On Oil and Gas Issues, Biden’s Administration Is Only Interested in Listening to Some American Indians

A regulatory vehicle from the Oil & Gas Division of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation visits an oil well site near the Fort Berthold reservation. Adam Willis / Forum News Service

MINOT, N.D. — Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s formation, or WHEJAC.

The goals of this council, per the EPA’s website, “are to provide advice and recommendations to the EJ IAC and the Chair of CEQ on a whole-of-government approach to environmental justice.”

Among the issue areas named in the announcement are “Tribal and Indigenous issues” and “civil rights.”

This council is set to be hugely influential under President Joe Biden’s administration, but it’s clear from the membership of the council that Biden is only interested in listening to one side of this debate.

From the midwest region, which covers North Dakota, the members include a representative from the NDN Collective, a group purporting to represent the interests of Indigenous people that was involved in the often-violent protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a “sustainability” bureaucrat from the city of Minneapolis, a representative of a Hmong group in Minneapolis and an academic from the University of Michigan.

Not included is any representative from the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation here in North Dakota, one of the country’s top oil and gas-producing tribes.

The MHA Nation wasn’t alone in getting snubbed. The council’s southwestern region includes more bureaucrats and left-wing activists but no representatives from the Ute Indian Tribe in Utah, which is another major producer of oil and gas.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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