May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

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House Passes Bill to Boost Tribal Renewable Energy

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved S. 245, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017 (the Bill), which is designed to allow Native American tribes to take greater control over energy development on their lands and to reduce the amount of governmental red tape.

The Bill, which was passed by the Senate in November 2017, directs the Department of Interior to provide tribes with technical assistance in planning their energy resource development programs. Further, the Bill expands the Department of Energy’s Indian energy education planning and management assistance program to make intertribal organizations eligible for grants and to allow grants to be used to increase the capacity of tribes to manage energy development and energy efficiency programs.

The Bill’s sponsor, Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota and chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, stated: “This legislation empowers tribes to manage their own energy resources, cuts red tape, drives economic growth and promotes energy development for Indian Country.”

Hoeven particularly touted the Bill’s provisions to help tribes reach Tribal Energy Resource Agreements, or TERAs, with the Interior Department. “TERAs facilitate more tribal control by authorizing tribal contracts, leases, and rights-of-ways for energy development without unnecessary, cumbersome federal bureaucracy,” Hoeven said in a statement. “The bill will help level the playing field for tribes so that they can participate, if they choose, in the booming energy market.”

The Bill now awaits President Trump’s signature to be made a law.

© 2020 Foley & Lardner LLP


About this Author

Jason W. Allen, Foley Lardner, Energy Industry Lawyer, Finance Attorney

Jason Allen is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he is a member and co-chair of the Energy Industry Team. He is a member of the Finance & Financial Institutions, Transactional & Securities, and Private Equity & Venture Capital Practices. Mr. Allen’s practice focuses in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity, finance, and general corporate and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on transactions in the energy industry. 

Larry Bonney Wisconsin Business Lawyer

Larry Bonney is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice concentrates on representing owners, sponsors, developers, sellers, buyers, lenders and other parties in a wide array of energy matters, with a particular focus on real estate and development aspects. Mr. Bonney heads the real estate and project development group of the Energy Industry Team. He is also a member of the Finance & Financial Institutions and Real Estate Practices.

Justus Britt, Solar Energy Project Attorney, Foley Lardner Law Firm

Justus Britt is a business lawyer and special counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP. Mr. Britt focuses on the development and acquisition of solar energy projects. His project development experience includes advising clients on real estate, permitting, and construction matters, including negotiating supply, EPC, and O&M agreements. Mr. Britt’s acquisition experience includes leading due diligence efforts and assisting on stock and asset purchase agreements, as well as joint venture agreements. He is a member of the firm’s Energy Industry Team and the Transactional...