Legal Updates

On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order (EO) on “tackling the climate crisis.” This EO has received a lot of attention for its provision (§208) “pausing” federal oil and gas leasing. What also deserves attention was the direction (§216) for a plan “to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent […]

On November 23, 2020, in “Liens, Taxes and Bankruptcy in Wyoming- Oh My! 2020 Changes to Ad Valorem Tax and Lien Law”, I reported on Wyoming’s attempts to change its ad valorem tax payment and reporting system for produced minerals.  The goal was to make ad valorem filings and payments simultaneous with severance tax filings […]

The COVID pandemic, price volatility, and recent regulatory changes have created financial stress on many E&P Companies as evidenced by an increasing number of bankruptcy filings.   Those providing goods and labor in aid of oil and gas development should be aware of Colorado’s Oil and Gas Lien statute and their right to perfect such a […]

Two interesting bills are making their way through the Wyoming Legislature this session, both concerning the State’s main source of tax revenue – the energy industry.  The Legislature’s taxation treatment of oil and gas and wind energy may tell us how elected officials will address Wyoming’s significant revenue shortfall—sales and use taxes down 67% from […]

Colorado is one of only a handful of states that still recognize the concept of common law marriage today. It remains a crucial concept in the administration of estates in Colorado because a common law spouse is entitled to inherit real property and receive other benefits, just as an officially married spouse. On January 11, […]

As reported in our prior blog on County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, the Supreme Court punted on providing clear guidance to the regulated community on when a Clean Water Act Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit is needed.  As a result, the EPA stepped in and issued a draft guidance […]

Our recent post, “Gas Agreements Rejected For Not Running With Land,” described decisions of the Delaware bankruptcy courts concluding that upstream producers in Wyoming and Colorado could reject gas gathering agreements, including the gas dedication and minimum volume commitments.  In re Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc., No. 20-11548 (CSS), 2020 WL 6694354 (Bankr. D. Del. […]

The last quarter of 2020 has brought with it two important rulings from the Delaware bankruptcy court. Applying real covenant law in the states of Wyoming and Colorado, the two decisions concluded that the terms of the specific gas gathering agreements at issue did not contain real covenants (covenants that run with the land) and, […]

There is a sign near the Casper airport that reads:  “Oil and Gas Pay Most Our Taxes.”  In a State with no income tax, no franchise tax, no transfer taxes and low sales tax rates, the sign sums up a known truth:  taxes on mineral production are the primary revenue streams that fill Wyoming’s State […]

On April 23, 2020, a divided Supreme Court ruled in County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund that the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) “requires a permit when there is a direct discharge from a point source into navigable waters or when there is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge.”  The Court reversed and […]

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