Energy & Resources Notes Spring 2017

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  • Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects
    In his first 100 days, President Trump issued numerous (28 to date) executive orders addressing key issues ranging from immigration to health care. In this issue, we address three executive orders that signal major policy shifts on environmental issues that affect energy and infrastructure projects. We will continue to update you on these and other developments on these important issues. Continue Reading
  • Executive Order on the Clean Water Rule
    On his second day in office, President Trump issued several executive orders and memoranda intended to overhaul the environmental review and approval process for pipeline and other infrastructure projects. Among them was EO 13755, intended to expedite environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects. The EO articulates that the Trump administration’s policy is to “streamline and expedite, in a manner consistent with the law, environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects, especially projects that are a high priority for the Nation, such as improving the U.S. electric grid and telecommunications systems and repairing and upgrading critical port facilities, airports, pipelines, bridges, and highways.” Continue Reading
  • Executive Order on Review of Designations under the Antiquities Act
    President Trump signed an Executive Order (“EO”) on April 26, 2017, directing the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations of national monuments under the Antiquities Act. The review mandated by the EO applies to designations or expansions made since January 1, 1996 of greater than 100,000 acres, or where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders. In each of these situations the Secretary is to determine whether the designation or expansion conforms to the policy set forth in the newly issued EO. Continue Reading
  • ONRR’s Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform: A Call for Comments, Industry Here’s Your Shot
    As noted in a previous update, on January 6, 2015 the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR) announced a proposed rulemaking amending its regulations governing valuation, for royalty purposes, of oil and gas produced from Federal onshore and offshore leases and coal produced from Federal and Indian leases. This Rule, known as the Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform, was finalized on July 1, 2016 and technically went into effect on January 1, 2017; however, on February 27, 2017 ONRR issued a stay of the rule, just one day before Federal and Indian lessees were required to report and pay royalties under the new Rule. Then, on April 4, 2017 ONRR issued two advance notices of proposed rulemakings. The first notice is a notice of intent to repeal the recently issued rule (RIN 1012-AA20). The second notice is a notice requesting comments from industry members and interested parties concerning whether updated royalty valuation regulations are necessary (RIN 1012-AA21). Continue Reading
  • New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Outlook Following 2017 Legislative Session
    April 7, 2017 was the last day for the Governor to sign, veto, or pocket veto any bills passed by the New Mexico legislature during the 2017 legislative session. What passed and what did not is significant for New Mexico’s renewable energy industry.
    New Mexico’s Distributed Generation companies will face new consumer protection laws after the 2017 Legislative Session. The Governor signed into law the House Judiciary substitute for House Bill 199—the Distributed Generation Disclosure Act (“DGDA”). The DGDA requires that certain disclosures be included on any agreement governing the financing, sale or lease of a distributed energy generation system, or an agreement governing the sale of power to a power purchaser Continue Reading