High Risk: Federal Management Challenges Related to Indian Energy Resources, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 199KB]

"Indian tribes and their members hold considerable energy resources and may decide to use these resources to provide economic benefits and improve the well-being of their communities. However, according to a 2014 Interior document, these resources are underdeveloped relative to surrounding non-Indian resources. Development of Indian energy resources is a complex process that may involve federal, tribal, and state agencies. Interior's BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] has primary authority for managing Indian energy development and generally holds final decision-making authority for leases, permits, and other approvals required for development. GAO's [Government Accountability Office] 2017 biennial update to its High Risk List identifies federal management of programs that serve tribes and their members as a new high risk area needing attention by Congress and the executive branch. This testimony highlights the key findings of three prior GAO reports (GAO-15-502, GAO-16-553, and GAO-17-43). It focuses primarily on BIA's management of Indian energy resources and development. For the prior reports, GAO analyzed federal data; reviewed federal, academic, and other literature; and interviewed tribal, federal and industry stakeholders."

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