New Mexico leaders bash Biden admin's order targeting oil, drilling on federal land: 'How does that bring us together?'
'Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates'
The Biden administration's 60-day pause on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits on federal land, signed by Acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega late Wednesday, could result in devastating consequences to state economies that rely on proceeds from oil sales.
Native America tribe torches Biden admin over oil, drilling order: 'A direct attack on our economy, sovereignty'
'Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination'
A federally recognized Native American tribe is demanding President Joe Biden's administration immediately rescind or amend a new policy that temporarily suspends new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits on federal land.
The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, which is located in Utah, blasted acting U.S. Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega for issuing the two-month moratorium, claiming the order violates the tribe's sovereignty.
The Biden administration's action is particularly personal for the Ute Indian Tribe because they produce a significant amount of oil.
The tribe produces about 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day in the Uintah basin, along with about 900 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, according to a document it filed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2017.
"The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation respectfully requests that you immediately amend Order No. 3395 to provide an exception for energy permits and approvals on Indian lands. The Ute Indian Tribe and other energy producing tribes rely on energy development to fund our governments and provide services to our members," Luke Duncan, chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee in Utah, wrote in a letter to de la Vega.
The letter continued, "Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation."