The executive order banning new oil and gas leasing on federal lands until the end of March was updated on Monday to exempt tribal nations from the restrictions. After the order was issued last week, representatives from the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah petitioned the administration for this exemption.
According to a press release from the Ute Indian Tribe, the tribe is a major oil- and gas-producing tribe and uses revenues from its energy development to fund essential tribal governmental services, which in turn provides direct support and assistance to its tribal membership. Because of this, leaders were concerned about the negative impacts this pause would have on them if an exception was not added.
Senator Mike Lee, who also voiced opposition to this temporary ban, celebrated this update on Twitter, but wrote that “The rest of America should get this exemption too.”