Drill Baby, Drill


Category:  Op/Ed

By:  dave-2693993  •  2 years ago  •  27 comments

Drill Baby, Drill

So, I have had a chance to take a few peaks at the discussions lately, but really no time to get involved, until middle of the night, last night.

Earlier in the day I had seen an article oil leases near sacred Native American sites and made a mental note to jump in the conversation as soon as I had a chance. That happened to be the middle of the night last night.

The article was locked.

Then after catching a few Zs, woke up to no sign of the article. What?

Is it stashed away somewhere? What happened to it? Seemed like a worthwhile topic.

Anyhow, did a little independent reading. Unless I am confusing details, it appears this oil leasing strategy is affecting more than the Pueblo Indians mentioned in last nights article. I found one point out this seeming strategy is affecting the Navajo. You know, as in the code talkers. The code the Japanese could not break during WWII. 

Seems odd these lands are considered significant for oil exploration all of a sudden.

Have I missed something? Are we in a critical need for this infringement all of a sudden? Or is this just another follow the money deal?

Interestingly enough, from what I have read there is concern that not enough time will be allowed to file protests regarding these oil leases. This lines up with an article we had on this very site that pointed out geological and environmental studies has recently been reduce from months to now 10 days. Again, I am wondering, what is the critical national emergency to force this approach? Have I missed something?

Hmmm? Smells like a money trail...

Was this discussed in the hidden article?


jrDiscussion - desc
Junior Participates
1  author  dave-2693993    2 years ago

What's up with that?

Any ideas?

Professor Principal
1.1  Kavika   replied to  dave-2693993 @1    2 years ago
Hmmm? Smells like a money trail...

Yes it does and the smell is getting stronger.

Junior Participates
1.1.1  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @1.1    2 years ago

Thanks Kavika.

I think that might be a worthwhile trail to follow on this story. Some interesting things might surface.

Professor Principal
2  Ender    2 years ago

I was going to respond to someone and it was locked.

All I can say is a few people will be making money.

Junior Participates
2.1  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Ender @2    2 years ago

I think I'll spend a few google searches on that today?

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 years ago

Sorry guys. It was my article and I locked it because I was going to bed and I didn't want it to get messed up. I can open it up again if you like. You can find it here: 

btw.. later that night I found an interesting video on NBC about the glut of oil there is in Texas, so I am not sure why anyone needs oil from this historic spot

Here is the video: 

Professor Principal
3.1  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    2 years ago

It's not just Texas, there is a world wide glut of oil currently.

Junior Participates
3.2  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    2 years ago

Great, thank you Perry.

I wonder what additional information we can dig up today?

Junior Participates
3.3  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    2 years ago
Sorry guys. It was my article and I locked it because I was going to bed and I didn't want it to get messed up. I can open it up again if you like. You can find it here: 

Might be a good time to read through it, if it is still in a peaceful state.

Interesting video, which also could benefit from some additional research. Although spoke of the methane concern more much of the commentary, the folks making the decisions on environmental impact brought the discussion back to only CO2. I think and 3rd grader these days is aware of the much greater effect methane poses.

Some statistics were thrown out by the decision maker; eg, 2% of what gets burned escapes and 6% of the total is burned and therefore this is negligible. I would like to see how they came up with those numbers. Additionally the claimed expense to be incurred should action be taken to reduce these releases into the atmosphere.

Why no study on the human, livestock and other biological and  agricultural impacts. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think a 747 engine spooled up across the road from me would do me any good.

Lot of research to be done here.

Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
4  Hal A. Lujah    2 years ago

The big mystery is why locking an article is such a dire necessity.  What a joke.  The tool of NT control freaks.

Junior Participates
4.1  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4    2 years ago

I understand that some have various issues with aspects of how the site is moderated. I also, realize, that if taken as a meta article some of my statements could be used for meta discussion.

I would prefer that meta discussion be held in the meta group.

Thank you.

Junior Participates
5  author  dave-2693993    2 years ago

Among other things I have been able to get through about 80% of the other discussion.

A few things stand out.

1. It seems there has been a significant degree of collective dementia concerning the effects of fracking.

2. Many see corporate interests as more altruistic than I bet a good study would show.

3. Humans and our histories are much lower on the scale of worth than the dollar.

Maybe it won't be until later this week, but I will continue to seek for a money trail.

Junior Participates
5.1  author  dave-2693993  replied to  dave-2693993 @5    2 years ago
Maybe it won't be until later this week, but I will continue to seek for a money trail.

Not so fast. This money trail story is over 2 years old. Another we're here to help you story...

