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State of Indian Nations: Unleash Energy on Tribal Lands (Jan 28, 2011)

WASHINGTON - National Congress of American Indians President Jefferson Keel called for a new era in U.S. tribal relations Thursday during his 2011 State of Indian Nations address.

Keel says America is missing out on untapped coal, natural gas, oil and wind on tribal lands that could help achieve energy independence.

Citing recent events & actions that have reinforced the sovereignty of America’s indigenous tribes, the second-year NCAI president also listed what he felt were bureaucratic barriers to the full realization of tribal independence.

Keel says tribal lands contain about 10 percent of U.S. energy resources, but provide less than 5 percent of national energy production. He blamed bureaucratic obstacles that prevent tribes from generating an estimated $1 trillion in revenue from energy sources.

Keel cited at least 49 bureaucratic steps in the Interior Department alone that deter energy development. He called for Congress and the Obama administration to unleash the potential of Indian energy resources.

You can hear Keel's entire State of Indian Nations address below.  KGOU will broadcast the speech, along with commentary and analysis, Sunday at 6 p.m. as part of Native America Calling.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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