Law Seminars International Presents: A Comprehensive Conference on

Tribal Energy Development in the Great Lakes
New opportunities for Tribal projects, new policies, regulations and markets

(For this past program, we offer two options for purchase: a Homestudy (DVD and written materials) or written materials alone.)

February 20 & 21, 2014
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee in Milwaukee, WI

Who Should Order This Homestudy

Attorneys, Tribal representatives, industry executives and governmental officials

Why You Should Order

Renewable energy development has become a top priority for many Midwest Tribes seeking to (1) strengthen sovereignty through energy independence, (2) promote environmental stewardship by transitioning from reliance on energy from coal-fired plants that contribute to climate change and contaminate reservation air and waterways and (3) reduce long term energy costs.

This conference focuses on opportunities for projects in the Great Lakes area. We will discuss federal, state and private grant, loan and other incentive programs, long term energy market trends, the practicalities of funding projects, structuring deals, tools for overcoming regulatory hurdles, and the transmission of reservation-generated energy to market and more. Panelists will explain business structures that enable Tribes to partner with investors and developers to take advantage of federal tax incentives, sharply reducing the cost of developing renewable energy in Indian communities.

Our distinguished faculty of attorneys, Tribal representatives, industry executives and consultants will share the lessons learned from their Indian country energy development projects, the pitfalls they encountered and practical tips that will help attendees pursue their own renewable energy projects.

~ Jeffrey A. Crawford, Esq., Forest County Potawatomi Community and Brian L. Pierson, Esq., Godfrey & Kahn S.C.

What You Will Learn


Thursday, February 20, 2014

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Jeffrey A. Crawford, Esq., Program Co-Chair, Attorney General
Forest County Potawatomi Community / Milwaukee, WI

Brian L. Pierson, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Godfrey & Kahn S.C. / Milwaukee, WI

8:45 am

Energy Law 101, Environmental Law 101 and Indian Law 101: How the Three Interact for Tribal Resource Development

The regulatory structure for private energy development on Tribal lands (including leasing structures for site acquisition and how permitting differs for projects in Indian country); Tribal sovereignty issues as they relate to energy projects

Sara K. Van Norman, Esq.
The Jacobson Law Group / Saint Paul, MN

How natural law and treaty rights impact energy development in the Great Lakes: Protecting our future through natural law and treaty rights

Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director
United Tribes of Michigan / Harbor Springs, MI

10:15 am


10:30 am

The Long Term Competitive Outlook for Renewable Energy: Suitability of the Region, Cost Trends and Incentive Programs

The potential for utility-scale wind in the Great Lakes region

Kevin M. Schulte, CEO
Sustainable Energy Developments Incorporated / Delanson, NY

Distributed solar including availability of feed-in tariffs and other factors affecting generation on the customer side of the meter

Matt Neumann, Owner
SunVest Solar, Inc. / Pewaukee, WI

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Practical Tips for Taking Advantage of Available Financing for Green Energy Projects: Partnering with Taxable Entities to Take Advantage of Tax Incentives

State and federal grants

Jason W. Allen, Esq.
Foley & Lardner LLP / Milwaukee, WI

"Partnership flip" structures: Sale and leaseback structures and inverted lease structures; how to use the RFP approach to identify suitable investment/development partners

John L. Clancy, Esq.
Godfrey & Kahn S.C. / Milwaukee, WI

IRS Private Letter Ruling 201310001 allowing Tribes to monetize renewable energy tax credits by transferring them to non-Tribal partners: Practical tips for taking advantage of the ruling

Jed A. Roher, Esq.
Godfrey & Kahn S.C. / Madison, WI

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Midwest Tribal Renewable Energy Case Studies

Forest County Potawatomi: Solar and biomass

Jeffrey A. Crawford, Esq., Program Co-Chair, Attorney General
Forest County Potawatomi Community / Milwaukee, WI

Shakopee: Wind, solar and biomass projects

Stanley Ellison, Esq., Director, Land and Natural Resources
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community / Prior Lake, MN

Huron Potawatomi: Creating synergies for Tribal ownership of solar panel manufacturing facilities and for reservation installation

William Brooks, Esq., Chief Legal Officer
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi / Fulton, MI

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Godfrey & Kahn S.C.


Friday, February 21, 2014

8:30 am

Update on Current Environmental Issues for Combustion-Related Generation and Their Impact on Energy Markets

EPA policy priorities under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts for energy projects

Joel F. Visser, Esq.
Sidley Austin LLP / Washington, DC

Coal: Practical implications of EPA actions under the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon, mercury and other emissions; resulting pressure to close older plants; lessons from recent plant closures

Keith Reopelle, Senior Policy Director
Clean Wisconsin, Inc. / Madison, WI

Biomass and waste-to-energy: When are they clean and renewable enough to qualify under Tribal and state RPS programs? What environmental impacts can be impediments to development?

