Mr. Palma has more than 25 years of experience in natural resources and environmental law, most recently as lead counsel for the largest rail construction project in the U.S. in the last 100 years. Major energy companies consistently engage Mr. Palma to handle a broad spectrum of their legal issues.
Mr. Palma's extensive experience includes work in federal and state public land law, NEPA, environmental regulatory compliance and permitting, oil and gas, minerals, and water. He has worked on environmental and regulatory permitting associated with coalbed methane development, as well as with conventional oil exploration production, natural gas processing and pipeline facilities within Wyoming, and he has been an adviser to oil and gas producers, advising them on their day-to-day legal issues.
He has been lead counsel for major energy companies with respect to the NEPA and Endangered Species Act compliance regarding oil and gas projects on environmentally sensitive public lands in Wyoming, and has successfully defended challenges to projects before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and Forest Service. He has also litigated issues in the federal courts, including oil and gas royalties, EPA enforcement actions, NEPA, CERCLA, and Citizen's Suits, and regularly practices before the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Mr. Palma has written numerous articles and papers on natural resources, public lands, and environmental issues, water rights and water quality issues, including Indian water rights.Mr. Palma authored a chapter in the American Law of Mining, entitled “Cultural Resources Protection.” He also wrote a chapter in the Natural Resources Law Manual of the ABA entitled, “Land Exchanges with the Federal Government,” and for several years, he has authored the Wyoming Oil and Gas Section of the ABA's Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law Year in Review.
Mr. Palma has previously served on Holland & Hart's five-member Management Committee. Before joining the firm, he served as Natural Resources Deputy Attorney General for the Wyoming Attorney General's office with primary responsibility in legislative matters, trial and appellate litigation, and policy-making in the areas of natural resources and water law. In that role, he also handled the adjudication of federal, Indian, and private water rights.