Law Seminars International Presents

A Comprehensive Two-Day Conference on

Tribal Energy in the Southwest

Structuring energy resources for tribal facilities and commercial enterprises

December 11 & 12, 2006
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM
Register      Download PDF Brochure

Who Should Attend

Attorneys, tribal and government representatives, decision makers in energy, and financial institution executives.

Why Attend

For 20 years, Indian lands have contributed nearly 11% of the nation's onshore oil, natural gas and coal production. Given available fossil energy resources and potentially significant renewable energy resources on Indian lands, this level of contribution will likely continue or, more likely, increase. Indian tribes are exploring and evaluating energy resource potential for their own tribal facilities and commercial enterprises as well as developing tribally-based self-sufficient non-grid power generation for the wholesale market. Additionally, energy and utility companies are increasingly evaluating and forming strategic alliances or ventures with tribes to develop our nation's energy resources. This conference will provide attorneys, program managers and industry representatives with key information on the issues in tribal energy development. It will cover in depth the status of the joint Department of Interior and Energy Right of Way Study, tribal utility development, how to structure energy projects, transmission issues, marketing (power, gas and more) in a deregulated environment, environmental development processes, partnership and grant opportunities, and joint venture opportunities as well as current legislative proposals and tools for developing energy on Indian lands. ~ Program Co-Chairs: Teresa Isabel Leger de Fernandez, Esq. and Karen J. Atkinson, Esq.

What You Will Learn

- Federal tribal policy updates - State policy trends towards tribal energy - Opportunities for tribes in renewable energy - Transmission issues on tribal lands - Practical aspects of developing tribal energy projects - The economics of power generation - Business structures and key items to consider when financing a tribal project - An update from the Western Governor's Association - Due diligence and environmental compliance issues - Rights of way issues on tribal lands - The role of the secretary of interior - New tribal paradigms for oil and natural gas business - Opportunities for tribal entrepreuners

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs

- Extremely helpful. - A lot of the information presented was very informative. Made some good contacts. - This was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. The content was excellent as were presentations.


Monday, December 11, 2006

8:00 am Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 am Introduction & Overview
  Teresa Leger de Fernandez, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Nordhaus Law Firm, LLP / Santa Fe, NM
  Karen J. Atkinson, Esq., Program Co-Chair, Executive Director
Native American Contractors Association / Washington, DC
8:45 am Opening Address: Federal Tribal Policy Update
  Tribal energy development on the administration's radar screen; funding opportunities; other policy initiatives to promote tribal energy development
  Robert Middleton, Ph.D., Director, Indian Energy/Economic Development
U.S Department of Interior / Washington, DC
9:15 am State Policy Trends Towards Tribal Energy
  Lynda M. Lovejoy, Commissioner
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission / Santa Fe, NM
10:00 am Break
10:15 am Opportunities for Tribes in Renewable Energy
  Provisions in the EPA promoting renewable and tribal energy projects; progress towards implementation of those provisions; the trend towards state renewable portfolio standards; best market opportunities for new tribal renewable energy generation
  Douglas C. MacCourt, Esq.
Ater Wynne LLP / Portland, OR
  Where is the technology heading and which technologies are best suited to applications on tribal lands in the southwest?
  Sandra K. Begay-Campbell, Principal Member
Sandia National Laboratories / Albuquerque, NM
  Case study of solar energy opportunities for tribes in the Southwest
  Gregory Smith, Esq.
Johnston & Associates / Washington, DC
12:15 pm Lunch (on your own)
1:30 pm Transmission Issues on Tribal Lands
  Transmission: status update on the various proposals with a focus on impacts on tribal lands; how various tribes are handling requests for right of way access for transmission facilities
  Garlyn Bergdale, Esq., President and CEO
Environmental Planning Group / Phoenix, AZ
2:15 pm Nailing the Practical Aspects of Tribal Energy Projects
  Managing middle management risks and joint venture risks; creative ways for tribes to generate revenues
  Wayne H. Bladh, Esq.
Nordhaus Law Firm, LLP / Santa Fe, NM
3:00 pm Break
3:15 pm Economics of Power Generation
  To-do list; potential issues for new generators, reviewing the business concept; conventional versus renewable; economic potential
  Robert M. Adler, Esq., President
Tribal Energy Development L.L.C. / Washington, DC
3:45 pm Structuring Energy Companies and Financing Tribal Projects
  How to finance tribal projects; alternative ways to finance; general checklist for due diligence items used by investors/lenders
  Thomas Whitman, Managing Director
Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc. / Columbus, OH
  Types of business structures; advantages and disadvantages of creating a separate company; structuring tribal energy projects
  Kathleen M. Nilles, Esq.
Holland & Knight LLP / Washington, DC
4:45 pm Adjourn

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

8:00 am Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 am Introduction & Overview
  Teresa Leger de Fernandez, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Nordhaus Law Firm, LLP / Santa Fe, NM
  Karen J. Atkinson, Esq., Executive Director, Program Co-Chair
Native American Contractors Association / Washington, DC
8:45 am Western Governor's Association Clean and Diversified Energy Initiative
  An update on the advisory committee's report and resulting policy resolution
  William J. Keese, Esq., Chair
Clean and Diversified Energy Advisory Committee / Graeagle, CA
9:15 am Due Diligence and Environmental Compliance Issues for Tribal Energy Projects
  Project related due diligence and related issues, including arbitration clauses and limited sovereign immunity waivers, in connection with energy projects on and outside Indian reservations
  Michael P. O'Connell, Esq.
Stoel Rives, LLP / Seattle, WA
10:00 am Break
10:15 am Rights of Way Issues on Tribal Lands
  Overview of the joint Department of Energy/Department of the Interior Right of Way Study mandated by Section 1813 of the EPA from the underlying Navajo/El Paso dispute to the current status and recommendations
  Margaret M. Schaff, Esq.
Schaff & Clark-Deschene, LLC / Boulder, CO
11:00 am Rights of Way Implications For The Future
  How can the Secretary of Interior play a role during the negotiation process for energy rights of way across tribal lands that benefit tribal and national interests
  David Lester, Esq., Executive Director
Council of Energy Resource Tribes / Denver, CO
  Bob Gallagher, President
New Mexico Oil and Gas Association / Santa Fe, NM
12:00 pm Lunch (on your own)
1:15 pm New Tribal Paradigms for Oil and Natural Gas Business
  Building tribal equity in natural resource exploration; how tribal businesses, oil, and gas developers can work together off the reservation
  Brian McNiell, Vice President
Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc. / Memphis, TN
2:00 pm Opportunities for Tribal Entrepreuners
  Native corporations doing business off reservation
  David S. Melton, Principal
Sacred Power Corporation / Albuquerque, NM
  Contracting with the Federal Government
  Aurene M. Martin, Esq.
Holland & Knight LLP / Washington, DC
3:00 pm Break
3:15 pm Tribal Utilities
  Case study of the Navajo Utility Authority including issues in the transition to become self-sustaining
  Larry Ahasteen, Renewable Energy Specialist
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority / Fort Defiance, AZ
  Steven C. Begay, General Manager
Dine Power Authority / Window Rock, AZ
  To-do list for tribes considering starting a tribal utility
  Teresa Leger de Fernandez, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Nordhaus Law Firm, LLP / Santa Fe, NM
4:30 pm Evaluations and Adjourn


Regular tuition for this program is $995 with a group rate of $895 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $795. For tribal members, students and people in their job for less than a year, our rate is $497.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.

Cancellation & Substitution

You may substitute another person at any time. We will refund tuition, less a $50 cancellation fee, if we receive your cancellation by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 5, 2006. After that time, we will credit your tuition toward attendance at another program or the purchase of a homestudy. There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders.

Continuing Education Credits

This program qualifies for 12.25 NM CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


The conference will be held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at 2401 12th Street NW in Albuquerque, NM 87104.
More about the Location
Map & Directions

If You Cannot Attend

Our complete Homestudy Course, consisting of a VHS or DVD recording and the written course materials, is available for $1,005. The written course materials alone are available for $100. We will ship your homestudy order via UPS ground within two weeks after the seminar or the date we receive payment (whichever is later).
Order Homestudy

Faculty Bios

Karen J. Atkinson, (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Tsimshian) Program Co-Chair, is Executive Director of the Native American Contractors Association, in Washington, DC. Previously, she was a Partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP and Deputy Director of the National Park Service and Senior Counsel to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Teresa Leger de Fernandez, Program Co-Chair, Managing Partner with the Nordhaus Law Firm, LLP, one of the country's largest firms dedicated to representing Native American tribes, entities, and businesses. She has worked with three different tribal utility entities on infrastructure, energy assets acquisitions, and financing. She helped found and advises the board of a Native American community development financial institution.

