Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on energy

A new wind turbine at the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, located on the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon. Photo from Facebook

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has added another hearing to its October schedule.

An oversight hearing on October 21 will focus on energy. More specifically, the committee will examine a Government Accountability Office report that said the Bureau of Indian Affairs hinders development by failing to process leases, rights-of-way and other agreements in a timely manner.

"This new report highlights several federal impediments to energy development in Indian Country,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the chairman of the committee, said in a press release after the report was released in June. “Washington’s poor record keeping and lack of consistency is slowing down natural resource development for tribes."

Barrasso is sponsoring S.209, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments. The bill would address some of the concerns raised in the report.

The committee approved the bill at a business meeting in February. It has not been brought up for consideration on the Senate floor.

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on “The GAO Report on ‘INDIAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT: Poor Management by BIA Has Hindered Development on Indian Lands.’” (October 21, 2015)

Government Accountability Office Report:
Indian Energy Development: Poor Management by BIA Has Hindered Energy Development on Indian Lands (June 2015)

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