Summary: S.209 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (12/10/2015)

Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2015


(Sec. 101) This bill amends the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to direct the Department of the Interior to provide Indian tribes with technical assistance in planning their energy resource development programs.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Indian energy education planning and management assistance program is expanded to make intertribal organizations eligible for grants and to allow grants to be used to increase the capacity of Indian tribes to manage energy development and energy efficiency programs.

Eligibility for DOE energy development loan guarantees is expanded to include tribal energy development organizations.

(Sec. 103) This bill allows leases and business agreements that pool, unitize, or communitize a tribe's energy resources with other energy resources.

An energy-related tribal lease, business agreement, or right-of-way does not require Interior's approval if it complies with a tribal energy resource agreement or it is a lease with a tribal energy development organization that Interior has certified, and the term does not exceed specified limits.

The process and conditions for Interior's approval of tribal energy resource agreements are revised.

This bill revises the process for determining whether an interested party has a valid claim to be suffering an adverse environmental impact due to a tribe's noncompliance with such an agreement.

Interior must make available to a tribe the amount Interior would have expended to carry out an activity that the tribe is carrying out pursuant to a tribal energy resource agreement.

(Sec. 104) DOE must collaborate with the Directors of the National Laboratories in making the full array of DOE technical and scientific resources available for tribal energy activities and projects.

(Sec. 106) Interior must report on its review process for energy-related documents.


(Sec. 201) This bill amends the Federal Power Act to require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to give Indian tribes, in addition to states and municipalities, preference for the receipt of preliminary hydroelectric licenses.

(Sec. 202) This bill amends the Tribal Forest Protection Act of 2004 to direct Interior, for land under Bureau of Land Management jurisdiction, and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), for land under Forest Service jurisdiction, to enter into agreements with Indian tribes to carry out demonstration projects to promote biomass energy production on Indian forest land and in nearby communities by providing them with reliable supplies of woody biomass from federal lands.

Interior and USDA must enter into agreements with tribal organizations to carry out additional biomass demonstration projects.

(Sec. 203) This bill amends the Energy Conservation and Production Act to revise requirements for direct home weatherization grants to Indian tribes.

(Sec. 204) Interior, an affected Indian tribe, or a certified third-party appraiser under contract with the Indian tribe must appraise Indian mineral or energy resources involved in a transaction requiring Interior's approval.

(Sec. 205) This bill amends the Long-Term Leasing Act to allow the Navajo Nation to enter into mineral resource leases on their restricted lands without Interior's approval. The maximum term of a Navajo Nation lease that does not require Interior's approval is extended for commercial and agricultural leases.

(Sec. 206) The Crow Tribe of Montana may enter into leases of their land held in trust for a term of up to 99 years.

(Sec. 207) This bill sets forth provisions for money held by Interior in connection with the review and approval of a sale, lease, permit, or other conveyance of Indian land.