Ute Indian tribe of the Uintah and Ouray reservation oppose Biden’s leasing/permitting ban

Tribal membersfrom the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation came out yesterday opposed to the Biden Administration’s 60-day leasing and permitting ban. The letter below was sent to acting Secretary of the Interior, Scott de la Vega.

Dear Acting Secretary de la Vega,

The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation respectfully requests that you immediately amend Order No. 3395 to provide an exception for energy permits and approvals on Indian lands. The Ute Indian Tribe and other energy producing tribes rely on energy development to fund our governments and provide services to our members.

Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation.

Order No. 3395 violates the United States treaty and trust responsibilities to the Ute Indian Tribe and violates important principles of tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Your order was also issued in violation our government-to-government relationship, Executive Order No. 13175 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and Interior’s own Policy on Consultation with Tribal Governments.

The Order must be withdrawn or amended to comply with Federal law and policies. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you.


Luke Duncan, Chairman

Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee