Bennett Johnston Science Foundation Donates $800,000 to Support the John P. Laborde Energy Center

Energy Law Gift

 

(pictured above, from left: Mary Johnston Norris, Chancellor Jack M. Weiss, Senator J. Bennett Johnston)

Last month, the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center welcomed back alumnus Senator J. Bennett Johnston (’56) as the guest of honor at a ceremony in the Law Center’s student lounge. The ceremony celebrated Senator Johnston’s donation, in conjunction with the J. Bennett Johnston Science Foundation, of $800,000 to the John P. Laborde Energy Law Center.

Senator Johnston’s donation will establish the J. Bennett Johnston Energy Law Endowment Fund. The Fund will be used to sponsor student internship and externships in the energy field. The donation is also a major step forward in the Energy Center’s ongoing $20 million fundraising campaign.

At the donation ceremony, Senator Johnston, who served as Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, pointed out the tremendous opportunities available to LSU Law with the newly established Laborde Energy Center. As Louisiana is at the center of the United States’ resurgence as a major energy producer, Senator Johnston stated that LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center has the potential to be “the West Point of energy.”

 

 

 

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Mark your Calendars for the Institute for Energy Law and LSU Law Center Co-Presented Symposium: Career Paths for Young Attorneys in the Energy Sector

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The Institute for Energy Law (IEL) and the LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center are proud to co-present the symposium on April 4th and 5th at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

The symposium will be co-chaired by Patrick Dunn of EDF Trading Resources, LLC in Austin and Keith B. Hall of the LSU Law Center. Senior industry personnel will cover a wide variety of topics, including: in-house legal work, working as a landman, becoming a negotiator, and regulatory and compliance opportunities.

The symposium will conclude with employer experts detailing the skills required for success in these areas. The focus will be on students who have a strong interest in working in the energy sector.

Interested persons should visit www.cailaw.org/IEL for further details and to register.

 

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Bringing the Rockies to the Bayou Guest Lecture Series: March 13

The first Bringing the Rockies to the Bayou guest lecture series will be held Thursday, March 13 at 12:40 p.m. in room 106 at the LSU Law Center.  Lunch will be provided.

Professor Uma Outka with the University of Kansas School of Law will present, “Intrastate Preemption in the Shifting Energy Sector.”

Professor Outka joined the KU Law faculty as an associate professor in 2011 and is an affiliate faculty member in the KU Environmental Studies Program and Center for Environmental Policy. She teaches environmental law, energy law and related courses, and property.

This program is made possible by a grant from the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law  Foundation.

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Upcoming Speaker on Natural Resources: Louisiana Timber

On Monday, February 17, 2014 at 12:40 in Room 106, the Louisiana Law and Business Society will host Mr. Roy O Martin, President and CFO of RoyOMartin Co.

Mr. Martin is a graduate of LSU and holds an MBA from LSU. Roy O Martin Co. is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and is one of the largest companies in the Southeast for timber. Today, RoyOMartin Co.has a land base of over 500,000 acres of prime southern pine and fine hardwoods throughout Louisiana. This natural resource base supports manufacturing facilities in Louisiana, including state-of-the-art OSB, plywood and treating operations. Additionally, the company operates a small log sawmill near Monroeville, Alabama, and a pole mill in Leola, Arkansas. Martin Companies also owns Indigo Minerals, Inc, owning 300+ wells in mineral rights in East Texas and North LA with mineral rights in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and Central Louisiana Austin Chalk play. Food will be provided at the meeting.

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Second Annual Mineral Law Institute Writing Competition at Paul M. Hebert Law Center

The 2013-2014 Mineral Law Institude Writing Competition has officially opened! Details about prizes and submissions are included below. The Writing Competition Issue is included below those details.

AWARD:

The author of the winning submission will receive a $1000 prize and have his/her work published in the Mineral Law Newsletter, on the MLI website, and in the LSU Journal of Energy Law and Resources online companion journal, Energy Law Currents. The second place winner will receive a $300 prize and have his/her work published on the MLI website and in Energy Law Currents. The third place winner will have his/her work published on the Mineral Law Institute (MLI) website and in Energy Law Currents.

