now The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law. As part of that message, we also unveiled our new logo. The change was made after extensive deliberations earlier this year by the Board of Directors, outreach and discussion with constituents, and approval by the Trustees Council at its July meeting.

President’s Message:

 
Dear Members and Constituents,

I am excited to announce that effective today, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law!

Our new name is a reflection of what we are and what we do – we provide high-quality, scholarly, and practical legal education and foster collegial relationships. The new name recognizes how we have grown.

We will continue to be as dedicated to scholarship and legal education in oil and gas and mining law as we were when we were founded nearly 68 years ago. Even from the beginning of the Foundation, we have been a leader in legal education related to public land law and water law. And for decades, we have educated lawyers and other professionals on renewable energy, environmental protection, and Indian law. We pursued these other areas recognizing that the laws concerning the development and use of minerals, energy, and water are interconnected, and further intertwined with conservation and sustainability. The new name more closely represents our current and prospective members, who already broadly view themselves as “natural resources and energy” lawyers and professionals.

In addition, the Foundation has expanded from its roots in the Rocky Mountain region. Today, our members hail from around the globe, including 42 U.S. states, 7 Canadian provinces, and 37 countries. These members include attorneys, landmen, government personnel, managers, consultants, law faculty, students, and others involved in the practice, work, and study of natural resources and energy law. We are governed by trustees from industry, bar associations, law schools, firms, companies, and government who are dedicated to our mission. In short, we are a broad, collegial organization that brings people together from around the world.

As we transition to our new name, I am also delighted to introduce our new logo. The logo represents energy, mineral, and water resources with the impression of dynamic movement similar to our organization and the areas of law we cover, and with the impression of mountains, reflects our history and the strong foundation we have built in the natural resources and energy law community.

Please join me and The Foundation’s Board of Directors, which proposed the new name, and the Trustees Council, which overwhelmingly approved the new name, in embracing the name and spreading the word that we are now The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law.

Sincerely,

Scot W. Anderson
President
 
On-Demand Online Programs Are Available to Meet CLE Requirements

Did you know The Foundation offers most of its in-person institute talks and live webinars as on-demand CLE programs in its Online Natural Resources Education library? All of the talks from the virtual 67th Annual Institute, the recently held Institute on Mining Law and Water Law institute, the Institute on Digitization and Technology Innovation, and the 17 webinars we held this year are all now available for you to meet your CLE requirements. Also available in the library are talks from a number of other programs, including the Special Institute on Bankruptcy and Distress in the Oil & Gas Industry, and several ethics presentations. Discounts are available for members and for purchases of multiple presentations. 

Access the complete Online Natural Resources Education Library here.

Learn About the Natural Resources and Energy Provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Though touted as “roads and bridges” legislation, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill signed in November touches nearly every element of domestic energy development and natural resources and reflects a shift in federal policy toward reducing net greenhouse gas emissions. The Foundation is holding a three and ½ hour virtual seminar in January featuring nine speakers who will break down the 2800-page bill and its provisions related to grid infrastructure and resilience, mining, permitting improvements, carbon capture and sequestration, conventional and renewable energy sources, and water infrastructure.

Learn more and register for the Infrastructure Seminar here.

Hotel and Condo Reservations Are Robust for the 68th Annual Institute in Vail

The 68th Annual Institute will be held in Vail on July 21-23, 2022, and room reservations are robust. By our estimate, approximately 450 people have already reserved their rooms. We have discounted rooms and condos at a number of properties throughout Vail at the best possible price, from simple hotel rooms to luxurious four-bedroom residences, and everything in between. For those wishing to extend their trips, most hotels are offering our conference rates up to three days before and after the meeting, based on availability. Although registration for the annual institute will not open until early March, with our discounted blocks selling out fast, don’t wait any longer to book your accommodations at this family-friendly location. 

Get information on hotels and condos for the 68th Annual Institute here.
The Foundation Has Eight Live In-Person Programs Scheduled for Spring 2022

The Foundation successfully resumed in-person programming in October and November with COVID-19 precautions, and has a diverse lineup of eight in-person programs scheduled for 2022. 

  • First Annual U.S. Oil & Gas and Renewable Energy Seminar at NAPE. The Foundation has partnered with NAPE to bring legal education to this premier energy industry expo on February 8 and 10, 2022. Click here for information or to register.

  • Short Course on Federal Offshore Oil & Gas Leasing and Development. Join practicing attorneys and representatives from BOEM and BSEE in New Orleans on February 15-17, 2022, for this unique comprehensive course on the federal offshore leasing program. Click here for information or to register.

  • Mining CLE and Reception During PDAC. The Foundation will once again be offering its two-hour CLE program followed by a two-hour networking reception in Toronto on March 6, 2022, in connection with the premier mining industry expo, at a nominal cost. Registration opening soon.

  • Petroleum Marketing Attorneys’ Meeting. Petroleum marketing and other downstream attorneys will again meet in Houston on March 31-April 1, 2022. Registration opening soon. 

  • 2nd Young Natural Resources and Energy Lawyers Institute. This two-day institute of substantive topics, practical skills training, and networking in Denver on April 28-29, 2022, was designed by and for young natural resources and energy lawyers (in their first 10 years of practice). It will be offered at significantly reduced rates over our regular special institute rates for all attendees, and only $100 for new professional members (in their first four years of practice). Click here for information or to register.

  • Public Land Law, Regulation, and Management. After rescheduling this program twice due to the pandemic, we will be holding the premier public land law conference in Santa Fe on May 5-6, 2022. Registration opening soon.

