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California | Environment & Forest Defense

5 Federal Bills In A New Wrapper Of Rhetoric Open More Lands To Fracking
by Tomas DiFiore
Sunday Jun 29th, 2014 7:32 AM
Like John Trudell has said, regarding industrialization of the landscape:
“Public Lands are the new reservations”.

Block H.R. 4899 and Ban Fracking, No New Deviant/Slant/Horizontal Frac Wells
Re-Size The Industry To Meet US Energy Needs
drill_everywhere_doc_hastings.jpg
drill_everywhere_doc_hast...

5 Federal Bills In A New Wrapper Of Rhetoric Open More Lands To Fracking

For the last four years, Doc Hastings has authored legislation to expand fracking and extreme oil and gas production to every Township in America. It has always failed. He's back... Combining the failed attempts, and adding new language in the 89 pages of text in the current H.R. 4899.

H.R. 4899 - Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014 (Rep. Hastings (WA) - Natural Resources/Judiciary).
http://www.democraticwhip.gov/content/daily-whip-thursday-june-26-2014

“Title I of the bill is comprised of H.R. 2231 - “Offshore Energy and Jobs Act.”
“Title II of the bill, comprised of H.R. 1965 – “Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act” – combines 5 Republican bills related to onshore drilling. The first bill, H.R. 1965, would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lease at least 25% of lands nominated by the oil and gas industry and to automatically approve any permit which has not been formally decided upon within 60 days. Further, it limits judicial review to 60 days after an approval and prohibits prevailing plaintiffs from recouping court and attorney’s fees.”
“The second bill, H.R. 1394, would direct Federal land managers to manage lands for the primary purpose of energy and mineral production, making all other uses, like hunting, fishing, camping, grazing, and conservation, secondary.”
“The fifth bill, H.R. 1548, would prohibit BLM from enforcing fracking regulations on tribal lands without the consent of the tribal government.”

60 Days Before Sickness Is In The Wind,
60 Days Before Death Reaches Dark Life In The Deep Underground

H.R. 4899 - Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014 – will make null and void the Tribal Energy Resource Act.

Tribal Energy Resource Agreement (TERA)
http://teeic.anl.gov/abouttera/index.cfm

A Tribal Energy Resource Agreement (TERA) grants authority to a tribe to review and approve leases, business agreements, and rights-of-way for energy development on tribal lands. Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 amends several sections of Title XXVI of the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Specifically, Sec. 2604 is amended to require that the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) establish a process by which a tribe can obtain a Tribal Energy Resource Agreement (TERA) granting authority to the tribe to review, approve, and manage leases, business agreements, and rights-of-way for energy development on tribal lands, without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.

In March 2008, the DOI issued its final TERA regulations (25 CFR Part 224).
http://teeic.anl.gov/documents/docs/Final_TERA_Regs_(03-10-2008).pdf

A main component of the regulations regarding a tribe’s approval authority for leases, business agreements, and rights-of-way is ensuring compliance with environmental laws.

“Under the regulations a tribe must include in its TERA: all required provisions for the tribe’s and any third party’s compliance with Federal environmental laws in regard to leases, business agreements, and rights-of-way entered into or granted under an approved TERA; provisions that the tribe include public notice and opportunity for public comment on the potential environmental effects of leases, business agreements, and rights-of-way a tribe proposes to enter into or grant under an approved TERA; provisions that the tribe notify the Secretary of any violation or breach; provisions that acknowledge that the Secretary may take various actions, including reassumption of the authority granted in a TERA, when the Secretary finds that there is imminent jeopardy to a physical trust asset; and the Secretary’s remedies for an interested party who shows that an interest of the party has sustained or will sustain an adverse environmental impact as a result of a tribe’s non-compliance with the terms of an approved TERA.”

“The Secretary will also develop with a tribe in the application process, include in an approved TERA, and conduct throughout the period an approved TERA is in effect, periodic reviews and evaluations of the tribe’s performance of the energy resource development activities a tribe undertakes. In addition, in conducting review of a tribe’s TERA application, the Secretary will perform a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review consistent with the scope of the tribe’s proposed energy resource development in the TERA.”

H.R. 4899 requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lease at least 25% of lands nominated by the oil and gas industry and to automatically approve any permit which has not been formally decided upon within 60 days.

It can easily take more than 60 days to convince a Tribal Government, (which in most cases, historically have been set up by the dominant society government for the express purpose of signing away Tribal lands and resources, usually for pennies on the dollar) to act in a rightful way for Tribal members.

