Barrasso works on energy dev. in Indian country
March 14, 2014
Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2014 (S. 2132). The bill will give Indian tribes more tools to develop their energy resources and to remove unnecessary barriers to economic development.
"Energy development on tribal lands is critical for economic growth and job creation in Indian Country," said Barrasso. "For far too long, Indian tribes have expressed concerns about the job-crushing regulations coming out of Washington that prevent them from pursuing economic development opportunities—especially energy development. My bill will reverse this trend by streamlining the approval process and giving tribes greater control over the management and development of their energy resources. This will give folks in Indian Country the tools they need to spur economic growth and create good paying jobs in their communities."
In addition to Barrasso, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2014 is co-sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Hoeven (R-ND), John McCain (R-AZ) and John Thune (R-SD).
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 included an Indian Energy title—Title V. Title V was enacted to deal with the delays and uncertainties that are inherent in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' energy leasing process. This bill provided Indian tribes with an alternative way to develop their energy resources.
More than 8 years after the enactment of this legislation, it appears that no tribe has yet availed itself of the new energy development process.
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The Barrasso bill includes a number of amendments to the process established in 2005. His amendments will cut red tape and make it easier for the Indian tribes to develop their own resources.
The bill addresses other aspects of Indian tribal energy development, including a "biomass demonstration project" for biomass energy production from Indian forest lands, rangelands and other Federal lands in accordance with program requirements developed by the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture after consultation with Indian tribes. This amendment would facilitate the development of tribal biomass projects by providing them with more reliable and potentially long-term supplies of woody biomass materials.
Senator Barrasso originally introduced the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2011 on October 12, 2011. F