One Step Closer to Energy Development in Indian Country

Jun 20, 2012

Native American Legislative Update - June 2012

One Step Closer to Energy Development in Indian Country

On May 16, the House Natural Resources Committee amended and approved the Native American Energy Act (H.R. 3973), legislation which is comprised of provisions recommended and strongly supported by tribes. The measure aims to make changes to various administrative processes that delay the conduct of energy development on Indian lands, and to give tribes more leeway in making decisions that involve their lands and natural resources.

As approved, H.R. 3973 now includes language which would prevent the Department of the Interior's proposed rule on hydraulic fracturing in the development or production of oil or gas resources from having any effect on land held in trust or in restricted status for the benefit of Indians without the express consent of the tribe or other beneficiary of the trust. That provision was offered as an amendment by the chair of the Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee, Rep. Young (AK).

At the business meeting on May 16, committee Democrats, unhappy with the bill's focus on non-renewable versus renewable energy, offered an amendment (by Rep. Lujan (NM)) which is similar to Title I of the Indian energy bill (S. 1683) introduced in the Senate by Senator Barrasso (WY), Vice-Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Title I of the Senate bill would modify provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to give additional assistance to tribes to plan, manage and finance tribal energy resource development programs. However, the Lujan amendment was defeated by a vote of 13 yeas to 23 nays. The Native American Energy Act, as amended, was then adopted and favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice vote.

Although House leadership expect to bring to the floor a package of domestic energy production bills later this month, all of which have been reported out of the Natural Resources Committee, future action on the Native American Energy Act is uncertain.

See more articles in the June 2012 NALU.

About Us
Sign Up

Press Room »

Events »

Work at FCNL »

Programs for
Young Adults »

Email Options »

© 2014 FCNL | 245 Second St, NE, Washington, DC 20002
202-547-6000 | Toll Free 800-630-1330