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Environment
Artman promotes tribal energy resource agreements


The Bureau of Indian Affairs awaits the first applicants for its newly-implemented tribal energy regulations, assistant secretary Carl Artman said on Monday.

Final regulations that were published in the Federal Register allow tribes to exercise greater control over their energy resources. Tribes can submit a tribal energy resource agreement, or TERA, to the BIA to speed up approval of leases, rights-of-way and other business deals.

"The tribal energy resource agreement is a major step for tribal self-determination and self-governance that will usher in a new era of tribal economic development," Artman said. "It is a new tool for tribes who want to directly manage their energy resources and develop their renewable and non-renewable energy resources to benefit their communities and the nation."

The regulations were authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. They are entirely voluntary and not all tribes will take advantage of them.

But Artman said the BIA will start helping tribes "immediately" if they want to participate. National meetings are being planned to promote the program.

"We stand ready to work closely with any tribe that chooses to establish a TERA with the Interior Department by ensuring access to the expertise and data necessary for this level of decision-making responsibility," Artman said.

The regulations become effective April 9.

Federal Register Notice:
Tribal Energy Resource Agreements Under the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act; Final Rule (March 10, 2008)

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