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
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Printer friendly version
Indian energy title adopted without changes
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2003

A Senate panel approved a broad Indian energy package on Tuesday over concerns that it could undermine the federal government's trust responsibilities.

On a straight party-line vote, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee killed an amendment that would have stripped the bill of its most controversial provision. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), the panel's ranking member, said some tribes and environmental opposed a section that limits federal review of energy projects.

"There's an abdication of federal trust responsibility embedded in this provision and we need to rethink how we structure it," he said.

But Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), the committee chairman, spoke against the proposal and said it would defeat the goals of tribal self-determination. "Sen. Bingaman's amendment would essentially gut this bill in terms of giving the Indian people of this country an opportunity to proceed to develop their energy resources for the first time in history," he argued.

Other Democrat members of the panel voiced objections on grounds that the section waives the federal National Environmental Policy Act. Their 11 votes, however, weren't enough to overcome the 12-member Republican majority and the committee adopted the chairman's mark of the Indian Energy Title.

"With tribes suffering from 50 to 70 percent unemployment," said Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, "I think this section not only helps alleviate some of the job losses on Indian reservations but the nation at large at getting us less dependent on foreign energy."

The Indian energy package was developed in conjunction with Campbell's committee. At a hearing last month, tribal representatives said they were worried that it absolves the Department of Interior of its trust obligations and prevents them from recovering damages for breach of trust.

Their testimony came in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Navajo Nation, which said the federal government wasn't liable for an coal development lease the tribe said wasn't in its best interests.

The Navajo Nation, the largest tribe in the nation, and the Jicarilla Apache Nation of New Mexico, another resource-rich tribe, submitted letters in opposition to the provision Bingaman tried to strip. But the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT), which represents more than 50 tribes with significant trust assets, offered its support. The Navajo and Apache tribes belong to the organization.

The provision in question is aimed at eliminating bureaucratic hurdles to tribal development. It allows tribes, on a voluntary basis, to submit a tribal energy resource plan to the Department of Interior. The secretary has 180 days to approve or deny it.

After that, the tribe can undertake projects, enter into leases and agreements and grant rights-of-way pursuant to the resource plan without additional federal review. In light of the concerns about the Supreme Court ruling, Campbell's committee inserted language that would appear to preserve the secretary's trust responsibilities.

Domenici was optimistic yesterday that the full bill, including the Indian title, will make it to the Senate floor. Last year, national energy policy legislation failed to make it out of joint House-Senate conference committee.

"This will not be an extremely limited authority," Domenici said of the Indian section. "It will be a total panorama of energy potential projects."

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, coalbed methane, oil, natural gas and other assets.

Relevant Documents:
Summary of Indian Energy Title III | Indian Energy Title III | Amendment 34

Relevant Links:
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee - http://energy.senate.gov
Council of Energy Resource Tribes - http://www.certredearth.com

Related Stories:
Some tribes concerned about Indian energy bill (4/29)
Energy bill will streamline Indian development (04/15)
Tribal energy bill limits environmental review (03/24)
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)

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:
Native Sun News: Deadly storm hits Crow Creek Sioux Reservation (7/3)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud youth hold suicide awareness walk (7/3)
Delphine Red Shirt: Speak the Lakota language to carry on culture (7/3)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules trust reform hearing (7/3)
Chumash Tribe wins dismissal of suit over status of reservation (7/3)
Four groups in Oklahoma seeking federal recognition through BIA (7/3)
Little Shell Chippewa Tribe welcomes federal recognition reforms (7/3)
Leader of Duwamish Tribe calls denial of recognition 'devastating' (7/3)
Editorial: Other tribes in Virginia deserve federal recognition too (7/3)
Ojibwe hockey star excited for transfer to team in nation's capital (7/3)
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe wants sacred rock on national register (7/3)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe won't give up on wind energy despite delays (7/3)
Catawba Nation fought against British during Revolutionary War (7/3)
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho revives powwow after 15-year absence (7/3)
Taos Pueblo man sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing (7/3)
Disputed leader of Chukchansi Tribe sentenced for clash at casino (7/3)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe starts work on Class II gaming facility (7/3)
Tohono O'odham Nation faces state in court in new casino lawsuit (7/3)
Cherokee Nation to open hotel at $80M casino near Arkansas in fall (7/3)
Brian Pierson: Tribal labor sovereignty could land in Supreme Court (7/3)
Pierre Bergeron: Judges split on federal labor law at tribal casinos (7/3)
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)
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.