Manatt's Craig Moyer, chair of the firm's Land, Environment and Natural Resources division, has been recognized by the Daily Journal as one of California's most influential lawyers for 2014. Published in the Los Angeles and San Francisco editions, the prestigious annual "Top 100" list profiles 100 of the leading lawyers in the state, honoring those who are doing the most cutting-edge work in litigation, regulation and corporate transactions.
In its profile of Moyer, the Daily Journal featured his significant work for the Navajo Nation in its acquisition of the Navajo Mine from BHP Navajo Coal Co. The mine supplies coal to the Four Corners Power Plant in New Mexico, and the deal would therefore impact customers in both New Mexico and Arizona.
"It was a very complicated transaction, given the number of parties and transactions involved," Moyer said. "There were a lot of regulatory matters that came up." He added that the deal provided the Navajo Nation with control over its resources and protected jobs. Without it, the Nation stood to lose nearly $100 million a year in royalties and revenues, as well as more than 800 jobs. The mine is expected to generate $4 billion in revenues over the life of the project.
In addition, ten percent of the profits from coal sales will be used to fund research and the development of alternative energy sources, including renewable energy.
"The Nation wants to move to a clean-energy future," Moyer said, "and this is a bridge to that future by providing the revenues to pay for it."