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A temporary ban on oil and gas drilling across federal lands and waters will exclude tribal lands, the White House said in a fact sheet released yesterday, after some Native American communities criticized the move as financially harmful for their economies.
"Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands," the Ute Indian Tribe wrote in a letter to the acting energy secretary. "Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation."
In an executive order signed earlier this week, Biden said the order to halt all oil and gas leasing on federal lands will "not restrict energy activities on lands that the United States holds in trust for Tribes. The Secretary of the Interior will continue to consult with Tribes regarding the development and management of renewable and conventional energy resources, in conformance with the U.S. government's trust responsibilities."
Hours after taking office, President Biden's administration suspended for 60 days oil and gas permitting on federal lands and waters as part of a review into the policies of the previous administration and the push to green energy to fight climate change.
President Biden's move drew harsh reactions from the oil industry.
"Restricting development on federal lands and waters is nothing more than an 'import more oil' policy. Energy demand will continue to rise—especially as the economy recovers—and we can choose to produce that energy here in the United States or rely on foreign countries hostile to American interests," American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers said.
"We stand ready to engage with the Biden administration on ways to address America's energy challenges, but impeding American energy will only serve to hurt local communities and hamper America's economic recovery," Sommers noted.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com