Energy Law Roadshow

April 24, 2015

From April-June 2015, University of Wyoming faculty members Tara Righetti and Temple Stoellinger will host educational energy law sessions across Wyoming and in Denver, focusing on emerging issues in oil and gas and energy law and regulation and ethics. The sessions will cover the potential impacts of federal protections on sage grouse, the BLM’s fracking rule, and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan; and the evolution of surface access rights on federal split estates. The sessions will also include an ethics program addressing specific ethical issues raised by extractive industries, and anticipated impacts of commodity price changes.

This program is a joint initiative among the UW School of Energy Resources (SER) and the UW Colleges of Law and Business.

Tara Righetti will speak on an oil and gas lessee’s right to utilize the surface of a severed mineral interest within a federal exploratory unit which has historically been limited to the land directly overlaying the subjoining minerals: use of the surface of one parcel to benefit or access the minerals of a separate, adjoining parcel, was prohibited. The Tenth Circuit’s 2014 decision in Entek GRB, LLC v. Stull Ranches, LLC potentially expands the mineral lessee’s rights of surface use. Focusing on the U.S.’s rights of disposal under the Stock-Raising Homestead Act of 1916, the court upheld a mineral lessee’s use of the surface to access adjoining validly contributed to a unit pursuant to Section 226 of the Mineral Leasing Act. This session examines the Entek decision and the effect of unitization under the Mineral Leasing Act on surface development of field-wide infrastructure for production, gathering, and wastewater disposal.

Temple Stoellinger will speak on the policy and legal implications of the Bureau of Land Management’s recently issued hydraulic fracturing rule, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and the potential listing of the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act in September of 2015. Recent changes in federal rules and policy pertaining to energy development have the potential to have a big impact to the State of Wyoming and to the industries operating within the state.

The series will kick off in Laramie on April 29, 2015 at noon in the Energy Innovation Center Room 201. Lunch will be provided. For registration and more information on this event, or other events in the series, please visit the Energy Roadshow website.

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