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BSEE Hosts First Tribal Nation Roundtable

Kevin M. Sligh Sr.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Kevin Sligh conducted BSEE’s first ever roundtable discussion with Tribal Nations to introduce BSEE’s authorities, programs, and responsibilities of energy activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Conducted virtually on June 26, 2023, the roundtable brought together representatives of more than 20 Tribal Nations and several BSEE and other Department of the Interior bureau leaders.

“BSEE has an obligation to Tribal Nations, and I believe that starts with a foundation of respect and understanding,” said Sligh. “This initial meeting is just the first step toward developing relationships and delivering transparent program information to Tribes with an interest in energy development and production on the OCS.”

Topics of discussion included BSEE’s renewable energy program, carbon sequestration developments, our long-standing conventional energy program, including oil spill response efforts, and the introduction of BSEE’s Tribal Engagement Team and planned program activities.

“This roundtable is a demonstration of BSEE’s commitment to working with sovereign nations to ensure they have a say in the energy activities that impact their communities and lands,” said Dave Fish, BSEE’s Environmental Compliance chief and lead of BSEE’s Tribal Engagement program. “We want to ensure all Tribal Nations have the opportunity to have a voice in the work we do that impacts them.” 

BSEE’s mission is to ensure offshore energy development and production is safe, environmentally sustainable, and the energy resources are produced responsibly. BSEE must also ensure stakeholders, like Tribal Nations, have access to information that impacts them and their communities.

“This roundtable is a first for BSEE, but definitely is not the last,” said Sligh. “My personal commitment to the Tribal representatives I met today is just the beginning of what I see as respectful and dynamic relationships built on engagement and transparency.”