Michael Zebell, P.E., Senior Consultant
Environmental Resources Management / Milwaukee, WI

Natural gas: How EPA is shaping the energy mix in the U.S. through environmental regulations; the squeeze on coal and natural gas production; BLM's fracking rulemaking and water quality developments

Daniel J. Deeb, Esq.
Schiff Hardin LLP / Chicago, IL

10:30 am


10:45 am

Update on New Leasing Rules for Renewable Energy Project Development

Wind and Solar Resource provisions of BIA's new leasing regulations; how to take advantage of the HEARTH Act to avoid BIA lease approval requirements

Kayla Danks, Realty Officer, Midwest Region
Bureau of Indian Affairs / Minneapolis,

Use of easements in renewable energy projects

Brian L. Pierson, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Godfrey & Kahn S.C. / Milwaukee, WI

12:00 pm

Tribal Utilities: Pros and Cons

What are the potential advantages and costs? What factors should the Tribe consider in deciding whether to form its own utility? How a "virtual" Tribal utility can deliver benefits to Tribal members

John Lewis, Chairman, Board of Directors
Gila River Indian Community Utility Authority / Chandler, AZ

12:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn



Regular tuition for this program is $795 with a group rate of $595 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $530. For students and people in their job for less than a year, our rate is $397.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 12 WI CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders

Faculty Bios

Jeffrey A. Crawford, Program Co-Chair, Attorney General at Forest County Potawatomi Community, focuses on Indian law, business, regulatory, governmental affairs, project development, contracts, environmental issues, litigation management and the Crandon Mine. He is President of FCPC Renewable Generation LLC, overseeing the development and operation of renewable energy projects.

Brian L. Pierson, Program Co-Chair, shareholder, leads Godfrey & Kahn S.C.'s Indian Nations Law Team and assists Tribes in implementing strategies that strengthen Tribal sovereignty, with a focus on business development, environmental protection, renewable energy and housing development.
Full bio and contact info for Brian L. Pierson at Godfrey & Kahn S.C.

Jason W. Allen, partner, Foley & Lardner LLP, is Vice Chair of the Energy Industry Team. His background in energy, project and infrastructure finance transactions involves the acquisition, divestiture and financing of numerous domestic and international energy projects.

William Brooks, Chief Legal Officer to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi and FireKeepers Development Authority, provides counsel in contract negotiation, code/ordinance drafting and litigation. He represents Tribal governments in the negotiation of inter-governmental agreements including gaming compacts, taxation, law enforcement and environmental regulation. He is adjunct faculty at Michigan State University College of Law.

John L. Clancy, shareholder and leader of the Environmental and Energy Strategies Team, Godfrey & Kahn S.C., provides environmental and energy-related services to entities, including industrial, commercial, Tribal, municipal and trade association clients.

Daniel J. Deeb, partner in the Environmental Group at Schiff Hardin LLP, represents energy companies, manufacturers, and municipalities in environmental law. His energy clients include natural gas transmission, distribution, storage and midstream companies, coal and gas-fired power plants, and renewable energy providers.

Stanley Ellison is the Director of Land and Natural Resources for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. He has been involved in many innovative programs, including the Koda Energy facility, installation of the wind turbine and the Organics Recycling Facility.

Frank Ettawageshik is the Executive Director for the United Tribes of Michigan. Previously, he was Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

John Lewis, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Gila River Indian Community Utility Authority and Vice President of Tribal Client Development for Avant Energy, Inc., facilitates the growth of Tribal electric utilities and energy development with a focus on renewable generation.

Matt Neumann, owner of SunVest Solar, Inc., focuses on bringing new homes up to Energy StarTM and Green BuiltTM standards.

Keith Reopelle, Senior Policy Director at Clean Wisconsin, Inc., focuses on state and regional policies addressing global warming including wetlands, metallic mining, air toxins, pesticide reduction, forest management, land preservation and sustainable energy policies.

Jed A. Roher, in the Tax and Employee Benefits and Corporate Practice Groups at Godfrey & Kahn S.C., helps business clients achieve their financing, growth and exit objectives with tax and corporate experience.

Kevin M. Schulte, Chief Executive Officer for Sustainable Energy Developments, Incorporated, focuses on the growth of the distributed wind industry. He is the Vice President of the Distributed Wind Energy Association.

Sara K. Van Norman, shareholder, The Jacobson Law Group, drafts and negotiates construction contracts for Tribal casino developments. She represents Tribes and Tribal entities in gaming, finance, reservation boundaries, Indian Country environmental regulation, Tribal energy development and Indian land rights-of-way.
Full bio and contact info for Sara K. Van Norman at The Jacobson Law Group

Joel F. Visser is in the Environmental Practice at Sidley Austin LLP.

Michael Zebell, P.E., Senior Consultant at Environmental Resources Management, focuses on utility-scale and smaller industrial-scale plants using traditional and renewable energy technology. His power development experience includes coal, biomass, natural-gas, oil, petroleum coke, waste-coal and waste-to-energy.

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