[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 141 (Tuesday, July 27, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 40147-40149]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-15929]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

25 CFR Part 224

RIN 1076-AF65

Tribal Energy Resource Agreements

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

[[Page 40148]]

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is confirming the interim 
final rule published on May 24, 2021, updating regulations governing 
Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) between the Secretary of the 
Interior (Secretary) and Indian Tribes. The interim final rule added 
the statutory requirement that that any application for a Tribal Energy 
Development Organization (TEDO) be submitted by the Tribe and corrected 

DATES: This rule is effective July 27, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Appel, Director, Office of 
Regulatory Affairs & Collaborative Action, (202) 273-4680; 
[email protected].


I. Summary of Rule

    This final rule updates TERA regulations that BIA published on 
December 18, 2019 (84 FR 69602), under the authority of the Indian 
Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act of 2005, as 
amended by the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination 
Act Amendments of 2017, 25 U.S.C. 3501-3504, Public Law 115-325, and 25 
U.S.C. 2 and 9. The rule addressed the requirements of the Indian 
Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017 
(2017 Amendments), including establishing a process and criteria for 
TEDOs to obtain certification from the Secretary so that they may enter 
into leases, business agreements, and rights-of-way with Tribes on 
Tribal land without Secretarial approval. See Section 103(b) of the 
2017 Amendments.
    The 2019 regulation stated at Sec.  224.202 that a TEDO must submit 
an application. The statute, however, states that the Tribe submits the 
application for certification of a TEDO. See 25 U.S.C. 3504(h)(1). This 
final rule corrects the regulation at Sec.  224.202 to provide that a 
Tribe must submit the application.
    This final rule also corrects typographical errors in the cross-
references to paragraphs in Sec.  224.53, as follows:
     In paragraph (a)(3), the cross-reference is corrected to 
be paragraph (b), rather than paragraph (c);
     In paragraph (a)(5), the cross-reference is corrected to 
be paragraph (c) rather than paragraph (d); and
     In paragraph (b), the cross reference is corrected to be 
paragraph (a)(3) rather than paragraph (a)(6).
    On May 24, 2021 (86 FR 27806), BIA published an interim final rule 
making these changes and announced the opportunity to comment by June 
23, 2021. BIA received no comments on the interim final rule, so this 
final rule adopts the interim final rule as published without change.

II. Procedural Requirements

A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866, 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined 
that this rule is not significant.
    E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for 
improvements in the Nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The E.O. directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce 
burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public 
where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with 
regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations 
must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking 
process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of 
ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these 

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this rule will not 
have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small 
entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more;
    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions; and
    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises 
because this rule makes minor corrections.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
Tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a monetarily significant or unique effect 
on State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector. A 
statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

E. Takings (E.O. 12630)

    This rule does not affect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630 because this rule 
does not affect individual property rights protected by the Fifth 
Amendment or involve a compensable ``taking.'' A takings implication 
assessment is not required.

F. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, this rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a federalism summary impact statement because the rule 
affects only agreements entered into by Tribes and the Department. A 
federalism summary impact statement is not required.

G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. 
Specifically, this rule: (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) 
requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and 
ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and (b) Meets the 
criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written 
in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

H. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and Tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this 
rule under the Department's consultation policy and under the criteria 
in Executive Order 13175 and have determined that it does not have 
substantial direct effects on federally recognized Indian Tribes 
because the Department consulted on substantive requirements of the 
rule that is in effect, and this rule merely makes minor corrections to 
that substantive rule.

[[Page 40149]]

I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    OMB Control No. 1076-0167 currently authorizes the collections of 
information contained in 25 CFR part 224. This rule does not affect 
those collections of information.

J. National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not 
required because this is an administrative and procedural regulation. 
(For further information see 43 CFR 46.210(i)). We have also determined 
that the rule does not involve any of the extraordinary circumstances 
listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would require further analysis under NEPA.

K. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not 

List of Subjects in 25 CFR Part 224

    Agreement, Appeals, Application, Business agreements, Energy 
development, Interested party, Lease, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Right-of-way, Tribal Energy Resource Agreements, Tribal 
capacity, Tribal lands, Trust, Trust asset.


The interim final rule amending 25 CFR part 224 which was published at 
86 FR 27806 on May 24, 2021, is adopted as final without change.

Bryan Newland,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2021-15929 Filed 7-26-21; 8:45 am]