Washington D.C. –
Today U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, cosponsored bipartisan legislation aimed at enabling Indian tribes to better utilize the vast energy resources on their lands and spur the creation of thousands of jobs across the nation.
“Indian reservations make up approximately five percent of the United States land base, and it is estimated that those reservations contain about ten percent of the country’s energy resources,” said Chairman Akaka. “Indian lands hold great potential for traditional and renewable domestic energy production and could help decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources and create much needed jobs in some of the most impoverished areas of the nation.”
The bill, S.1684, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2011, would streamline federal processes related to energy development on Indian lands and help tribes partner with private entities to build infrastructure needed to engage in energy projects.
Chairman Akaka characterized introduction of the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2011 as “an important first step,” and pledged to work closely with Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Vice Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee and sponsor of the measure, “to increase the ability of Native communities to develop energy resources on their lands and enhance self-determination.”
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