Red tape chokes off drilling on Native American reservations
February 6, 2017
FORT BERTHOLD, N.D. - When the U.S. oil boom hit North Dakota a decade ago, wells sprang up quickly on the edges of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, an expanse of prairie and rolling hills three times larger than Los Angeles.
Tribe members here, facing a 40 percent unemployment rate and sending their children to 1950s-era school buildings, were eager to tap some of state’s most promising reserves. But layers of federal regulation - applying only to tribal lands - slowed them down for years, frightened away investors and cost them millions of dollars