Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

A Boost from Bridenstine: Lawmaker Wants Tribe to Have More Control over Energy Production

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

A Boost from Bridenstine: Lawmaker Wants Tribe to Have More Control over Energy Production

Article excerpt

TULSA - Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine called Wednesday for greater tribal control of oil and gas production in Oklahoma, specifically in Osage County.

Bridenstine made the remark while discussing the American Energy Renaissance Act, which he has sponsored in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has introduced the measure in the Senate.

The bill would empower tribes such as the Osage Nation to assume greater control over their mineral resources, Bridenstine said.

"The act has a provision where the states have the ability to regulate production on federal land within their borders," Bridenstine said. "Also, the act gives tribes the authority to regulate production."

West of the Mississippi River, Indian reservations hold 20 percent of known oil and gas reserves, according to a published report.

Parts of the bill pleased Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear.

"Some is good. Some I am not clear on, and some I would like to know more," Standing Bear said.

He said he has concerns about sections of the measure that describe regulations of production on tribal land.

"One thing I have learned is that Congress will say one thing, but once the regulations come down, they do not match what Congress intended," Standing Bear said. "The parts about streamlining the leasing and permitting are great, however."

The measure has 14 points, Bridenstine said. One would expand energy development on federal lands by allowing greater control by states on oil and gas leasing, permitting and regulating energy resources. Another portion would streamline permitting and expand development on federal lands by requiring decisions regarding permit applications to be made within 30 days.

"I would like to have input," Standing Bear said. "I would like to see a clarification, or merger, between various federal bureaus."

Standing Bear said there is confusion at times between the role of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U. …

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