Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
Today, USET SPF sent a letter to Senate Leaders Schumer and McConnell, Speaker of the Pelosi, and House Republican Leader McCarthy expressing our deep concern and opposition to the energy permitting provisions that have been advanced by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) for inclusion in the Continuing Resolution (CR). The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022 seeks to expedite the environmental review process under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), enhance federal permitting authority for interstate electric transmission facilities, and require Tribal Nations to publish requirements for water quality certification requests or else default to federal standards. Despite there being clear Tribal implications, this legislation has not received Tribal consultation and we strongly oppose its inclusion in the CR. We’ve asked Congressional Leadership to prioritize their trust and treaty obligations as federal officials and ensure that Tribal Nations have the opportunity to fully vet any legislative changes to the permitting process.
We will continue to oppose the inclusion of this legislation in any CR or other legislative package until the legislative language respects Tribal Nation sovereignty and does not threaten environmental and cultural review processes on Tribal homelands and beyond. These processes are vital to protecting our sacred sites from environmental degradation as well as safeguarding the public health of our communities. Streamlining the review process without Tribal input may cause irreparable harm to our lands, our sacred sites, and our public health. Tribal Nations should not have to bear the brunt of these harms so the nation can further develop and transport its energy resources. We have already sacrificed so much of our lands and natural resources so that the United States could become the most powerful and economically successful country in the world.
We strongly encourage our member Tribal Nations to contact your representatives and senators and urge them to oppose inclusion of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022 in the CR as soon as possible. The CR is likely to be enacted sometime this week to avert a federal government shutdown on October 1st, so please reach out to your members as soon as possible.
For more information, please contact Brian Howard, USET SPF Senior Policy Analyst, at email@example.com.