Robert M. Adler, General Partner with the Washington, D.C. law firm of O'Connor & Hannan, LLP, and President of Tribal Energy Development L.L.C., which works with Tribes to explore the development of electric energy projects and other viable projects.

Larry Ahasteen, Renewables Energy Specialist for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.

Steven C. Begay is General Manager for the Dine Power Authority (DPA), an enterprise of the Navajo Nation. DPA Recently announced a business partnership to develop the Navajo Transmission Project and on March 19, 2003, DPA and Steag Power also announced a partnership to develop a coal-fired power plant.

Sandra K. Begay-Campbell, a Regent for the University of New Mexico, works at Sandia National Laboratories where she is a Principal Member of the Technical Staff. Ms. Begay leads their technical efforts in the Renewable Energy Program and assists tribes with renewable energy development.

Garlyn Bergdale, President and CEO of Environmental Planning Group, has been principal-in-charge, project director, manager, advisor, coordinator, and technical expert for public and private sector clients in the Southwest.

Wayne H. Bladh, Partner at Nordhaus Law Firm, LLP, handles lobbying and government liaison functions for the State of New Mexico. His practice has focused on jurisdictional and tax policy issues governing state and Tribal taxation of activity on Indian lands.

Bob Gallagher is President of New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. He is responsible for working with the legislature, the various state regulatory agencies, the federal regulatory agencies, Indian Nations and the congressional delegation to address the needs and problems of the industry within the state of New Mexico.

William J. Keese Chaired the Western Governors' Association's Clean and Diversified Energy Advisory Committee, and previously served as Chair of the California Energy Commission. An appointee of Governor Schwarzenegger to the Advisory Panel to review California's Public Goods programs, he assisted the Governor in developing a plan to achieve their goal of developing 30,000 megawatts of clean and diversified electricity generation in the West by 2015.

David Lester (Muscogee Creek) is Executive Director of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes. Previously he was Commissioner for Native Americans in the Department of Health and Human Services, and was the founding president of the United Indian Development Association, the predecessor to the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.

The Hon. Lynda M. Lovejoy, District 4 Chairwoman of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission,was New Mexico State Representative, and is an active citizen of the Navajo Nation. In 2000, she was selected as one of New Mexico's top 100 "Power Brokers" by NM Business Weekly.

Douglas C. MacCourt, Partner at Ater Wynne LLP and Co-Chair of the firm's Tribal Business Practice, has represented public, private, and tribal clients on land use, natural resources, environmental and energy matters, with an emphasis on project development, facility siting, permitting and government relations.

Aurene M. Martin, Partner in Holland & Knight LLP's Federal Indian Law Practice Group, focuses on federal Indian law and policy. Previously, she was with the Department of the Interior, and Senior Counsel to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Brian McNiell, Vice President of Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc., was Chief Operating Officer for a hedge fund entity located in Memphis. Previously, he was principal in a boutique investment banking group specializing in transactions involving sovereign entities.

David S. Melton, Principal at Sacred Power Corporation and a Laguna Tribal member, is a program/contract manager working with high-tech industries. He was awarded the first Annual American Indian Entrepreneurial Leadership Award.

Robert Middleton Director, Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S Department of the Interior. He was Director of the White House Task Force on Energy Project Streamlining and Chief of Staff for the Minerals Management Service, the Federal Agency responsible for collecting and distributing revenues generated from mineral development on Federal and Indian lands.

Kathleen M. Nilles, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP, focuses her practice on resolving critical tax and business organizational issues for tax-exempt and governmental entities. She also handles tax policy and legislative issues for non-profit and for-profit companies.

Michael P. O'Connell, Partner with Stoel Rives, LLP, focuses on siting large projects on and near Indian reservations, and business transactions with Indian tribes.

Margaret M. Schaff, with Schaff & Clark-Deschene, LLC, specializes in the utility, oil and gas industries for tribal governments. Previously, she was with the Office of General Counsel at Western Area Power Administration as a power marketing attorney and as Chief Lands Attorney.

Gregory Smith, Attorney and Government Affairs Specialist at Johnston & Associates, specializes in consulting services to American Indian tribes and tribal organizations. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Native American Law Digest, and represents the Dine Power Authority in its federal government relations work.

Thomas Whitman is Managing Director for Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc., where he specializes in tax-exempt and taxable bond financing for Native American tribes, manufacturing companies and not-for-profit organizations. Previously, he was with J.P. Morgan Securities where he managed the Native American Finance groups.