During a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, Republicans pressured Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to encourage tribes to develop more oil and natural gas resources.
Republican Sen. John Barrasso argued that oil, gas and coal reserves held in trust by the U.S. for tribes offer the best opportunity for prosperity in some areas.
Jewell responded with the Department’s stand on energy, saying that it would assist tribes in expanding renewable and secure energy supplies safely and responsibly in accordance with tribe objectives.
The Secretary’s statement comes just before a proposal by the Interior Department that would require energy producers to disclose the chemicals they use and practice standards of integrity regarding wells and water that return to ground level afterward.
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Republicans say that the rule will inhibit tribe prosperity.
"I just hope you realize that any new regulations are likely to exacerbate delays and costs and hinder tribes," Barrasso told Jewell.