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Tribal Energy Legislation Goes to President’s Desk

Empowers Tribes to Develop Their Own Resources, Drives Economic Development

Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young helped pass S. 245 out of the U.S. House of Representatives. S. 245, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act passed the House by unanimous consent and will now go to the President’s desk for final approval. Congressman Young spoke in support of this legislation today on the House Floor:

“Promoting energy projects is critical for economic development throughout Indian Country. Native communities face a significant number of obstacles to developing and delivering energy on their land,” said Congressman Young. “I have always said that Alaska Natives and American Indians are the best caretakers of their lands. Tribal self-determination is all about empowering Native communities with the tools and authority to manage their resources, which this legislation will promote. I am particularly pleased that the bill includes a tribal biomass demonstration program, which mirrors a provision in my Native American Energy Act. I appreciate Chairman Hoeven’s willingness to continue working on Indian energy and his commitment to hold a hearing on my Native American Energy Act next Congress, and I thank him for his leadership on this issue. With the President’s signature on S.245, Native communities across the country are one step closer to energy independence.”

Watch Congressman Young speak in support of S. 245 on the House Floorhere.
To download Congressman Young's remarks, click here.

“This legislation empowers Tribes to manage their own energy resources, cuts red tape, drives economic growth and promotes energy development for Indian Country. It streamlines the process for Tribes to enter into Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) with the Department of the Interior (DOI),” said Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). “TERAs facilitate more tribal control by authorizing tribal contracts, leases, and rights-of-ways for energy development without unnecessary, cumbersome federal bureaucracy. The bill will help level the playing field for Tribes so that they can participate, if they choose, in the booming energy market. We appreciate Congressman Don Young’s (R-AK-AL) leadership on this issue in the House and look forward to continuing to work together in the next Congress to incorporate his ideas for energy independence for Native communities. This bill was first introduced during the 112th Congress, and these improvements are long overdue. I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.”

In January 2017, Congressman Young introduced H.R. 210, the Native American Energy Act to empower Native American communities in their energy independence efforts. S. 245 has many similar provisions and some of the notable ones include:

  • Directing the Department of the Interior (DOI) to provide Indian tribes with technical assistance in planning their energy resource development programs.
  • Expanding the Department of Energy (DOE) Indian energy education planning and management assistance program.
  • Amending the Federal Power Act to require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to give Tribes, in addition to states and municipalities, preference for the receipt of preliminary hydroelectric licenses.
  • Creating at least four new biomass projects to be implemented for Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, in order to promote biomass energy production.


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