TO THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly urges your support for S. 245, the “Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017.”
S. 245 will streamline and clarify how a tribe applies for, and how the Department of Interior approves, Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs), which grant a tribe authority “to review, approve, and manage leases, business agreements, and rights-of-way for energy development on tribal lands, without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.”
The negotiation and approval process for a TERA was enacted into law 13 years ago as Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (PL 109–58). However, because that Act did not make clear the process for obtaining a TERA, there has not yet been a single TERA submitted for secretarial approval.
In addition to the TERA-perfecting amendments, S. 245 includes provisions to reform and improve the trust asset appraisal process, to allow the Department of the Interior to enter into agreements with tribes to carry out biomass demonstration projects, and to authorize tribal involvement in the Department of Energy weatherization program.
The Chamber urges swift passage of this important legislation.
Neil L. Bradley