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
Indian Law Online Master Degree - University of Tulsa College of Law
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...
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:
Native Sun News: Lakota riders complete journey to Little Bighorn (7/2)
Lakota Country Times: Newspaper takes home top honors at NAJA (7/2)
Brandon Ecoffey: Delivering stories that matter to Indian Country (7/2)
Ivan Star: Creating a culturally appropriate economy at Pine Ridge (7/2)
Elizabeth Hawksworth: Being patriotic and being Native in Canada (7/2)
Micah A: Blood quantum does not make me any less of an Indian (7/2)
David Shorter: Learning not to speak on behalf of Native peoples (7/2)
Marc Simmons: Legend of Catholic priest saved by grateful tribe (7/2)
Sen. McCain deemed responsible for land swap at sacred Oak Flat (7/2)
A Tribe Called Red releases free remix of Buffy Sainte-Marie track (7/2)
Pamunkey Tribe wins final federal recognition decision from BIA (7/2)
Duwamish Tribe rejected for federal recognition for a third time (7/2)
BIA accused of blocking road access on New Mexico reservation (7/2)
Chippewa Cree Tribe elects Ken St. Marks as chair for fourth time (7/2)
Mississippi Choctaw leader comes out on top in unofficial results (7/2)
Bois Forte Band grows economy with second Tim Hortons Cafe (7/2)
Chickasaw Nation hails selection of permanent Indian law chair (7/2)
Editorial: Gila River Indian Community to blame for highway path (7/2)
Cow Creek Band continues to oppose new Coquille Tribe casino (7/2)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes renovate casino resort (7/2)
Four more tribes in New Mexico enter Class III gaming compact (7/2)
Editorial: Pojoaque Pueblo gets pass on illegal gaming operation (7/2)
Save Oak Flat caravan plans journey to DC to protect sacred site (7/1)
Court reluctantly backs NLRB in Saginaw Chippewa Tribe dispute (7/1)
Native Sun News: Opposition grows to delisting of grizzly bears (7/1)
Lakota Country Times: Reservation counties rank as deadliest (7/1)
Steve Russell: Professor outed as Cherokee fraud once again (7/1)
Harlan McKosato: Indian people survive despite mistreatment (7/1)
Marshall Matz: Fight for $380M in Keepseagle funds continues (7/1)
BIA acquires former military site in trust for Ho-Chunk Nation (7/1)
Appropriations bill adds $10M for tribal courts in PL280 states (7/1)
Sen. Murkowski questions definition of 'Indian' for health care (7/1)
South Dakota board won't back name change for sacred peak (7/1)
Fort Peck Tribes take on cost for homes promised by Brad Pitt (7/1)
Hoopa Valley Tribe orders water restrictions as tanks run dry (7/1)
Cherokee Nation certifies results of election for top positions (7/1)
Secretary Sally Jewell reaffirms opposition to racist mascots (7/1)
Virginia tribes hindered by racist policies created by one man (7/1)
Column: Native Code Talkers defended nation with languages (7/1)
Guilty plea for stabbing of BIA superintendent in South Dakota (7/1)
Opposition group rallies over Miccosukee Tribe land-into-trust (7/1)
Pojoaque Pueblo keeps casino open after gaming deal expires (7/1)
Court allows lawsuit for incident at Tonto Apache Tribe casino (7/1)
Navajo Nation Council approves bill to share gaming revenue (7/1)
Soboba Band celebrates 20th anniversary for gaming facility (7/1)
Mashantucket Tribe extends agreement for $1.7B casino debt (7/1)
BIA adopts new policy regarding federal recognition process (6/30)
Supreme Court agrees to resolve another Indian law dispute (6/30)
Patrick Murphy: Star Trek's William Shatner visits Navajoland (6/30)
Yvette Roubideaux: Making progress at Indian Health Service (6/30)
Native Sun News: Wambli Ska group shares culture with youth (6/30)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux leader pushes zeolite mine (6/30)
Native Sun News: BLM to update plan for land near Bear Butte (6/30)
Alex Jacobs: Fake Indians damage the real Indian community (6/30)
Sarah Sunshine Manning: Even toys carry harmful messages (6/30)
Ponca Tribe sends twelve youth to White House conference (6/30)
Lobbyists met at White House to discuss federal recognition (6/30)
Alaska Native man finally out on parole in 1997 homicide case (6/30)
Gyasi Ross gets nod for 'Marlon Brando' single off new release (6/30)
Washington governor supports repatriation of Kennewick Man (6/30)
Morongo Band interested in acquiring Colt gun manufacturer (6/30)
Gila River Indian Community files suit to protect sacred place (6/30)
Lac Du Flambeau Band man sentenced for abusing young girls (6/30)
Sault Tribe protected by sovereign immunity in casino dispute (6/30)
Pojoaque Pueblo at critical juncture with Class III gaming deal (6/30)
BIA releases scoping report for Coquille Tribe's Class II facility (6/30)
Local leaders talk Tohono O'odham Nation casino controversy (6/30)
Editorial: Extend Class III casino compact with Seminole Tribe (6/30)
Rep. McCollum vows support for Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (6/29)
BIA issues long-awaited update to federal recognition process (6/29)
Native Sun News: Tribal youth share traditions and technology (6/29)
Lakota Country Times: Treaty council slams mine at Pine Ridge (6/29)
Mark Trahant: Action plan needed for health in Indian Country (6/29)
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.