Law Seminars International Presents:

A Comprehensive Conference on

Tribal Energy in the Southwest

New opportunities for Tribal projects and tips for navigating a changing regulatory environment

April 3 & 4, 2017

Albuquerque, NM

Download PDF Brochure
Albuquerque - NM


Who Should Order

Attorneys, Tribal representatives, industry executives, governmental officials and consultants

Why You Should Order

While Tribal interest in energy development in Indian Country remains high, the new Trump Administration will undoubtedly bring substantial changes to the federal government's efforts to promote energy development on Tribal and federal lands. Many of these changes could mean reduced regulatory burdens on energy development, and/or a focus away from renewable energy deployment (such as revisions to the Clean Power Plan). Regardless of how federal policy may change, though, Indian Tribes that remain interested in developing their energy resources continue to explore federal, state, and market opportunities to meet their Tribal energy development goals.

This conference will focus on the newly changing landscape for Tribal energy development, including recent state regulatory trends, federal leadership, policy, and regulatory changes, project financing, and project development trends. You will learn practical tips for companies dealing with Tribes and lessons from the trenches for all participants in energy projects in Indian country. Our distinguished faculty will provide attorneys, Tribal representatives, industry executives and consultants with key information on successful Tribal energy development in the Southwest.

~ Lynn H. Slade, Esq. of Modrall Sperling and Pilar Thomas, Esq. of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • The post-election political landscape for Tribal energy issues
  • Update on federal administrative policy for Tribal energy resource development
  • Energy policy in the courts: Update on the appeal of the Clean Power Plan and other key cases
  • Environmental policy: Endangered Species Act issues
  • Tips for participation in state level regulatory processes
  • Elements for a successful renewable energy project
  • Development of oil, gas, and minerals on Tribal lands
  • New DOI rights-of-way on Indian land regulations
  • Using the HEARTH act for leasing tribal land for energy projects
  • Potential federal legislative solutions to facilitate Tribal energy development
  • Moving beyond consultation to collaboration on cultural resource and environmental impact

What Attendees Said

  • * Very informative and well organized
  • *It was so helpful to learn about what other Tribes are facing and accomplishing!
  • *Impressive course with excellent presenters
  • *I've been truly impressed by the quality and calibur of presenters - a tremendous information exchange. Will be back.
  • *As someone who is in the business of communicating changes in the evolution of the energy industry, I found this program very educational. I am now able to understand the issues better & communicate them to our local government & regional energy partners.

Agenda Day 1

Monday, April 03, 2017

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Lynn H. Slade, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Modrall Sperling / Albuquerque, NM

Pilar Thomas, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP / Tucson, AZ

8:45 am

The Post-Election Political Landscape for Tribal Energy Issues

Leadership and staffing changes for key committees in both houses and the impact on passage of legislation of importance to Tribes

Gregory A. Smith, Esq.
Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP / Washington, DC

9:30 am

Update on Federal Administrative Policy for Tribal Energy Resource Development

Policy priorities at the two lead agencies; status report on implementation of the recent Memorandum of Understanding to assist Tribes throughout the United States to develop their energy resources

Troy A. Eid, Esq.
Greenberg Traurig LLP / Denver, CO

10:15 am


10:30 am

Energy Policy in the Courts: Update on the Appeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and Other Key Cases

CCP litigation and related developments; trends in the courts for other energy cases and cases involving tribal vs. federal vs. state authority; how selection of the new Supreme Court Justice is likely to affect the cases the Court takes and their outcome

Troy A. Eid, Esq.
Greenberg Traurig LLP / Denver, CO

Gregory A. Smith, Esq.
Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP / Washington, DC

11:15 am

Environmental Policy: Endangered Species and Bird Issues

Likely changes in EPA regulatory and enforcement policies; recent case law and its relevance moving forward; Tribal jurisdiction in the environmental arena; the interplay between Tribal sovereignty and federal/state environmental quality regulations

Ryan A. Smith, Esq.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP / Washington, DC

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Tribal Energy Development and Participation in State Level Regulatory Processes

