Environment & Energy Report

Tribal Leaders Say Permitting Update Could Boost Energy Projects

July 8, 2020, 7:32 PM

The National Environmental Policy Act can be an obstacle when it comes to expediting energy production on Indian land, some tribal leaders told House lawmakers Wednesday.

“NEPA hinders on-reservation development and construction,” and not just with respect to energy projects, said Christine Sage, chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in southwestern Colorado. “Every time a major federal action is pending, NEPA is triggered.”

Sage was responding to a question from Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.

Sage also said “inconsistent requirements” across various federal agencies make it difficult to comply with the law,...

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