Tribal Energy Bill Heading to President for Signature

Published December 10, 2018

Legislation Empowers Tribes to Develop Their Own Resources, Drives Economic Development

WASHINGTON — Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), announced that the House passed his bill, S. 245, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017 today. His bill will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

“This legislation empowers Tribes to manage their own energy resources, cuts red tape, drives economic growth and promotes energy development for Indian Country. It streamlines the process for Tribes to enter into Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) with the Department of the Interior (DOI),” said Hoeven. “TERAs facilitate more tribal control by authorizing tribal contracts, leases, and rights-of-ways for energy development without unnecessary, cumbersome federal bureaucracy. The bill will help level the playing field for Tribes so that they can participate, if they choose, in the booming energy market. We appreciate Congressman Don Young’s (R-AK-AL) leadership on this issue in the House and look forward to continuing to work together in the next Congress to incorporate his ideas for energy independence for Native communities. This bill was first introduced during the 112th Congress, and these improvements are long overdue. I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.”

S.245, among other things:

·                Directs the Department of the Interior (DOI) to provide Indian tribes with technical assistance in planning their energy resource development programs.

·                Expands the Department of Energy (DOE) Indian energy education planning and management assistance program.

·                Amends the Federal Power Act to require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to give Tribes, in addition to states and municipalities, preference for the receipt of preliminary hydroelectric licenses.

·                Creates at least four new biomass projects to be implemented for Tribes and Alaska Native corporations, in order to promote biomass energy production.

The bill was introduced by Senator John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) in January 2017. The bill passed the Senate on November 29, 2017. It passed the House Natural Resources Committee on November 15, 2018 and passed the full House by voice vote on December 10, 2018. It will now go to the President to be signed into law.

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