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
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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:
War of words escalates on mine at sacred Apache site in Arizona (7/27)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to take up land-into-trust fix (7/27)
Senate panel sets hearing on substance abuse in Indian Country (7/27)
Red Lake Nation schedules August 19 referendum on liquor sales (7/27)
Poarch Creeks win injunction blocking county from imposing tax (7/27)
Native Sun News: Indian elders suffer from higher dementia risk (7/27)
Lakota Country Times: Lawmakers hear about tribal economies (7/27)
Mark Trahant: Press the Republican candidates on Indian issues (7/27)
Brandon Ecoffey: Race remains an issue for police in Rapid City (7/27)
Cynthia Dunne: Justice has been served in Leonard Peltier case (7/27)
Carly McIntosh: Native name brings me closer to Mother Earth (7/27)
Mississippi Choctaw family seeks answers for county jail death (7/27)
Judge can't reopen Keepseagle case after $380M goes unspent (7/27)
Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation won't drop federal recognition bid (7/27)
Editorial: New Jersey governor quietly obliterates three tribes (7/27)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe wins approval for liquor ordinance (7/27)
Seminole Tribe reports lack of progress in casino pact dispute (7/27)
Catawba Nation in talks to bring Hard Rock into gaming plans (7/27)
Graton Rancheria to break ground this fall on hotel at casino (7/27)
Sen. Barrasso defends quick movement on transportation bill (7/24)
Tribal gaming industry sees modest growth to $28.5B in 2014 (7/24)
House lawmakers introduce new version of land-into-trust fix (7/24)
Special Trustee Vince Logan reaching out to Indian Country (7/24)
Native Sun News: Deadwood mayor welcomes Native culture (7/24)
Lakota Country Times: Police aim to improve race relations (7/24)
James Giago Davies: Mixed-race Indians shamed over blood (7/24)
George Abeyta: Stallone Trosper taken from us in act of hate (7/24)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation puts citizens back to work (7/24)
EJ Montini: Money wins in war to protect sacred Apache site (7/24)
Member of Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe runs popular bakery (7/24)
Man from Tulalip Tribes pleads not guilty to new gun charges (7/24)
Opinion: It's time to take a closer look at tribal governance (7/24)
Editorial: Respect the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation (7/24)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe owes HUD for casino building (7/24)
Editorial: Colville Tribes realize dream with flagship casino (7/24)
Editorial: Pojoaque Pueblo acts in bad faith in gaming fight (7/24)
San Carlos Apache Tribe clashes with Rep. Gosar after rally (7/23)
Senate committee takes look at regulation of tribal gaming (7/23)
Lawmakers advance Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act in House (7/23)
Senate panel backs victim services and transportation bills (7/23)
House subcommittee takes up Pueblo and Alaska Native bills (7/23)
Native Sun News: Rapid City mayor retaliates against paper (7/23)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala riders win top Indian relay title (7/23)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux Tribe deserves leaders with integrity (7/23)
Vince Two Eagles: Questions about 'Pezhi' in Indian Country (7/23)
Native Sun News Editorial: No honor in being called 'Redskin' (7/23)
Raul Grijalva: Congress must rebuild relationship with tribes (7/23)
Donna Ennis: It's time to take back our cultural sovereignty (7/23)
Tribal members protest handling of major trial in Rapid City (7/23)
Officials back Northern Arapaho Tribe on hate crime charges (7/23)
Quapaw Tribe holds language preservation camp for youth (7/23)
Dennis Whittlesey: Judges disagree on labor law at casinos (7/23)
Chukchansi Tribe can't remove rivals from office near casino (7/23)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe weighs options after losing poker ruling (7/23)
Non-Indian firm drops out of casino race in Massachusetts (7/23)
San Carlos Apache Tribe lands in DC to rally for sacred site (7/22)
Northern Arapaho Tribe calls shooting of men a hate crime (7/22)
Lawmakers show support for Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (7/22)
NIGC down to one member as leader faces Senate hearing (7/22)
Witness list for House subcommittee hearing on tribal bills (7/22)
Native Sun News: Powwow returns to South Dakota prison (7/22)
Lakota Country Times: Community gathers to discuss race (7/22)
Gyasi Ross: Native youth carry on the strength of our people (7/22)
Mike Myers: A fundamental right to develop our economies (7/22)
Trial opens into racist treatment of Indian children at game (7/22)
Navajo Nation voters ease fluency standard for candidates (7/22)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe seek to reduce rate of recidivism (7/22)
Catawba Nation envisions $350M film studio on reservation (7/22)
Virginia governor seems less interested in luring NFL team (7/22)
Peruvian government to make contact with isolated tribe (7/22)
9th Circuit won't let Coeur d'Alene Tribe offer poker games (7/22)
Mohegan Tribe launches Internet gaming site in New Jersey (7/22)
Adams Lake First Nation opens doors to new gaming facility (7/22)
Editorial: Negotiate new casino compact with Seminole Tribe (7/22)
Indian youth face enormous economic and health obstacles (7/21)
Appeals court sides with Pit River Tribe in sacred site dispute (7/21)
Witness list for Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing (7/21)
Native Sun News: Rapid City police choose cultural advisor (7/21)
Lakota Country Times: Journey Museum hosts young artist (7/21)
Mark Trahant: Alaska makes a big decision for Indian health (7/21)
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.