U.S. tribes left out of fracking decisions

April 20, 2012 at 8:31 AM

WASHINGTON, April 20 (UPI) -- American-Indian nations in the United States expressed frustration that they were left out of federal efforts to pass rules on hydraulic fracturing.

The U.S. Department of Interior says tribal lands hold "significant" amounts of oil and natural gas deposits.

U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, chairman of a House subcommittee on Indian affairs, said tribes were told "they would have a seat at the table" but were left out of the rule-making process on hydraulic fracturing rules.

"Thanks to the Department of the Interior, while non-Indian landowners will prosper, the tribes will lose," he said in a statement. "This would be nothing less than another breach of the United States' trust responsibility to Indians."

Tribal leaders testified before the subcommittee that the Bureau of Land Management "incorrectly" considers American-Indian tribal lands to be public lands.

Hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, is controversial because of potential threats to the environment.

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