The House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday passed Alaskan Congressman Don Young’s Native American Energy Act. Among other actions, the bill establishes five Indian Energy Development Offices within the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Young says the legislation also hold plaintiffs, rather than defendants, liable when an energy development project on Indian or Alaska Native Corporation land is delayed by what he calls “frivolous” lawsuits.
Representative Young also passed an amendment to his bill that voids a Department of Interior rule dealing with hydraulic fracturing on tribal lands unless the land owner gives express consent.
Young says the fracking rule makes tribal lands less competitive for development. He told the Committee he is concerned that bureaucracy keeps too many energy development projects on native lands from moving forward. There is no word on when the bill will be heard on the House Floor.
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