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Indigenous representatives among participants in March 25 forum on federal oil and gas program

(Courtesy Department of Interior)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Interior Department will hold a public virtual forum March 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. regarding the federal oil and gas program. Invited participants include representatives from the industry, Indigenous organizations, labor and environmental justice organizations, natural resource advocates and other experts.  The agenda includes presentations regarding offshore and onshore oil and gas programs. The forum is part of Interior’s review of the federal oil and gas program.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) is scheduled to provide opening remarks.

The forum’s agenda is:

1 p.m.: Welcome and introductory remarks by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Interior leadership. 

1:15 p.m.: Presentations by the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on offshore and onshore oil and gas programs.

1:50 p.m.: Presentations and Q&A by invited individuals representing environmental justice and frontline communities, academia, oil and gas industry trade associations, Indigenous organizations, conservation organizations, and labor groups. The list of participants includes:

  • Maite Arce, President & CEO, Hispanic Access Foundation
  • Mario Atencio, Board of Directors, Diné C.A.R.E.
  • Nicole Borromeo, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Alaska Federation of Natives
  • Sharon Buccino, Senior Director, Land Division, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Nathalie Eddy, Interim Field Team Manager and Colorado & New Mexico Field Advocate, Earthworks
  • Wendell Hibdon, Director of Energy and Infrastructure, United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters
  • Wendy Kirchoff, Vice President of Regulatory Policy, American Exploration & Production Council
  • Michael LeVine, Senior Arctic Fellow, Ocean Conservancy
  • Frank Macchiarola, Senior Vice President, Policy, Economics & Regulatory Affairs, American Petroleum Institute
  • Sean McGarvey, President, North America Building Trades Union
  • Erik Milito, President, National Ocean Industries Association
  • Jacqui Patterson, Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program
  • Brian C. Prest, Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Fawn Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians
  • Mark Squillace, Raphael J. Moses Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School Getches-Wilkinson Center
  • Dr. Beverly Wright, Executive Director, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
  • Dr. David Yoskowitz, Senior Executive Director, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M, Corpus Christi

4:30 p.m.: Adjourn 

The forum will take place via Zoom webinar. Anyone interested in viewing the forum may register via Zoom. A livestream of the event will also be available at The forum will be recorded and have live captions. 

According to DOI, information from the forum and the public will be used for an interim report from the department that will be completed in early summer. The report is expected to include initial findings on the state of the federal conventional energy programs and provide future steps and recommendations for the department and Congress.

Members of the public can submit additional information through April 15 to inform the Interior’s interim report at