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Natural Resources Committee Unanimously Passes Rep. Rehberg Bill to Create Jobs, Improve Local Economy for Northern Cheyenne


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2011 - The House Natural Resources Committee today unanimously agreed to pass H.R. 1158, the Montana Mineral Conveyance Act, a vital bill for the economic development of Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (MT-At Large), the bill would transfer ownership of a mineral estate on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation allowing the Tribe to control the development of the resources, create jobs and improve the local economy.

“In Montana, natural resources mean jobs, so I’m proud of the fact that the House is doing its job to advance legislation that will facilitate environmentally responsible resource development,” said Rehberg, a member of the Congressional Native American Caucus. “Today’s unanimous approval of my bill reiterates the bipartisan support this legislation enjoys in both the House and the Senate. That’s simply because it’s the right thing to do. We’ll finally give the Northern Cheyenne control of their own resources and the associated revenue while creating good jobs for the people of Montana.”

Specifically, the Secretary of the Interior would transfer to Great Northern Properties (GNP) subsurface ownership rights to eight sections of Federal coal tracts, of which the Tribe would receive 40% interest in GNP’s royalties.

“All parties seem to agree there’s a real need to resolve the tribe’s claim, and accordingly H.R. 1158 enjoys wide bipartisan support—in fact, we are not aware of any opposition to the bill,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. “I’m pleased the Committee was able to unanimously approve this bill, which is a top priority for the Tribe, and I look forward to continuing discussions on the bill and helping it advance to the House floor.”

Support for H.R. 1158:

  • State of Montana
  • Montana Congressional Delegation
  • Northern Cheyenne Tribe
  • Montana Board of Land Commissioners
  • Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leader’s Council
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • Great Northern Properties

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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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