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Jun 30, 2017

In 2015, the Pawnee Nation approved a moratorium on fracking. The region was shaken by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake on September 3, 2016. In March 2017, the Pawnee Nation filed a claim in tribal court, seeking damages from several oil companies, alleging hydraulic fracturing (specifically, wastewater injected into disposal wells) caused an increase in earthquakes, damaging tribal buildings and land. This case could be consequential, in that it was brought in tribal court. It brings to the forefront discussion over tribal sovereignty, and tension between tribes’ concerns about harms to the environment and royalties generated by energy and mineral resources, which many tribes rely on.

Host Cynthia Harris of the Section's Committee on Native American Resources interviews Professor Taiawagi Helton of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. 

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