  • Natural Resources and Energy Litigation. Join other litigators in Santa Fe on May 5-6, 2022, to learn about emerging litigation trends, issues, and best practices for natural resources and energy litigation. Increasing your networking opportunities, this course will be held concurrently with the public lands special institute. Registration opening soon.

  • 20th Natural Resources Law Teachers Institute. The Foundation will host natural resources and energy law professors at Asilomar for its 20th teachers institute. Registration opening soon.
     

Highlights of Recent Programs

The Foundation held its second Oil and Gas Update and Breakfast on August 19 in Houston during NAPE. Austin Brister, a partner with McGinnis Lochridge in Houston and former Chair of the Foundation’s Young Professionals Committee, presented an update on important oil and gas cases from 2020 and 2021. We will return to Houston on February 8 and 10, 2022, for our First Annual U.S. Oil and Gas and Renewable Energy Law Seminar being held in partnership with NAPE. This program will provide lawyers, landmen, and other energy professionals with oil and gas and renewable energy legal education in conjunction with the NAPE Expo. It will consist of four hours of programming on February 8 and a one-hour oil and gas law update and breakfast on February 10. If you are interested in this program, you can find more information here

 

On August 24, the Foundation held a webinar on Wind Development on Federal Lands: What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Heading. This webinar featured Laura G. Zagar, Partner with Perkins Coie, Steve Black, Attorney and Energy Policy Expert with Steve Black Strategies, Inc., and Garry George, Clean Energy Director with the National Audubon Society. The presentation provided an overview of the leasing of federal lands for the development of wind energy projects, including key regulatory requirements that developers should be aware of as they explore potential areas of development. The presenters also discussed lessons learned from the initial wave of wind energy projects on federal lands in the Western United States and best practices for the successful development of these projects. This webinar is available on our Online Natural Resources Education platform here.

The Foundation held a webinar on Winter Storm Uri and the Texas Power Outages: Lessons Learned and Legislative Responses on September 15. This webinar featured Michael J. Nasi, Partner with Jackson Walker LLP, and Brent Bennett, Ph.D., Policy Director with Life:Powered. This presentation provided a forensic analysis of what happened leading up to and during the historic Texas power outages and lessons learned from Winter Storm Uri. The speakers provided a summary of comprehensive legislative reforms passed by the Texas legislature in response to the storm and the regulatory and market reforms already underway at the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. This webinar is available on our Online Natural Resources Education platform here

On September 22, The Foundation held a webinar on Carbon Capture: Federal and State Legislative Updates and Emerging Policy. This webinar featured an outstanding group of presenters including Melissa Mayer, Owner of MLM & Associates LLC, Tara K. Righetti, Professor of Law at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and Dr. Shuchi Talati, Chief of Staff of Fossil Energy with the U.S. Department of Energy. This webinar examined regulatory federalism applied to CCUS transportation and storage projects, current and pending federal legislation including the SCALE Act and Energy Act of 2020, Section 45Q tax credits, state regulation of CCUS projects, and legal and regulatory opportunities and constraints. If you would like to view this presentation, it is now available on our Online Natural Resources Education platform here

 

The Foundation held a webinar entitled Petroleum Marketing Practices Act 101 on September 23, featuring Abby Risner, Partner at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., and Karen Staib, Partner with Shipman & Goodwin LLP. The presentation provided an overview of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (“PMPA”) and how it impacts business relationships. The speakers highlighted the most common pitfalls for companies under the PMPA and addressed transactional considerations and disputes that arise under the PMPA. If you missed this presentation, it is now available on our Online Natural Resources Education platform here

The Foundation held a webinar on the Current Landscape of Royalty Dispute Litigation on October 13, featuring Professor Owen L. Anderson, Stacy Burrows, Matt Salzman, and Elizabeth L. Tiblets. The presentation focused on the range of approaches taken by various jurisdictions on royalty litigation that sometimes result in different interpretations or applications of similar royalty clause language. This webinar is available on our Online Natural Resources Education platform here

The Foundation, along with its co-sponsors, the Institute for Energy Law, the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, and the American Association of Professional Landmen, held the 38th Oil and Gas Law Short Course in Westminster, Colorado on October 18-22. This course is the only course of its kind: a one-week comprehensive, immersive oil and gas course, the majority of which is taught by oil and gas law professors from law schools throughout the nation along with a select few practitioners who are experts in their fields. This course focuses primarily on the principles of U.S. laws and state regulations. We will be holding the 39th Oil and Gas Law Short Course on October 17-21, 2022, in Houston, Texas. Registration for that course will open soon. 

 

On October 28-29, the Foundation held a Special Institute on Mining Law: Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century, in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Institute had presentations on project finance, ESG considerations, crisis management, SEC mining disclosures, reserve reporting, and investor transparency. A special presentation on Space Mining was presented by Foundation President Scot Anderson, who was joined by the Honorable Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, who is a former NAS astronaut and one of only twelve men to have walked on the moon. Recordings of the Institute presentations will be available on our Online Natural Resources Education platform soon. 

On November 4-5, The Foundation held our annual Water Law Institute, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This Institute was held live in-person and virtually via simulcast to attendees who couldn’t attend in person. The Institute had presentations on the Colorado River Basin management, tribal water supply projects, private investment in water, and integrated water management, among others. We had more than 140 attendees from across the country join us in person and virtually via simulcast! If you missed this Institute, recordings of all presentations are now available on our Online Natural Resources Education platform here. We will hold our next Water Law Institute on November 4-5, 2022, in San Diego. If you are interested in participating our brainstorming calls for the 2022 Institute, please fill out your information here