Trump advisors aim to privatize oil-rich American Indian reservations

Published Mon, Dec 5 2016 • 8:40 AM EST | Updated Mon, Dec 5 2016 • 12:32 PM EST

Native American reservations cover just 2 percent of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves.

Now, a group of advisors to President-elect Donald Trump on Native American issues wants to free those resources from what they call a suffocating federal bureaucracy that holds title to 56 million acres of tribal lands, two chairmen of the coalition told Reuters in exclusive interviews.

The group proposes to put those lands into private ownership - a politically explosive idea that could upend more than a century of policy designed to preserve Indian tribes on U.S.-owned reservations, which are governed by tribal leaders as sovereign nations.

The tribes have rights to use the land, but they do not own it. They can drill it and reap the profits, but only under regulations that are far more burdensome than those applied to private property.

“We should take tribal land away from public treatment,” said Markwayne Mullin, a Republican U.S. Representative from Oklahoma and a Cherokee tribe member who is co-chairing Trump’s Native American Affairs Coalition. “As long as we can do it without unintended consequences, I think we will have broad support around Indian country.”

Trump’s transition team did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The plan dovetails with Trump’s larger aim of slashing regulation to boost energy production. It could deeply divide Native American leaders, who hold a range of opinions on the proper balance between development and conservation.

The proposed path to deregulated drilling - privatizing reservations - could prove even more divisive. Many Native Americans view such efforts as a violation of tribal self-determination and culture.

“Our spiritual leaders are opposed to the privatization of our lands, which means the commoditization of the nature, water, air we hold sacred,” said Tom Goldtooth, a member of both the Navajo and the Dakota tribes who runs the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Privatization has been the goal since colonization - to strip Native Nations of their sovereignty.”

Reservations governed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs are intended in part to keep Native American lands off the private real estate market, preventing sales to non-Indians. An official at the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.

The legal underpinnings for reservations date to treaties made between 1778 and 1871 to end wars between indigenous Indians and European settlers. Tribal governments decide how land and resources are allotted among tribe members.

Leaders of Trump’s coalition did not provide details of how they propose to allocate ownership of the land or mineral rights - or to ensure they remained under Indian control.

One idea is to limit sales to non-Indian buyers, said Ross Swimmer, a co-chair on Trump’s advisory coalition and an ex-chief of the Cherokee nation who worked on Indian affairs in the Reagan administration.

“It has to be done with an eye toward protecting sovereignty,” he said.

$1.5 trillion in reserves

The Trump-appointed coalition’s proposal comes against a backdrop of broader environmental tensions on Indian reservations, including protests against a petroleum pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their supporters in North Dakota.

On Sunday, amid rising opposition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it had denied a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline project, citing a need to explore alternate routes. The Trump transition team has expressed support for the pipeline, however, and his administration could revisit the decision once it takes office in January.

Tribes and their members could potentially reap vast wealth from more easily tapping resources beneath reservations. The Council of Energy Resource Tribes, a tribal energy consortium, estimated in 2009 that Indian energy resources are worth about $1.5 trillion. In 2008, the Bureau of Indian Affairs testified before Congress that reservations contained about 20 percent of untapped oil and gas reserves in the U.S.

Deregulation could also benefit private oil drillers including Devon Energy Corp , Occidental Petroleum , BP and others that have sought to develop leases on reservations through deals with tribal governments.

Those companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump’s transition team commissioned the 27-member Native American Affairs Coalition to draw up a list of proposals to guide his Indian policy on issues ranging from energy to health care and education.

The backgrounds of the coalition’s leadership are one sign of its pro-drilling bent. At least three of four chair-level members have links to the oil industry. Mullin received about eight percent of his campaign funding over the years from energy companies, while co-chair Sharon Clahchischilliage - a Republican New Mexico State Representative and Navajo tribe member - received about 15 percent from energy firms, according to campaign finance disclosures reviewed by Reuters.

Swimmer is a partner at a Native American-focused investment fund that has invested heavily in oil and gas companies, including Energy Transfer Partners - the owner of the pipeline being protested in North Dakota. ETP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The fourth co-chair, Eddie Tullis, a former chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama, is involved in casino gaming, a major industry on reservations.

Clahchischilliage and Tullis did not respond to requests for comment.

Several tribes, including the Crow Nation in Montana and the Southern Ute in Colorado, have entered into mining and drilling deals that generate much-needed revenue for tribe members and finance health, education and infrastructure projects on their reservations.

But a raft of federal permits are required to lease, mortgage, mine, or drill - a bureaucratic thicket that critics say contributes to higher poverty on reservations.

