Kempthorne promises plan on reservation energy
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne says he will create an action plan to expedite energy development on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota.

Kempthorne met with Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and Marcus Wells Jr., the chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation on Thursday to discuss oil drilling permits. The reservation sits within the Bakken Formation, a large repository of oil, but the Bureau of Indian Affairs has a backlog of 1,400 leases, delaying economic development for the tribe and its members.

"Today’s meeting was just a start. The real test will be whether or not the BIA will establish a way to get energy development moving on the Fort Berthold Reservation," Dorgan said in a press release.

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven (R) met separately with Kempthorne to press for faster approval of leases.

Get the Story:
Action promised for Fort Berthold oil (The Bismarck Tribune 6/21)

Related Stories:
Sen. Dorgan presses Interior on energy development (06/06)
North Dakota tribe eyes oil and gas development (5/21)