Poe Leggette has represented IPAA for twenty-five years. I want to reflect briefly on what he has done for the Association and for many of its members during that time. His successful litigation has saved our industry what the government estimates to be over 25 billion dollars. Those successes include: ...
Poe Leggette has represented IPAA for twenty-five years. I want to reflect briefly on what he has done for the Association and for many of its members during that time.
His successful litigation has saved our industry what the government estimates to be over 25 billion dollars.
Those successes include:
* His initial win for this Association in 1996, when a court of appeals rejected the government’s claim to a royalty share in our members’ settlements with interstate pipelines overs their take-or-pay obligations. Those claims were already over one billion dollars—and growing—when the court ruled.
* His successful defense, in the late 1990s, of some IPAA members in claims that they had cheated on royalties by using posted prices to value royalty on oil.
* His successful challenge under the Deepwater Royalty Relief Act. There, the government had tried to limit the royalty relief by spreading it out over the area of an offshore field instead of granting it lease by lease. He successfully avoided Supreme Court review, even though the government told the Court the financial impact of denying review would be 20 billion dollars.
* He successfully challenged the government’s claim that lessees cannot deduct firm demand charges paid to interstate pipelines from their royalty payments. The court agreed those were deductible transportation costs. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been saved.
* In a friend of the court brief for this Association, he helped persuade the Supreme Court in 1999 that gas in coal seams on federal lands belonged to the owner of gas rights, not to the owner of the coal. That ruling cleared the way for CBM development in large parts of the American West.
* In a friend of the Court brief for IPAA, he helped persuade the court of appeals that Interior could not ignore sales to affiliates in determining the royalty value of natural gas from federal leases.
* He has won, for our members, landmark cases
(1) on pipeline construction in Forest Service roadless wilderness areas,
(2) on compelling BLM to speed approval of APDs, and
(3) on the federal government’s right to allow its lessees access across the surface where the surface estate is privately owned. That victory was particularly significant because the favorable opinion was written by then-Judge Neil Gorsuch, a noted champion of private property rights.
* Most recently, he and his partner Mark Barron successfully challenged the Obama Administration’s hydraulic fracturing rule, and are now defending the Trump Administration’s repeal of the rule. IPAA estimates savings of $200 million a year from blocking the Obama rule.
* Two final points. First, Poe is the only lawyer I know of to have a court rule that the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service violated the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. Second, he has been very generous with his time in support of IPAA. In recent years, he has given us several hundred thousands of dollars in free legal advice on lawsuits, Congressional testimony, and industry comments on proposed rulemakings.
For an industry that faces the challenges of market volatility, organized opposition, and excessive regulation, Poe has championed access and the fight against unnecessary and costly burdens on your operations.
Poe, you have been a great friend to IPAA and its members. We want to recognize your twenty-five years of service.