Legal Updates

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  As a result, the EPA stepped in and issued a draft guidance […]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 […]

The Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 4, 1966. FOIA gives the public the right to access records from any federal agency or department within the executive branch. Oil and gas, renewable energy, and mining companies frequently are required to provide financial or trade secret […]

While most people were watching whether the Land and Water Conservation Fund would be reauthorized in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation Management, and Recreation Act (Dingell Act), a few of us were hoping the long-sought “helium fix” would at last make it across the finish line. When the President signed the Dingell Act on […]

Venezuela is reeling from a multitude of woes. Vast swathes of the population have fled to neighboring countries as a humanitarian crisis flares out of control. The Venezuelan oil industry – the economy’s frail linchpin – has not escaped the morass. PdVSA, the state-owned oil company, is crippled by chronic operating mismanagement and resource nationalism. […]

Although the Obama and Trump administrations differ markedly on climate change and energy policy, their oil and gas decisions are being similarly faulted by federal courts. President Obama had an “all of the above” energy policy that included the development of oil and gas but took addressing climate change as a serious obligation. President Trump […]

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