The Tribal Energy Resource Agreement is a major step for tribal self-determination and self-governance that will usher in a new era of tribal economic development. It is a new tool for tribes who want to directly manage their energy resources and develop their renewable and non-renewable energy resources to benefit their communities and the nation.
TERAs further the goal of Indian self-determination by promoting tribal oversight and management of energy and mineral resource management on tribal trust lands. With a TERA, a tribe may, at its discretion, and with the Secretary of the Interior’s review and approval, enter into business agreements and leases for energy resource development as well as grant rights-of-way for pipelines or electric transmission or distribution lines across its trust lands. The new regulations are optional for federally recognized tribes, some of whom may choose not or find they are unable to assume the greater level of oversight and administrative responsibility that TERAs require.