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North Dakota tribe sees ups and downs in energy development

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota is seeing a boom in energy development but not everyone is happy.

From January 2008 to July 2012, the tribe received $53 million in bonus payments and $64 million in royalties from energy development in the Bakken Formation, Business Week reported. Even more money is expected as development ramps up on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

“The economic benefits of this oil and gas development are far-reaching,” Chairman Tex Hall said at a House hearing in July.

Individual landowners are also seeing payments. But some have filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs, accusing the agency of failing to maximize their returns.

“If you sit back and say nothing, they are going to use all of this money," Ramona Two Shields, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, told Business Week.

Hall himself has complained of infrastructure woes that he said have been exacerbated by energy rigs driving through the reservation.

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