The Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2012 have passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. The Act aims to simplify and expedite the process of leasing for energy development on tribal land. U.S. Senator John Barrasso introduced it last October.
“The reason energy development is even tougher on reservations than it is on other land is that there is another additional level of bureaucracy. And that cuts through this, and it gives tribes authority to review and approve leases and business agreements. Because so many times people are just waiting and waiting and waiting to hear from the government. That’s one of the biggest problems here, is that the government is so slow.”
Senator Barrasso says reservation land is often lacking energy projects even while surrounding non-tribal land is booming, and this is due to the slow bureaucratic process. Federal agencies would continue to oversee the process, but the Act limits the time they have to submit their decisions. The bill now goes to the Senate.