The why and perspectives on the best how for tribal participation

Joan E. Drake, Esq. , Moderator
Modrall Sperling / Albuquerque, NM

Insights from stakeholders

Jeffrey H. Albright, Esq.
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP / Albuquerque, NM

Germaine R. Chappelle, Esq.
Gallagher & Kennedy PA / Santa Fe, NM

Linda Benally, Esq.
Pinnacle West Capital Corporation / Phoenix, AZ

Keith Sparks , Director of Development
Clean Line Energy / Houston, TX

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Tips for Successful Tribal Energy Development: Elements for a Successful Renewable Energy Project

The net effect of state policies favoring procurement of renewables vs. federal policies favoring production of fossil fuels; what you need to look at and what you need to make it happen

Ashley K. Wald, Esq.
Holland & Hart LLP / Denver, CO

What the renewable finance world looks like for Tribes

Steven Paul McSloy, Esq.
Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP / New York, NY

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP and Modrall Sperling

Agenda Day 2

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

8:30 am

Development of Oil, Gas, and Minerals on Tribal Lands

Proposals to lighten BIA regulation of Tribes for oil/gas & minerals development; impact of a shift in federal policy towards favoring more fossil fuel development

Jana Waters , Realty Specialist - Office of Trust Services
Bureau of Indian Affairs / Billings, MT

Stakeholder perspectives

Scot Anderson, Esq.
Hogan Lovells US LLP / Denver, CO

Louis Denetsosie, Esq. , Vice President and General Counsel
Navajo Nation Oil & Gas Company / Window Rock, AZ

10:00 am


10:15 am

Update on New DOI Rights-of-Way on Indian Land Regulations

Changes to 25 CFR 169 to streamline the process for obtaining BIA approval, ensure consistency with recently updated leasing regulations, and increase the flexibility in compensation and valuations: What are they and how well can we expect them to work?

Robert S. (Rob) Thompson, III, Esq.
Greenberg Traurig LLP / Denver, CO

Robert S. (Daubs) Thompson, IV, Esq.
Greenberg Traurig LLP / Denver, CO

11:00 am

Using the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act for Leasing Tribal Land for Energy Projects

Lessons from the development of Tribal regulations by early adopters for taking advantage of the delegation of leasing authority

Vanessa Lynn Ray-Hodge, Esq.
Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP / Albuquerque, NM

Tips for taking advantage of the surface leasing provisions to streamline approval for solar and wind energy projects

Kennis M. Bellmard, Esq.
Kennis M. Bellmard PLLC / Oklahoma City, OK

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Potential Federal Legislative Solutions to Facilitate Tribal Energy Development

Talking points when talking to your elected representatives about your Tribe's legislative wish list: Problems identified during this conference and amendments that could be made to various federal laws to address them in a coherent fashion

Pilar Thomas, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP / Tucson, AZ

Brian Gunn, Esq.
Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC / Washington, DC

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Moving Beyond Consultation to Collaboration on Cultural Resource and Environmental Impacts

Overview of current consultation legal requirements for on and off reservation activities; tips for dealing with the reality that the federal government will be less interested in consultation

Rebecca Tsosie, Esq. , Moderator
University of Arizona / Tucson, AZ

The duty to consult with nearby Tribes for on-reservation projects; process tips for dealing with inter-Tribal conflicts

Pilar Thomas, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP / Tucson, AZ

Tips for engaging developers on impact mitigation when it's not required

Constance L. Rogers, Esq.
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP / Denver, CO

4:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Lynn H. Slade, Lynn H. Slade, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Modrall Sperling. In his Indian law practice, he advises natural resource and energy developers, financial institutions, utilities, and other businesses in transactions and project development, including extensive involvement with renewable energy projects.

Pilar Thomas, Pilar Thomas, Program Co-Chair, is Of Counsel at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP. Her practice is focused on Tribal renewable energy project development and finance along with Tribal economic development. She recently served as the Deputy Director for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Joan E. Drake, Joan E. Drake, Moderator, Modrall Sperling, assists clients on utility regulation and environmental permitting matters involving state and federal regulation of utility rates and service, facility siting, wholesale and retail sales, renewable energy and Qualifying Facilities ("QF"), electric transmission and interconnection, power purchase and service agreements, and energy efficiency.

