As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on October 4, 2017
H.R. 210 would make several changes related to environmental laws, energy programs, and the management of mineral resources on Native American reservations. The bill would:
- Require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to approve or deny any appraisal of energy projects submitted by an Indian tribe within 30 days and allow tribes to waive the requirement for appraisals under specified circumstances;
- Require DOI to enter into contracts for energy demonstration projects using timber from federal forests that is not marketable;
- Authorize DOI and the Forest Service to enter into contracts with tribes for forest management demonstration projects; and
- Prohibit the payment of attorneys’ fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) for lawsuits regarding energy projects on tribal lands.
CBO estimates that changing the appraisal process and authorizing contracts for demonstration projects would not have a significant effect on spending subject to appropriation.
Because H.R. 210 would prohibit the federal government from paying attorneys’ fees under the EAJA for lawsuits regarding energy projects on tribal lands, enacting the bill would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates that any reduction in those payments under H.R. 210 would be insignificant—historically such payments have been small. Enacting H.R. 210 would not affect revenues. The provision affecting energy demonstration projects would not affect direct spending because the affected timber is nonmarketable and do not generate receipts to the government.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 210 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in one or more of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
H.R. 210 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.