ELIGIBILITY:

All 2L or 3L students currently enrolled full-time at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center are eligible, including students graduating in the spring or summer of 2014. Previously published pieces or pieces slated for publication are ineligible.

GRADING:

Submissions will be considered by a panel of energy and mineral law experts selected by the Mineral Law Institute.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

Students should submit a well-reasoned, researched response in article format to the attached prompt to cbland@lsu.edu no later than 12:00pm on Friday, March 7, 2014.

All submissions should be double-spaced with 1 inch margins, appear in Times New Roman 12 point font, and should be approximately 15 pages in length. Please include a cover page providing your name, contact information, and year in law school.

Writing Competition Issue

Mineral Code art. 24 (Louisiana Revised Statute 31:24), which governs who may grant a servitude, provides that “a mineral servitude may be created only by a landowner who owns the right to explore for and produce minerals when the servitude is created.” This suggests that a landowner whose land is burdened by a mineral servitude cannot create a servitude on top of a servitude – that is, if there exists a mineral servitude entitling the servitude owner to explore for and keep all minerals produced from particular land, the owner of that land cannot create a new mineral servitude covering that land while the existing servitude remains in effect. Further, Mineral Code article 76 (Louisiana Revised Statute 31:76) states: “The expectancy of a landowner in the extinction of an outstanding mineral servitude cannot be conveyed or reserved directly or indirectly.” Thus, there is no reversionary interest that can be made an object of commerce. See Min. Code art. 76 cmt. The person who is the landowner at the time a mineral servitude terminates typically receives the benefit of that termination, which removes a burden from his land.

On the other hand, Mineral Code article 77 (Louisiana Revised Statute 31:77) codifies an after-acquired title doctrine with respect to the purported conveyance of mineral servitudes. The article states: “If a party purports to acquire a mineral servitude from a landowner when the right purportedly acquired is outstanding in another and the landowner either subsequently acquires the outstanding right or is the owner of the land at the time it is extinguished, the after-acquired title doctrine operates to vest the right in the party who purported to acquire it to the full extent of his title.” Thus, if a landowner enters a transaction in which he purports to grant a servitude to a person, but the grant cannot be given effect because of a pre-existing servitude, article 77 would seem to make the grant of a servitude enforceable when the pre-existing servitude terminates, at least in certain circumstances.

Articles 76 and 77 can come into tension. Suppose that there is a landowner (“Landowner”) whose land (the “Land”) is subject to an existing mineral servitude (the “Original Servitude”) for 100% of any minerals produced from the Land. The Landowner enters a transaction (the “Transfer”) in which he purports to transfer a mineral servitude (the “New Servitude”) to someone (“Purchaser”) who is not the owner of the Original Servitude. The instrument by which the Transfer is effected does not mention the Original Servitude or refer to the rights purportedly granted to Purchaser as being a reversionary right. The instrument (which will sometimes also be referenced as the “Transfer”) simply states that Landowner is transferring a mineral servitude to Purchaser.

Although the Transfer does not acknowledge that a mineral servitude already burdens the Land, evidence shows that Landowner and Purchaser each knew that the Land was burdened by the Original Servitude, and each understand that Louisiana law generally would prohibit Landowner from either creating a new servitude at the time of the Transfer or from transferring a reversionary interest. Further, the parties structured their transaction the way that they did so that the after acquired title doctrine might have application, in the event that the Original Servitude terminated. Finally, suppose that approximately one year after the Transfer, the Original Servitude terminates. Landowner still owns the Land, but he has had second thoughts about the Transfer. Relying on article 76, he now contends that it the Transfer is void, making the New Servitude void and unenforceable. Purchaser, on the other hand, argues that article 77 makes the New Servitude enforceable.

In Rodgers v. CNG Producing Co., 528 So.2d 786, (La. App. 3rd Cir. 1988), the Third Circuit concluded that article 76 should govern, but there was a dissent, and the Louisiana Supreme Court has not resolved the disputed issue. What is the proper resolution of the dispute between Landowner and Purchaser?

