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
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
GOP leaders release second draft of energy bill
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Republicans crafting the national energy policy bill released a new version of the controversial Indian energy title on Monday, saying they incorporated the suggestions of Democrats.

Key among the changes is language that seeks to reinforce the federal government's trust responsibilities. New provisions affirm an ongoing trust relationship with tribes that choose to speed up development of their lands.

Left unchanged, however, is the section that waives the Department of Interior's liability for mismanagement that might occur on those lands. This has been the most contentious part of the bill, raising charges by some Democrats and some tribes that it would undermine the entire tribal-federal relationship.

But the section has been modified to the point where the waiver only applies under a certain set of conditions. For example, if a tribe negotiates an agreement with a third party whose terms are not in compliance with pre-approved tribal regulations and federal law the government's liability remains intact.

Another revision calls on the government to protect the rights of tribes when third parties violate federal law or tribal agreements and that the government shall always "act in good faith and in the best interests of the Indian tribes."

In releasing the new set of changes, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) said they reflected "bipartisan input." "We have made excellent progress on this energy conference," they said in a joint statement.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Resources Committee, asked for, and received, language that requires Interior to develop regulations that allow for "site inspections" of tribal energy projects. Another Bingaman section allows tribes to receive federal funding to develop what are known as tribal energy resource agreements (TERAs).

The TERAs are at the heart of the streamlined process envisioned by the bill. Once a TERA is approved by Interior, tribes can enter into leases, business agreements and rights-of-way without seeking federal approval for each separate project.

Republican supporters, including Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) note that the TERA process is entirely voluntary. Tribes worried about releasing the government of its liability don't have to participate.

Some tribes and tribal organizations, including the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT), back the new process. Waiting for federal approval can cause business deals to evaporate or go sour, they say.

Others believe the bill could have some negative impacts. The Navajo Nation, the largest tribe in the country, and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), raised concerns about the section on liability, charging that it would encourage Interior to shirk its responsibilities.

The Department of Energy estimates that 10 percent of the nation's untapped energy resources are on Indian land. Many tribes have eagerly tapped their coal, natural gas and other assets.

Relevant Documents:
Indian Energy Title | 2003 Energy Legislation

Relevant Links:
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee - http://energy.senate.gov
National Congress of American Indians - http://www.ncai.org
Navajo Nation - http://www.navajo.org
Council of Energy Resource Tribes - http://www.certredearth.com

Related Stories:
Energy bill process draws complaints from Democrats (09/25)
GOP leadership resurrects ANWR drilling provision (09/23)
GOP to add ANWR drilling provision to energy bill (09/22)
Democrats say Republicans hogging energy bill talks (09/12)
White House renews call to open ANWR to drilling (9/11)
Bush seeks speedy passage of energy legislation (08/20)
Navajo president still concerned about energy bill (08/06)
Senate scraps energy bill for 2002 measure (8/1)
Indian energy title being reworked in Senate (7/31)
Indian energy title up for debate in Senate (7/28)
Editorial: Senate should vote down Indian energy (7/25)
Campbell: The 'truth' about Indian energy bill (7/25)
Navajo Nation's Shirley slams energy bill (7/22)
Report: Campbell aide shuts down energy bill debate (07/08)
Senate takes up Indian energy title (6/12)
Navajo Nation opposes energy bill (6/6)
Indian energy title adopted without changes (04/30)
Tribes weigh effects of energy legislation on trust (03/20)
Navajo Nation tussles with new trust 'philosophy' (03/20)
Interior opposes oversight in energy bill (03/20)
High court ruling makes 'passive' trustee of U.S. (3/5)

Copyright � 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

Trump administration rolls out first rule under historic trust reform law
Interior Department sends out another $13.1M in Cobell buy-back offers
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs headed to New Mexico for hearing
House committee again leaves out Indian Country in hearing on Interior
Mark Maxey: Oklahoma tries to crush Native protesters with new law
Carletta Tilousi: Havasupai Tribe threatened by uranium development
Opinion: Don't be fooled by Jimmie Durham's claims of Cherokee heritage
Opinion: Economic development for Indian Country in upcoming farm bill
Government worker suspended after calling Native principal a 'rabid s----'
Kiowa citizen Tristan Ahtone to report on tribes for High Country News
New York Times features Dina Gilio-Whitaker in editorial on health care
Tribes break ground on monument to their history in Virginia's capitol
Warm Springs Tribes battle large wildfire that broke out behind casino
Spokane Tribe casino doesn't bother Air Force despite claims in lawsuit
Tribes in for long haul as oil continues to flow through Dakota Access
Mark Trahant: Don't plan on getting sick if you're from Indian Country
Tiffany Midge: I shall joke as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow
Director of Office of Indian Energy deletes offensive Twitter account
States cheer decision on grizzly bears amid tribal concerns about hunts
Washington asks high court to overturn Yakama Nation treaty victory
New York Times editorial board reconsiders stance on racist trademarks
Colville Tribes remove council member a week before citizens go to polls
Marijuana firm promises big investments with help of ex-Seminole chair
Lumbee Tribe ordered to release voter list to opponents of chairman
National Indian Gaming Association chooses David Bean as vice chair
Eastern Cherokee citizen promoted to vice president of casino marketing
Tribes in Connecticut waiting on governor to sign bill for new casino
Secretary Zinke removes protections for grizzlies over tribal objections
Court sets final deadline for remaining payments from Cobell settlement
Mary Annette Pember: Indian Child Welfare Act strengthens our families
Peter d'Errico: Navajo authors offer fresh perspective on sovereignty
Native woman was jailed and forced to ride with assailant during trial
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe challenges new permit for uranium operation
Montana tribes get new member of Congress who pleaded to assault
Connecticut tribes welcome court decision favoring new casino law
Pueblo tribes dispute state's demand for $40M in gaming revenues
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe remains confident of approval of casino
Nooksack Tribe accepting slot tickets while casino remains closed
Key House committee under fire for moving slowly on tribal agenda
Tribes go it alone on climate change as Trump team shifts priorities
Bryan Newland: President Trump's budget threatens tribal treaties
Steve Russell: The GI Bill changed the United States for the better
Harold Monteau: Democrats lack proactive agenda, proactive strategy
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe orders 20 non-citizens to leave reservation
Wilton Rancheria accused of working too closely with city on casino
Witness list for hearing on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Arne Vainio: What does the princess want to be when she grows up?
Doug George-Kanentiio: 'Spirit Game' brings Iroquois lacrosse to life
Cronkite News: Navajo activist vows fight against racist NFL mascot
Eric Hannel: Addressing the health care crisis among Native Americans
Bill for tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies advances in California
Ramapough Lunaape Nation wins reversal of ruling on prayer camp
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still waits on casino ruling from Trump team
Another former leader of Winnebago Tribe pleads in gaming theft case
Supreme Court ruling poses hurdle for opponents of racist NFL mascot
Change the Mascot campaign responds to negative Supreme Court ruling
Secretary Zinke set for another hearing on Interior Department budget
Mark Trahant: Republicans write health reform bill behind closed doors
Jeff Grubbe: Agua Caliente Band focuses on protecting our groundwater
>>> 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.