February 28th, 2010
Read my 2001 Oregon Law Review article on American Indian economic development issues.
U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota says his initiative to open a one-stop-shop for oil development on the Fort Berthold Reservation is paying off. The reservation sits on top of the Bakken Shale Oil Formation.
Dorgan says the review and approval of permits for oil and gas leases has been streamlined. He says there are now 17 oil wells being drilled on the reservation and almost $180 million has been paid to the Three Affiliated Tribes for leases and royalties on oil and gas production.
“This is a very big success. I`m enormously proud of it and we need to continue that kind of development all over western North Dakota and especially on the Indian reservation,” said Dorgan.
Dorgan says oil and gas companies report that the processing of permits and approvals is now more consistent and reliable, which encourages them to develop on the reservation.
This is good news for economic development on this reservation and across Indian Country. The longer the federal approval process is, the slower development occurs in Indian Country. The importance of that fact is demonstrated graphically in this case as private landowners and oil companies were quickly developing oil drilling of this same Bakken Shale Oil Formation by locating wells off reservation but near to the Fort Berthold Reservation.