As U.S. oil and gas drilling boomed over the past decade, tribes struggled to capitalize. A 2015 report from the Government Accountability Office found that poor management by the Bureau of Indian Affairs hindered energy development and resulted in lost revenue for tribes.

“The time it takes to go from lease to production is three times longer on trust lands than on private land,” said Mark Fox, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes in Forth Berthold, North Dakota, which produces about 160,000 barrels of oil per day.

“If privatizing has some kind of a meaning that rights are given to private entities over tribal land, then that is worrying,” Fox acknowledged. “But if it has to do with undoing federal burdens that can occur, there might be some justification.”

The contingent of Native Americans who fear tribal-land privatization cite precedents of lost sovereignty and culture.

The Dawes Act of 1887 offered Indians private lots in exchange for becoming U.S. citizens - resulting in more than 90 million acres passing out of Indian hands between the 1880s and 1930s, said Kevin Washburn, who served as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior from 2012 until he resigned in December 2015.

“Privatization of Indian lands during the 1880s is widely viewed as one of the greatest mistakes in federal Indian policy,” said Washburn, a citizen of Oklahoma’s Chickasaw Nation.

Congress later adopted the so-called “termination” policy in 1953, designed to assimilate Native Americans into U.S. society. Over the next decade, some 2.5 million acres of land were removed from tribal control, and 12,000 Native Americans lost their tribal affiliation.

Mullin and Swimmer said the coalition does not want to repeat past mistakes and will work to preserve tribal control of reservations. They said they also will aim to retain federal support to tribes, which amounts to nearly $20 billion a year, according to a Department of Interior report in 2013.

Mullin said the finalized proposal could result in Congressional legislation as early as next year.

Washburn said he doubted such a bill could pass, but Gabe Galanda, a Seattle-based lawyer specializing in Indian law, said it could be possible with Republican control of the White House and the U.S. House and Senate.

Legal challenges to such a law could also face less favorable treatment from a U.S. Supreme Court with a conservative majority, he said. Trump will soon have the chance to nominate a Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia, a conservative member who died earlier this year.

“With this alignment in the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court,” he said, “we should be concerned about erosion of self determination, if not a return to termination.”

Professor Principal
5.1.1  Kavika   replied to  dave-2693993 @5.1    2 years ago

DAPL anyone.

Junior Participates
5.1.2  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @5.1.1    2 years ago

Maybe only phase 1 of a long term plan.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
5.1.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  dave-2693993 @5.1.2    2 years ago

Ugh. I read this and it just pisses me off. It's not only good enough to have a glut of oil, now they are trying to rob it from what little Indians have. 

Professor Principal
5.1.4  Ender  replied to  dave-2693993 @5.1    2 years ago

Sounds like privatizing the land is just a means of being able to sell it off.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
5.1.5  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Ender @5.1.4    2 years ago

Sounds that way to me, too. 

Junior Participates
6  author  dave-2693993    2 years ago

Further reading:

APNewsBreak: US oil lease near sacred park pushes forward

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN January 31, 2019
FILE - In this (missing) Aug. 10, 2005, file photo, tourist Chris Farthing from Suffolks County, England, takes a picture while visiting Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico. The Bureau of Land Management has rescheduled an oil and gas lease sale for March 28, 2019, that includes several parcels that are within 10 miles of the park. The agency says the sale was pushed back to accommodate a public protest period that was delayed due to the recent government shutdown. (AP Photo/Jeff Geissler, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. land managers will move forward in March with the sale of oil and gas leases that include land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico and other areas sacred to Native American tribes.

The sale comes as Democratic members of Congress, tribal leaders and environmentalists have criticized the federal Bureau of Land Management for pushing ahead with drilling permit reviews and preparations for energy leases despite the recent government shutdown.

With limited staff over the last month, the critics complained that they were locked out of the process because the agency didn’t release any information about the sale. They also questioned whether the agency would be able to adequately review the land that’s up for bid and whether it would consider protests to the move.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall told The Associated Press in an email that he’s concerned about the latest attempt to lease potentially culturally significant land in New Mexico without a more comprehensive plan in place.

“It’s a mistake that while critical public services were shuttered for 35 days during the government shutdown, BLM still moved forward with this opaque process,” the New Mexico Democrat said.

Agency spokeswoman Cathy Garber said officials decided to push back the lease sale by a couple of weeks to accommodate a public protest period that was delayed because of the shutdown. The agency quietly confirmed on its website that it would accept comments starting Feb. 11 and that the sale was scheduled for March 28.

Depending on the outcome of the protests, it’s possible for the agency to put off or withdraw nine parcels of land that are within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of Chaco, a world heritage site with massive stone structures, kivas and other features that archaeologists believe offered a religious or ritualistic experience.