Rebecca Tsosie, Rebecca Tsosie, Moderator, is Regents Professor of Law at the University of Arizona's Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. She currently serves as appellate judge for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation's Supreme Court and San Carlos Apache Tribe's Court of Appeals.

Jeffrey H. Albright Jeffrey H. Albright is a partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP. He has been involved in more than 250 cases before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, including solar and thermal solar technology, renewable energy and electric utility rate cases.

Scot Anderson Scot Anderson is the Global Head of the Energy & Natural Resources Group at Hogan Lovells US LLP. He regularly addresses issues related to mineral development of federal public lands and Indian lands.

Kennis M. Bellmard of Kennis M. Bellmard PLLC represents Native American Tribes and Tribal entities as a Tribal Attorney. He recently assisted an Oklahoma Tribe in becoming HEARTH Act authorized for the purpose of establishing a renewable energy project on tribal trust land.

Linda Benally Linda Benally is in-house regulatory counsel at Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. She focuses her practice in state and federal regulatory law in the electric utility industry including state regulatory matters related to the siting and building of power plants and transmission lines and subsequent compliance.

Germaine R. Chappelle Germaine R. Chappelle is a Shareholder at Gallagher & Kennedy PA. She practices environmental and natural resources law, and public utilities. Previously she served as as Chief General Counsel for New Mexico's Department of Public Safety.

Louis Denetsosie is Vice President and General Counsel of Navajo Nation Oil & Gas Company. He formerly served as the Attorney General for the Navajo Nation.

Troy A. Eid Troy A. Eid co-chairs the American Indian Law Practice Group at Greenberg Traurig, LLP focusing on environmental enforcement, and energy and natural resource development. He formerly served as United States Attorney for the District of Colorado.

Brian Gunn Brian Gunn is a principal in the Indian Tribal Governments group at Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC. He was the lead lobbyist for the Indian Trust Asset Reform Act, which President Obama signed into law on June 22, 2016.

Steven Paul McSloy Steven Paul McSloy chairs the Native American Practice Group at Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP. He advises clients on corporate finance, commercial lending, bond issuance, tax-exempt debt, workouts, joint ventures and general corporate matters.

Vanessa L. Ray-Hodge i Vanessa L. Ray-Hodge i s a partner at Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP. She previously served as the Senior Counselor to Solicitor Hilary Tompkins at the Department of the Interior.

Constance L. Rogers Constance L. Rogers is a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP where she advises companies on project development. She previously served as Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Mineral Resources at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Gregory A. Smith Gregory A. Smith is a partner at Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP. He represents Indian tribes and Tribal organizations as an attorney and as a government affairs specialist.

Ryan A. Smith Ryan A. Smith is a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP. Before joining Brownstein, he served as a senior legislative advisor to former Senate Minority Whip, Jon Kyl (R AZ), and Deputy Counsel for the Arizona Department of Water Resources. He successfully ushering through Congress significant pieces of legislation concerning Indian water settlements, the Colorado River, water management, and federal funding for Indian Country.

Keith Sparks Keith Sparks is Director of Development for Clean Line Energy. He is responsible for managing the siting process for implementing the Centennial West Clean Line and the Western Spirit Clean Line to bring renewable power from New Mexico to market.

Robert S. (Daubs) Thompson, IV Robert S. (Daubs) Thompson, IV focuses his practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP on natural resource development on American Indian and Federal lands with regards to the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Quiet Title Act.

Robert S. (Rob) Thompson, III is a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP. He has broad experience in Indian law and energy and natural resources matters, with a focus on the oil and gas industry.

Ashley K. Wald Ashley K. Wald is a partner at Holland & Hart LLP where she provides guidance to clients in the solar, wind, hydropower and natural gas industries as they develop energy projects and related infrastructure. She also negotiates power purchase agreements.

Jana Waters Jana Waters is a Realty Specialist in the Office of Trust Services at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.


Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 12.7 New Mexico CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

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