indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The Rise of Tribes and the Fall of Federal Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Article: US policy hinders energy development in Indian Country

Filed Under: Business | Law | National
More on: bia, economic development, energy
     

Shawn Regan of the Property and Environment Research Center discusses barriers to energy development in Indian Country:
Nearly every aspect of Indian energy development is controlled at some level by the federal government. The Secretary of the Interior must review and authorize all leases and agreements. Federal agencies also collect royalty payments on behalf of tribes and individual Indians and then redistribute them as royalty disbursements to Indian mineral owners.

The government’s authority over Indian lands traces its roots to the federal trusteeship established in the early nineteenth century. In 1831, Chief Justice John Marshall described tribes as “nations within a nation, ” unable to negotiate treaties with foreign nations but implying that they retained the power to govern themselves.

Marshall, however, went on to describe the relationship between tribes and the United States as “that of a ward to his guardian. ”10 From this conception, the federal government became the trustee of Indian lands. The government holds the legal title to all Indian lands and is required to manage those lands for the benefit of all Indians.

Underlying the federal trust responsibility is the notion that tribes are incapable of managing their own lands. For much of the twentieth century, tribes had little or no control over their energy resources. Royalties and other payments were historically set by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The agency consistently undervalued Indian resources and, by all accounts, did a poor job of negotiating and collecting royalty payments. 11 In 1977, the Indian Policy Review Commission concluded that “the leases negotiated on behalf of Indians are among the poorest agreements ever made.”

In practice, the federal trusteeship of Indian lands limits opportunities for tribal resource development and self-determination. Although tribes have gradually been granted more control over energy development decisions on their reservations, tribes still must acquire approval for every lease, a process that is notoriously slow and cumbersome. Many investors and energy companies simply avoid Indian lands altogether. In addition, Indians themselves are often skeptical of energy development due to past abuses and mismanagement by the government.

A complex bureaucracy raises the cost of energy development on Indian lands

On Indian lands, companies must go through at least four federal agencies and 49 steps to acquire a permit for energy development, compared to as few as four steps off reservations. The effect of this complicated bureaucracy is to raise the cost of entering into resource development agreements with tribes or individual Indians.

Get the Story:
Shawn Regan: Unlocking the Wealth of Indian Nations: Overcoming Obstacles to Tribal Energy Development (The Fairfield Sun-Times 2/25)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Girls basketball team proudly wears Navajo hairstyle during game (2/8)
Senate committee to host roundtable on Tribal Law and Order Act (2/8)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee postpones field hearing into EPA (2/8)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation invests in our people's wellbeing (2/8)
Kevin Washburn: Republicans punish tribe in public lands measure (2/8)
Harold Monteau: Democrats stack the deck for only one candidate (2/8)
Cutcha Risling Baldy: Don't let Leonard Peltier die in prison system (2/8)
Wallace Coffey resigns as chair of Comanche Nation after 25 years (2/8)
Pope Francis to celebrate mass at Indian church for trip to Mexico (2/8)
California communities go without as casino revenue fund dries up (2/8)
Apology offered to girls who were forced to change Native hairstyle (2/5)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders campaign starts Indian policy group (2/5)
Charles Trimble: Taking responsibility for upkeep of our cemeteries (2/5)
Mary Annette Pember: Memorial to Indian genocide eyed in Russia (2/5)
Terese Marie Mailhot: I guess I'm just one of those 'crazy' Indians (2/5)
Judge weighs compromise for $380M in leftover Keepseagle funds (2/5)
Blackfeet Nation welcomes movement on water rights settlement (2/5)
Yakama Nation wins decision on cost of cleaning up contamination (2/5)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe confident of casino bid despite lawsuit (2/5)
Arizona sees 6.9 percent boost in gaming contributions from tribes (2/5)
Cowlitz Tribe close to reaching agreement with city for new casino (2/5)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation questions exclusion from casino process (2/5)
Tribal leaders question management changes at IHS in Great Plains (2/4)
IHS chief medical officer apologizes for comments about newborns (2/4)
Group sues IHS for records about water pollution on Yakama Nation (2/4)
Sen. McCain still bothered by failure to block Arizona tribe's casino (2/4)
Gun Lake Tribe announces retirement of longtime chair DK Sprague (2/4)
House Natural Resources Committee passes Indian bills at markup (2/4)
Samuel Winder: Indian defendants face harsher criminal penalties (2/4)
Charles Kader: Tribal burial grounds in Florida are being desecrated (2/4)
Roger Chelsey: Pamunkey Tribe clears last hurdle for federal status (2/4)
Reno Sparks Indian Colony mourns passing of leader William Coffey (2/4)
Native students convince school to name Indigenous People's Day (2/4)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe supports move to Indigenous People's Day (2/4)
Coquille Tribe donates $100K to help college with health programs (2/4)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes help inmates reintegrate (2/4)
Little River Band hails BIA movement on off-reservation casino bid (2/4)
Lac Vieux Desert Band reopens hotel after disease scare at casino (2/4)
Eastern Cherokee council revives plan for bowling alley at casino (2/4)
Mark Trahant: Self-determination should be on table for campaign (2/3)
Bernie Sanders won Democratic precinct on Meskwaki Reservation (2/3)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes two water bills at meeting (2/3)
House committee approves Lytton Band bill with casino limitation (2/3)
Wounded Warriors Family Support reaches out to tribal veterans (2/3)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.