Energy Highlight: Chairman of Ute Tribe Business Committee Shaun Chapoose

The Chairman of the Ute Tribe Business Committee gave a powerful address during the Uintah Basin Energy Summit last week. The Ute Tribe has been a major oil and gas producer since 1940 and is one of the oldest tribes to be involved in extraction of fossil fuels. As explained by Chairman Shaun Chapoose, the tribal land is not public and it never will be but that does not mean the tribe is not willing to work with neighbors. “We, as the Tribe, and the County Commissioners have come a long way,” shared Chairman Chapoose. “We’re fully aware of the court battles, fully aware of the issues that arise in the Basin, the home of the Ute nation. We are aware that we have won but there is no reason to sit here and brag. It doesn’t change our circumstance.” Chairman Chapoose emphasized the resiliency of the Ute people and that they plan to face any obstacles including those before the oil and gas industry head on and invited the area leaders to join with them in the fight. “If we as a Basin and Tribe could unite, use our resources and expertise,” explained Chairman Chapoose,” who knows what the future holds for this Basin...It would be nice to have a relationship here in this Basin to be neighbors once again but my hand can only come out so far and if you’re not willing to take it, so be it.” In his address, Chairman Chapoose also emphasized his opposition to the Public Lands Initiative and the powerful position the Tribe retains as a sovereign nation. 


Kristin Baldwin

Kristin never planned to work in news radio but has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the news team at KVEL. Her love of literature and writing developed in high school which led her to study English Literature and Technical Writing at BYU. She received her BA in English from BYU in 2005 and studied at UVU in Orem for 2 semesters to become a Certified Technical Writer in 2006. Two months after completion she began her dream job of being a stay-at-home mom.  As mother of 2 energetic kids, she began writing from home for the KVEL news team in 2011 and considers it the perfect fit as a full time mom and part time writer.