The recent efforts to stop the KXL Pipeline illustrate this quite well. Here is the story of just one Tribe's effort to convince it's Tribal Council to oppose the KXL Pipeline. “An open letter to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council in response to conflicting accounts of whether they oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
http://www.popularresistance.org/open-letter-to-lower-brule-sioux-tribal-council-on-kxl-and-transcanada/

Here's another excellent story of reversal of support for KXL, official responses take time:
Santee Sioux Tribe Rescinds Support for TransCanada’s Keystone XL
http://lastrealindians.com/santee-sioux-tribe-rescinds-support-for-transcanadas-keystone-xl-debra-white-plume/

“A small group from our delegation met with Santee Tribal President Roger Trudell, (brother-cousin of John Trudell) sharing with him the strong stand the Oglala Band of the Lakota Nation is taking against the KXL pipeline to protect our drinking water, and we presented him with a Tribal Resolution we drafted that calls for the Santee Nation to oppose the KXL pipeline. President Trudell assured us the resolution will be on the tribal council agenda for the June meeting and thanked us for coming to share our Sacred Water Protection Teach In.”

Previously - “The grassroots people of the Kul Wicasa Oyate (Lower Brule) immediately put out a call to action when they learned that their Tribal Council (1934 Indian Reorganization Act government) agreed to allow the construction of a power station and power lines on treaty land necessary to move tarsands oil through the KXL pipeline. Inquiries to the Council by several tribal members resulted first in denial, then in confirmation (without documentation) and finally an admission that the ‘carrot’ to the Tribal Council is the construction of wind turbines and free electricity for tribal members.”
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.ca/2014/03/lakota-allies-gather-to-stand-their.html

Sounds a lot like the deal in AB 982 that required the California State Lands Commission (SLC) to make “best efforts” to enter into a memorandum of agreement by April 1, 2012, with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to facilitate land exchanges that consolidate school land parcels into contiguous holdings that are suitable for large-scale, commercial renewable energy-related projects.

The May 21, 2012 State Lands Commission Press Release stated:

“Today, Bureau of Land Management California Director James Kenna and California State Lands Commission Executive Officer Curtis Fossum signed an important memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Commission and the United States Department of Interior to facilitate land exchanges that consolidate state "school lands" in the California desert into contiguous holdings that are suitable for large renewable energy projects. The Commission approved the MOA at its March 29, 2012 meeting.”

“Today’s action moves us closer to increasing California’s renewable energy portfolio and our clean energy future,” said California State Controller and State Lands Commission Chair John Chiang.”

“Legislation enacted last year, AB 982 (Skinner), requires the Commission to enter into an MOA with the Secretary of the Interior to facilitate land exchanges that consolidate school land parcels into contiguous holdings that are suitable for renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, and geothermal.”

“California retains surface and mineral ownership to nearly 468,600 acres of school lands and the mineral rights to an additional 790,000 acres. Over 325,000 acres of school lands are in the California desert and are generally landlocked, remote, and non-revenue generating. Many of these lands are surrounded by federal property.”
http://www.slc.ca.gov/News/Press_Releases/2012/BLM_MOA_Renewable_Energy%20Projects%20PDF.pdf

In 1853 the Congress of the United States granted to the State of California the 16th and 36th sections of each township within the state in order to "provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanical arts." A township is 36 square miles, containing 36 sections, and each section is one square mile or 640 acres.

“In 1848, Congress approved the policy of reserving two lots, 16 and 36, for the support of schools when it established the territorial government of Oregon. In 1850, California was the first state to receive both lots, amounting to 5.5 percent of the public domain in the state. The desert states of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico-where much of the land had little value-each received four sections per township for the support of public schools.”
http://candst.tripod.com/educ.htm

Accordingly, California’s school lands are generally scattered throughout the state in a checkerboard pattern. Unfortunately, most of the state's valuable school lands have been sold leaving mostly desert and forest lands with little value for revenue generating purposes; except by the horizontal drill bit. It would be good work to track the land exchanges and subsequent drilling permits in the areas of the original 'grant lands'.

Like John Trudell has said, regarding industrialization of the landscape:
“Public Lands are the new reservations”.

Block H.R. 4899 and Ban Fracking, No New Deviant/Slant/Horizontal Frac Wells
Re-Size The Industry To Meet US Energy Needs
Re-train O&G Workers,

Start by cleaning up the industrial mess left behind on this once great land.

Visit:
Slick Water Fracking Moratorium Is The Only Answer
http://banslickwaterfracking.blogspot.com/
Tomas DiFiore