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Lunchtime Speaker: Christopher S. Kulander, Assistant Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law

Please join us on Friday, November 8th at the LSU Law Center for an exciting lunchtime presentation by Christopher S. Kulander, Assistant Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law.  The talk will take place in the Robinson Courtroom located on the second floor (near the lounge) at 1:00 pm.  Lunch will be provided.

Professor Kulander teaches on a variety of energy related topics, including oil and gas law, property law, energy law, and mining law.  At the lunchtime presentation he will discuss the potential of liquified natural gas in the United States and abroad.

LiviNG in the USA: from Imports to Exports”

America may soon go from liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) importer to exporter due to advancements in the use of modern hydraulic fracturing (“fracing”) and directional drilling. Development of hydrocarbon-bearing “tight” formations, such as shale, and the exportation of LNG promise to transform the onshore U.S. oil and gas industry, providing all manner of jobs to engineers, geologists, energy lawyers, and other specialists. World energy markets will also be transformed by this American revolution, particularly in Europe where countries currently dependent on Russian natural gas and oil are looking for alternative sources of hydrocarbons. Provided that the U.S. can prevent overregulation of unconventional development and can quickly permit and build LNG export terminals, a brighter future may await onshore natural gas producers currently mired in soft commodity prices.

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Volume I, Issue 2 Articles Announced

Robert Ames, Anthony Corridore, Joel N. Ephross, Edward A. Hirs, III, Paul W. MacAvoy, & Richard Tavelli, The Arithmetic of Shale Gas

Brian Bowman, Recent FERC Efforts to Remedy Inadequate Transmission Capacity and the Implications for the Development of Wind Power

Brent J. Hartman, Biomass-Based Diesel: Fueling the Renewable Fuel Standard

Andrew M. Heacock, The Frac-as Over Property Taxation of Louisiana Oil and Gas Wells

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Lunchtime Panel with Priya Aiyar from the Department of Energy

The LSU Journal of Energy Law and Resources is proud and honored to host Ms. Priya Aiyar, Deputy General Counsel for Environment and Nuclear Programs for the Department of Energy, during her visit to the Law Center next week.  After a prestigious academic career and a substantial career in private practice, Ms. Aiyar began a career in government service.  Before serving in her current post for the Department of Energy, Ms. Aiyar led the Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in investigating the spill.  Ms. Aiyar will be visiting the Law Center on March 27th as the guest speaker for the Journal’s inaugural banquet and also to participate in a lunchtime panel discussion with LSU Law faculty members Robert Sloan, Keith Hall, and Blake Hudson from 12:40-1:40 in the auditorium.  All LSU students and faculty are invited for the unique opportunity to participate in and observe this lunch time panel discussion.  Lunch will be provided.

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Volume I Junior Associate Articles Announced

The Editorial Board is proud to announce and congratulate the following Volume I Junior Associates for being selected for publication.

Noah Baker, How Long Do We Have? The Applicability of the Suspension Doctrine for Louisiana Mineral Leases in Light of Ferrara v. Questar

Cavarrio Carter, System Check: Evaluating the Appropriate Means for Achieving Balance Between the Necessity for Natural Resources Exploration and Texas Landowner Rights

Sam Crichton, Strategic Retreat: A Proposed Response to Evasive Energy Company Tactics following the Shale Boom-and-Bust

Joe Ellison, Renewing the Budget: Recommendations for Louisiana’s Renewable  Energy Tax Credit

Zachary Howser, A Binding and Perpetual Obligation: Protecting Louisiana’s Sixteenth Section Land as a Natural Resource

Spencer King, Clearing The Air: The Misguided Ruling of EME Homer and The Future of Interstate Pollution Regulation

Brian Lindsey, Shady Grove on the Bayou: Louisiana’s Procedural Limitations on Legacy Oil Suits in a post-Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A. v. Allstate Ins. Co. Landscape

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MLI, EMLS, & JELR Joint Writing Competition

The Louisiana Mineral Law Institute, the LSU Energy and Mineral Law Society, and Journal  of Energy Law and Resources are proud to present the first annual joint Energy & Mineral Law Writing Competition.

Submissions must be emailed to cbland@lsu.edu by April 7, 2013. For more information and the writing competition prompt, please visit our Energy & Mineral Law Writing Competition Page.

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