Accessible only by rough dirt roads, Chaco takes effort to reach, and supporters say they want to protect the sense of remoteness that comes with making the journey. For tribes, the fight is centered on preserving what remains of a ceremonial and economic hub that dates back centuries.

In all, more than 50 parcels in New Mexico and Oklahoma will be up for bid.

“We cannot help but protest what appears to be an intentional bias in the favoring of oil and gas development over other interests,” former Acoma Pueblo Gov. Kurt Riley said last week during a congressional forum.

Riley and others said the shutdown exacerbated an already tense situation over the expansion of oil and gas development in northwestern New Mexico.

In recent years, land managers have declined oil and gas exploration on land near the park, creating somewhat of an informal buffer. In early 2018, then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke halted a lease sale over cultural concerns after hundreds of people protested.

The battle over energy development around Chaco, which is bordered by the Navajo Nation and a checkboard of state and federal land, has been simmering for years. Government officials visited the region In 2015 in hopes of brokering a way forward for the tribes and energy companies.

The Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs began working together on revamping the resource management plan for the San Juan Basin, which covers a larger portion of northwestern New Mexico and parts of southern Colorado.

The partnership was meant to ensure tribes would be consulted and that scientific and archaeological analysis would be done to guarantee cultural sensitivity.

Udall argued that the repeated pursuit of land near the park and the lack of a final management plan have resulted in “a scattershot, shoot-from-the-hip approach.” He called for the upcoming lease sale to be delayed.

The nine parcels near the park are on the outer edge of the informal buffer zone, but critics say it’s possible oil equipment could be visible from some places in the park if those areas were leased. Whether the hum of the equipment could be heard would depend on the direction of the wind. There are also concerns about light pollution affecting Chaco’s revered night sky.

Paul Reed with Archaeology Southwest said the informal buffer should be adopted as part of the management plan because scientists have barely scratched the surface when it comes to studying and understanding Chaco.

“Aside from the sites that everyone knows about in Chaco, there are a number of communities that exist within the 10-mile zone that we think need a greater level of protection,” he said.

Professor Principal
6.1  Ender  replied to  dave-2693993 @6    2 years ago

Greed of the few out weighs the wants of the people. 

Professor Principal
6.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Ender @6.1    2 years ago

At the current rate of public and or protected land being laid open for drilling and mining we, the citizens of the US, will have lost millions of acres to corporate interests and will be left holding the bag to clean up their messes when they leave. 

Junior Participates
6.1.2  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Ender @6.1    2 years ago
Greed of the few out weighs the wants of the people. 

Right and this whole "privatization" thing means selling the land to corporate powers.

Junior Participates
6.1.3  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @6.1.1    2 years ago
At the current rate of public and or protected land being laid open for drilling and mining we, the citizens of the US, will have lost millions of acres to corporate interests and will be left holding the bag to clean up their messes when they leave.

Shhhhh, we are supposed to have forgotten the environmental disasters of the past.

Professor Principal
6.1.4  Kavika   replied to  dave-2693993 @6.1.3    2 years ago

In some cases the public has little knowledge of them. Case in point the ''largest radioactive spill in US history''....A few months after Three Mile Island the largest radioactive spill in US history occurred on the Navajo reservation, yet few people are aware of it....BTW it's a Super Fund Site and is still be cleaned up after decades...Oh then of course their is the uranium mining on the Navajo rez that has left behind a trail of death and destruction...

Junior Participates
6.1.5  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @6.1.4    2 years ago

Kavika, this story reminds me of a Hollywood movie. My favorite movie. It has all the Hollywood things. Really, though, at a point in time, it urged something in me further forward.

A corrupt FBI agent was a key player in a scheme to coordinate with corrupt players on the Rez to explore for uranium, resulting in a contaminated river, health disorders and gangland style murders.

In the end it was declared "This Land Is Not For Sale".

Now the sale is coming from the very top of our nation.

We have already seen the effects on the people nearby in this coordinated  drilling operation.

No big deal. Take the land from the people who got it under treaty and "Privatize" it. See, it's in the hands of the "People" this way. This way the "People" are benefiting.

Corporations are people too, right?

Professor Principal
6.1.6  Kavika   replied to  dave-2693993 @6.1.5    2 years ago

Now that Zinke resigned in shame (if that's possible for his ilk) the new Secretary of the Interior was a lobbyist for the oil and gas companies...

See where this is going. 

Professor Principal
6.1.7  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @6.1.6    2 years ago

Should read, the nominated Secretary of the Interior...


Who is online

Sparty On

44 visitors