Tribal Energy Resource Agreements Under the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act
The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) is promulgating final regulations providing that Indian tribes, at their discretion, may enter into business agreements and leases for energy resource development and grant rights-of-way for pipelines or electric transmission or distribution lines on tribal land without the Secretary's review and approval. Indian tribes entering into such business agreements, leases, and grants of rights-of-way must execute them under an approved tribal energy resource agreement (TERA) between the Secretary and the tribe. These final regulations provide the process under which a tribe may apply for, and the Secretary may grant, authority for an Indian tribe to review and approve leases and business agreements and grant rights-of-way for specific energy development activities on tribal lands through an approved TERA. The regulations also cover processes for implementation of TERAs, including periodic review and evaluation of a tribe's activities under a TERA, enforcement of TERA provisions, and administrative appeals. The regulations also include a process for a tribe's voluntarily rescinding a TERA.