The Osage Minerals Council passed a motion to request an additional $10 million in federal funding to help the Plugging Committee continue with its operations.
At the March 17 meeting, Councilman Paul Revard spoke about the previous funding for the committee. “As you all know we have already received $3 million in appropriation from the United States Congress,” he said. “We are less than halfway through those funds; we’ve plugged 30 wells so far.”
The committee sent a letter to Congressman Tom Cole asking for his assistance in obtaining an additional $10 million to add to the fund in order to continue with the program.
A key point in the OMC discussion was to hire attorney Rollie Wilson of Patterson Earnhart Real Bird and Wilson LLP, a law group focusing on Native American issues in Washington D.C. Wilson practices in multiple areas including tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction, energy, water, natural and cultural resources.
“Mr. Rollie Wilson was really instrumental in getting that first $3 million,” Councilman Talee Redcorn said.
Revard recommended initiating the process of receiving the additional funds sooner rather than later. “Another reason to go ahead and expedite this is that the federal government's funding, I think, has some timeline issues,” he said.
The Osage Minerals Council passed the motion to hire Wilson and ask for financial assistance through Congressman Cole with support across the council. Redcorn praised Revard's work with the well-plugging program and its ability to provide work for tribal members.
“I just like the ability to employ our people. To get them out there to the field and plugging wells,” Redcorn said.