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The U.S. Senate has approved legislation that aims to cut red tape and remove barriers to tribal energy development.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017 that he introduced will provide tribes with greater flexibility to develop energy resources.

“Indian tribes should have the same opportunities to develop their natural resources as any other sovereign nation,” said Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “For years, Washington’s overregulation has hurt tribal energy development and stymied economic growth in Indian Country.”

Mark Fox, chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, said in a statement the bill will help streamline the permitting process.

“Our reservation is in the middle of the most active oil and gas play in the United States, but barriers to Indian energy development stand in our way,” Fox said.

The bill was one of nine bills for Indian Country that passed the full Senate by unanimous consent this week.

 

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