Tribes exempt from pause in U.S. federal drilling program -official

“The approval process for oil and gas activities does not apply to tribal and individual trust lands,” Interior spokesman Tyler Cherry said in an email, referring to the secretarial order issued on Jan. 20, President Joe Biden’s first day in office.

Tribes Exempt

Native American tribes are exempt from the Biden administration’s temporary suspension of U.S. oil and gas leasing and permitting on federal lands, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Interior said on Monday.

The clarification comes after an oil-producing tribe in Utah last week asked Interior for an exemption from the 60-day pause, saying it would hit its economy and sovereignty.

“The approval process for oil and gas activities does not apply to tribal and individual trust lands,” Interior spokesman Tyler Cherry said in an email, referring to the secretarial order issued on Jan. 20, President Joe Biden’s first day in office.

The order, which strips Interior Department agencies and bureaus of their authority to issue drilling leases and permits, appeared to be a first step in delivering on Biden’s campaign pledge to ban new drilling on federal acreage permanently.

But the immediate backlash from the Ute Indian Tribe reflects the financial strain some communities will face from a freeze in the government’s fossil fuel permitting program. While some tribes opposed fossil fuel development, others are drilling the vast oil and coal reserves on their land.

In a letter to acting U.S. Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega last week, the Ute tribe said energy development was critical to providing services to its members.

An attorney for the Ute tribal counsel did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Biden’s pick to lead the Interior Department, Deb Haaland, is poised to become the first Native American to head a cabinet agency once she is confirmed by Congress. She has said she would prioritize climate change and conservation and has previously opposed drilling in ecologically and culturally sensitive areas.

Reuters

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Stuart Turley is President and CEO of Sandstone Group, a top energy data, and finance consultancy working with companies all throughout the energy value chain. Sandstone helps both small and large-cap energy companies to develop customized applications and manage data workflows/integration throughout the entire business. With experience in implementing enterprise networks, supercomputers, and cellular tower solutions, Sandstone has become a trusted source and advisor in this space. Stuart has led the “Total Corporate Digital Integration” platform at Sandstone and works with Sandstone clients to help integrate all aspects of modern digital business. He is also the Executive Publisher of www.energynewsbeat.com, the best source for 24/7 energy news coverage and is the Co-Host of the energy news video and Podcast Energy News Beat. Stuart is on Board Member of ASN Productions, DI Communities Stuart is guided by over 30 years of business management experience, having successfully built and help sell multiple small and medium businesses while consulting for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He holds a B.A in Business Administration from Oklahoma State and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.