April 19, 2012

Indian Affairs Committee Holds Legislative Hearing on Bipartisan Energy Development Bill

Washington D.C. –
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a legislative hearing today to examine S. 1684, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self Determination Act Amendments of 2011. S. 1684 was introduced by Vice Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and co-sponsored by Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI). 
“Energy development on tribal lands is critical for employment and economic growth in Indian country—and for America’s energy security and independence. This legislation will help increase tribal economic and energy development opportunities by removing road blocks and streamlining the process under current law,” said Barrasso.
“Our existing laws are falling short of fully enabling tribes to develop their natural resources. The Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self Determination Act would provide a common sense solution that would help tribes engage in energy projects and provide for their members,” said Akaka.
“In the last four years, energy development in and around our Reservation has exploded and we have struggled with the federal bureaucracy for every single oil and gas permit,” said Tex Hall, Chairman, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of the Fort Berthold Reservation. “We are still trying overcome outdated laws and regulations, bureaucratic regulatory and permitting processes, and insufficient federal staffing or expertise to implement those processes.”
“Energy development will result in hundreds of millions in royalty payments and economic activity and provide our Nation with a substantial opportunity to fund government operations, and ensure that our members can heat their homes and provide for their families,” said Hall.
“I look forward to working with Vice Chairman Barrasso and other members of the Committee to advance this important piece of legislation for tribal self-sufficiency and self-determination,” said Akaka.
“I would like to thank Chairman Akaka for supporting my legislation to break down Washington barriers to energy development in Indian Country,” said Barrasso.
More information and an archived webcast is available on the committee’s website: indian.senate.gov
Contact: Emily Deimel
Contact Phone: (202) 224-2251
Contact E-mail: emily_deimel@indian.senate.gov