Our Western Lands and Energy lawyers help energy resource companies navigate the common obstacles to development:
- property and
- environmental issues.
Historical circumstance and geology have made lands owned or controlled by the federal government and Native Americans prime locations for the development of energy resources.
Together, these lands comprise a third of the land within the United States.
"Public lands" have remained under federal ownership with the transition of western territories to statehood.
"Acquired lands" have been obtained by the federal government under a variety of statutes. These holdings have been placed under the administration of the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service, the Department of Defense, the National Park Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Indian tribes also own and enjoy governmental jurisdiction over substantial holdings throughout the United States, and individual tribal members own lands "allotted" to them under prior legislation. Agreements with Native Americans almost always involve the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the exercise of the government's trust responsibility.
Our Western Lands and Energy lawyers provide legal services and government relations assistance specifically associated with energy resource development on federal and Indian lands.
A part of our premier domestic and international energy team, our Western Land and Energy team is comprised of experienced practitioners in regulatory compliance, transactions, litigation, arbitration and advocacy before governmental agencies.
Our Western Lands and Energy lawyers provide essential guidance in the often politically-charged atmosphere in which natural resource companies must operate in the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, California, Appalachia and other parts of the country.
Maintaining open dialogue with those who regulate the energy industries, our Western Lands and Energy lawyers counsel clients on front-end regulatory matters with the twin goals of:
- minimizing a client's litigation risk and
- maximizing a client's return on capital investment by reducing the time needed to navigate the regulatory and legal obstacles confronting a leasing, exploration or development project.
Our Western Lands and Energy lawyers counsel oil and gas companies on obtaining and operating mineral leases on federal and Indian lands, as well as complying with related environmental statutes and regulations.
And our Western Lands and Energy lawyers also help prepare permit and environmental documentation, work with federal regulators to process permits and documents, and defend clients' projects from legal challenges by environmental and anti-industry groups.
Lawyers in our Western Land and Energy team work with federal regulators and legislators to create, revise and interpret laws, regulations, and policies that impact these industries.
The insights we offer our clients are informed by practical experience. For example, a senior partner in the service served in the U.S. Department of the Interior as Assistant Solicitor for Onshore Minerals, and another as General Counsel of a major gas producer and pipeline transporter.
Oil and natural gas companies operating on federal or Indian lands rely on our experience for a wide range of needs.
For further information or questions about our western lands and energy team, please contact Poe Leggette.