Caveat Emptor in Quebec Net Smelter Returns

By | Mining Prospects | September 12, 2013

In Quebec, as elsewhere in Canada, net smelter return (NSR) and similar royalties are often granted, along with cash and/or share consideration, to sellers in mining property option transactions. Recently, the Quebec Court of Appeal provided a reminder in Anglo Pacific Group PLC v. Ernst & Young Inc. (“Anglo Pacific”) of the complexity of creating enforceable NSR royalties in Quebec. 

Environmental Groups Set Stage for Litigation Challenging BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rulemaking with Claim That BLM is Violating NEPA

By | North America Shale Blog | September 11, 2013

Eighteen environmental organizations – lead by the Sierra Club – are claiming that the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) will violate the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) if it finalizes its proposed rulemaking related to hydraulic fracturing on federal lands without preparing a full-scale Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”).

FERC to Review Limitations On Payment of Dividends by Public Utilities from Capital Accounts

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently announced that it intends to review whether to grant blanket relief to certain public utilities from the prohibition in the Federal Power Act against payment of dividends  by public utilities “from any funds properly included in capital account.”  Exelon Generation Company, LLC, 144 FERC ¶ 61,181 (2013) (“Exelon Generation”).

Concerns About BLM’s Failure to Protect Trade Secrets Headline Rulemaking Comments

By | North America Shale Blog | September 10, 2013

When the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to hydraulic fracturing on federal lands on May 16, 2013, it believed that it had struck a balance between industry and environmental groups on how propriety/trade secret information in fluids used during the hydraulic fracturing process would be protected from public disclosure. 

Department of the Interior Conducts Second Offshore Wind Auction

By | Renewable Energy Outlook | September 10, 2013
Department of the Interior Conducts Second Offshore Wind Auction

On September 4, 2013, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) held its public auction of the first federal lease for an offshore wind energy site off the Mid-Atlantic coast.  This was the second federal lease sale; the first was in July for two lease areas offshore Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  In this Mid-Atlantic sale, eight companies pre-qualified to bid, that is BOEM determined they had the financial and technological wherewithal to win the lease and develop the wind energy within the lease area.

Transmission Line Developers Post a Win

A federal court in Washington, D.C. gave some encouragement to transmission line developers—not to mention sponsors of other linear projects, like gas or water pipelines.  In National Parks Conservation Assn. v. Jewell, the court rejected a challenge to the National Parks Service’s grant of special use permits and extended rights-of-way for the Susquehanna to Roseland Transmission Line (S-R Line), a replacement and upgrade project.