A native American tribe has called for the new Biden administration to urgently rescind or amend a freshly signed executive order to allow an “exception for energy permits and approvals on Indian lands.”
The Ute Indian tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, which is located in Utah, has rejected President Biden’s decision to temporarily suspend new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits on federal land.
In a letter to acting Secretary of the Interior Scott de la Vega last week, the Ute claim that by issuing a two-month moratorium, the order violates the sovereignty of the tribe, reported The Blaze.
“The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation respectfully requests that you immediately amend Order No. 3395 to provide an exception for energy permits and approvals on Indian lands. The Ute Indian Tribe and other energy-producing tribes rely on energy development to fund our governments and provide services to our members,” said Luke Duncan, chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee in Utah, in a letter to de la Vega.
The tribe added, “Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation.”
The letter continues, “Your order was also issued in violation (of) our government-to-government relationship. Executive Order No. 13175 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and Interior’s own Policy on Consultation with Tribal Governments.”
The Interior Department has defended the order and explained last week that it “does not impact existing ongoing operations under valid leases.”
The new order is a reflection of Biden’s agenda of prioritizing a progressive climate agenda. He signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris climate agenda and canceled the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit on his first day in office.
According to Reuters, the Ute tribal lands produce about 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day in the Uintah Basin, along with about 900 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, according to a document the tribe filed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2017.
Tens of thousands of jobs will be lost with a suspension of oil and natural gas drilling, and the price of energy will escalate, causing even greater hardship for U.S. families, already struggling under the weight of the CCP Virus pandemic.