Energy & Natural Resources

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is your guide to the complex, ever changing legal environment that surrounds energy and natural resources. Today, businesses in almost every industry face complex legal challenges from increasing regulatory oversight, growing public scrutiny and new environmental laws. With nationally respected practitioners in water, energy, hazardous waste, land use and renewable energy, we deliver the legal services required to balance prosperity and environmental responsibility.

Our attorneys practice in virtually every area of natural resource law and bring superlative legal skills, extensive experience in Washington, D.C., and valuable relationships developed from years of practice to navigate the most complex natural resource matters. We routinely represent resource users, public agencies and utilities, manufacturers, mining and extraction companies, large landowners and developers in all aspects of their business. We also counsel associations, nonprofits and others organizations in the energy, natural resources and environmental space. Regardless of industry, we take a multi-disciplinary approach that brings together legal, lobbying and strategic services.

Ryan A. Smith 202.747.0507

Chambers USA, 2018

Colorado: Natural Resources & Environment

What the team is known for: Established group that offers expertise in a broad spectrum of transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. Well versed in water issues and highly regarded for advising oil and gas industry clients on matters including mining, air and hazardous waste compliance. Extensive experience in permitting matters.

Strengths: Sources say: "The very good water resources practice."

California: Environment

What the team is known for: Dedicated water law practice group. Equipped to handle the full spectrum of matters, including water rights, quality and distribution for a range of clients, from government agencies to suppliers. Also offers deep legislative and lobbying expertise.

Strengths: Sources say: "They are superb. I like their thoroughness, their expansive knowledge on the subject matter and the fact they have a good depth of resources."

    Representative Matters
    • Represented COGA and its member companies with respect to addressing a variety of legislative issues, including the 2019 omnibus oil and gas bill, statewide ballot measures, and local government regulations.

    • Assisted client in preparing remediated property for sale to park foundation in the middle of heavily industrialized area of Los Angeles County with no nearby park serving local residents. Services included negotiating and documenting sale, drafting appropriate deed restrictions to prevent change of use that could expose seller to risk of liability, resolving/clearing title issues, drafting lease agreement, coordinating with buyer in negotiations with regulatory agencies for bona fide purchaser status under California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act of 2004 (CLRRA), Prospective Purchaser agreement, agreement and covenant not to sue (from DTSC), land use covenant and agreement for environmental restrictions, and related documents. Transaction was completed timely.

    • Successfully represented the Colorado Oil and Gas Association in litigation against the cities of Lafayette, Fort Collins, and Longmont regarding bans or moratoria on hydraulic fracturing activities, prevailing on summary judgment in each matter. This litigation involved precedent-setting issues pertaining to state versus local preemption of oil and gas activities, and culminated in two rulings by the Colorado Supreme Court striking down Longmont's ban and Fort Collin's five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

    • Successfully represented COGA and its members in a number of complex, multi-day rulemaking before the COGCC , including rulemakings concerning new setback requirements and new flowline regulations governing mapping, registration, removal and integrity management issues.

    • Successfully represented a large oil and gas company in a high profile regulatory proceeding before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regarding potential violations related to the company's deep water injection wells and low-level earthquakes in the region. This work included assisting the company in obtaining permits for new deep water injection wells.

    • Represented several energy companies in opposing potential state-wide ballot initiatives impacting oil and gas operations. This work included devising a legal and government relations strategy to oppose twelve different ballot measures.

    • Representation of a national solar module manufacturer in connection with tax incentives on a solar photovoltaic project in Clark County, Nevada

    • Development of a process and framework to select a zero emissions technology for subsequent preparation of a RFQ/RFP to implement an environmentally friendly system to move shipping containers from the ports' docks to railroad distribution yards. Advised the ports concerning selection of procurement frameworks, public contracting, public relations, public records and confidential information.

    • Successfully represented Madison Capital in an oil and gas case involving properties in Colorado and New Mexico.

    • Represented a large, multi-state cattle ranching operation in obtaining a favorable ruling from the IRS regarding a split-off of the business between family members.

    • Represented Aspect Abundant Shale, a Denver-based energy and natural resources company, in its $250 million sale of two natural gas wells in Arkansas to a Texas-based oil and natural gas company.

    • Successfully defended Trans-Canada Pipeline, a large Canadian pipeline company, in a gas transportation antitrust case in Federal Court in Montana. Paladin Associates v. Montana Power et al.

    • Provided land use and CEQA compliance advice to the first wind project in Santa Barbara County.

    News & Events

    Meet The Team

    Peter N. Brown Shareholder T 805.882.1401
    Beth Collins Shareholder T 805.882.1419
    Diane C. De Felice Shareholder T 310.500.4613
    Mark J. Mathews Shareholder T 303.223.1179
    Jon Hrobsky Policy Director T 202.872.5294
    Luke D. Johnson Policy Director T 202.747.0513
    Alicia Harrison Senior Land Use Project Manager T 805.882.1442
    Joanna S. Kaufman Land Use Planner T 805.882.1426
    Jason Buckner Shareholder T 202.216.4868
    Jena Shoaf Acos Associate T 805.882.1427
    Steven A. Amerikaner Shareholder T 805.882.1407
    Chris Frahm Shareholder T 619.702.6917
    Elisabeth L. Esposito Associate T 916.594.9717
    Hubert A. Farbes, Jr. Shareholder T 303.223.1186
    Jessica L. Diaz Associate T 805-882-1416
    Mack Carlson Associate T 805.882.1485
    Martha L. Fitzgerald Shareholder T 303.223.1472
    Wayne F. Forman Shareholder T 303.223.1120
    Bradley J. Herrema Shareholder T 310.500.4609
    Christopher R. Guillen Associate T 805.882.1452
    Christine A. Jochim Shareholder T 303.223.1163
    Dulcinea Z. Hanuschak Shareholder T 303.223.1184
    Gary M. Kvistad Shareholder T 805.882.1414
    Jeffrey A. Jay Associate T 303.223.1173
    Kenneth Khachigian Senior Partner T 949.498.3879
    Lawrence J. Jensen Shareholder T 202.747.0509
    Stephanie Osler Hastings Shareholder T 805.882.1415
    Andrew L. Meyers Shareholder T 303.223.1193
    Jason C. Moore Shareholder T 303.223.1121
    Kimberly E. Leefatt Associate T 310.500.4607
    Matthew J. McKissick Associate T 702.464.7054
    Amy M. Steinfeld Shareholder T 805.882.1409
    Benjamin J. Saver Associate T 303.223.1215
    Hal Stratton Shareholder T 505.724.9596
    Julia E. Rhine Associate T 303.223.1279
    Jonathan C. Sandler Shareholder T 310.564.8672
    Michael P. Smith Associate T 303.223.1150
    Ronda L. Sandquist Shareholder T 303.223.1191
    Robert J. Saperstein Shareholder T 805.882.1417
    Ryan A. Smith Shareholder T 202.747.0507
    Susan F. Petrovich Shareholder T 805.882.1405
    Steven O. Sims Shareholder T 303.223.1149
    Scott S. Slater Shareholder T 310.500.4600
    Brooke M. Wangsgard Associate T 310.500.4627
    Carolynne C. White Shareholder T 303.223.1197
    Eric Waeckerlin Shareholder T 303.223.1290
    Ryan Waterman Shareholder T 619.702.7569
    Sarah Walters Shareholder T 202.383.4719
    Kara Kenfield Paralegal T 303.223.1485
    Margaret H. Cawthra Paralegal T 303.223.1358
    Patricia L. Davis Paralegal T 303.223.1344