According to the Los Angeles Times (in an article posted January 21st):
The Biden administration announced Thursday the suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters, effective for 60 days, as officials moved quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment.
The suspension, part of a broad review of programs at the Interior Department, went into effect immediately under an order signed Wednesday by acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega. It follows President Biden’s campaign pledge to halt new drilling on federal lands and end the leasing of publicly owned energy reserves to help address climate change.
That ruling resulted in the following letter written by Luke Duncan, Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee, to the Acting Secretary of the Interior, Scott de la Vega (posted at Breitbart January 24th)
The article at Breitbart quotes a Washington Times article:
The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, which has run an oil-and-gas operation on its 4.5 million-acre reservation for more than 70 years, requested Thursday an exemption for tribal lands from the Interior Department order that halts agencies from issuing permits and leases on mineral production for 60 days.
Duncan called the order “a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination,” adding, “Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation.”
According to the tribe’s website, mining oil and natural gas is “big business on the reservation.”
The Ute Indian reservation is obviously much smaller than it originally was. The government took a large portion of their land. Now we are adding insult to injury by preventing a group of people engaged in legal, profitable economic activity from making a living and being self-supporting. I am not sure this is really the direction we should be headed. Stay tuned.