ICYMI: DOE Closes Constructive Tribal Clean Energy Summit

WASHINGTON DC- The Department of Energy (DOE), in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures, concluded its 7th Tribal Clean Energy Summit yesterday. During the two-day nation-to-nation conference, DOE hosted more than 60 tribal leaders and 350 attendees for open and comprehensive conversations about tribal energy concerns. Throughout the summit, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, Director of the DOE’s India Office of Energy Policy and Programs Wahleah Johns, and other senior DOE officials met with attendees to discuss ideas and explore cost-effective approaches to tribal energy sovereignty, consistent with President Biden’s policy. commitment to an inclusive and equitable transition to a clean energy future.

“For the Biden-Harris administration, tribal engagement is not a box to check off, it’s a partnership to be forged,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “It was an honor to sit down with tribal leaders and hear how the Department can better align our resources with their vision of a clean energy future – to chart a path forward – together – that advances energy sovereignty. tribalism, strengthens energy independence and addresses the climate crisis.”

“We know that progress takes commitment, and the Department of Energy is committed to strengthening tribal energy sovereignty. This means ensuring tribal communities have access to historic funding opportunities available and being a partner in tribal nations’ goals of a cleaner, safer and more prosperous energy future. The future is bright for Indian Country, and we know that when Tribes succeed, America’s energy security is enhanced,” said Wahleah Johns, director of the DOE’s Office of Indian Energy.

During the summit, tribal leaders participated in a high-level overview of key DOE programs, a moderated caucus discussion focused on tribal leaders, and a lively panel discussion on tribal energy sovereignty with Secretary Granholm. Other key energy participants embarked on a distinct and highly impactful path with DOE briefings on current developments and opportunities, as well as key external strategies to support tribal energy infrastructure development and advance the tribal energy security and sovereignty.

“What a great conference! Good job DOE! I was able to spend quality time with DOE staff, as well as other tribal leaders,” said Myron Lizer, Vice President of the Navajo Nation. “The Navajo Nation looks forward to continued collaboration with the DOE. Thank you and great work to Director Johns—Ahéhee!”

“As the United States moves toward a cleaner future, it is so important to continue these government-to-government conversations with tribal nations to ensure that we find an equitable balance on energy resources that preserves our ability to maintain our tribal sovereignty and protect our nature and cultural resources,” said Bobby Gonzalez, Senior Managing Director and President, Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. “Tribal lands have such potential for energy generation – from traditional and renewable resources – and it has been very positive to see the Department of Energy, as well as the entire Biden administration, recognize this. .”

“Coming to Washington DC from Southeast Alaska is quite a journey for meetings. Our unique needs in my community are not normally understood or accommodated. I think this summit was very successful and I meaning understood for my community,” said Keolani K. Booth, councilor for the Metlakatla Indian community. “I bring home a great wealth of information and new relationships that I believe put my tribe and my Indian country in a better place than ever before.”

“Learning about all the opportunities available to Indian Country and Alaska at the Tribal Clean Energy Summit was awesome,” said President Melvin J. Baker of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. “Each tribe is different as well as their needs for their native lands. I look forward to the next summit!”

“We thank Congress and the White House for the enactment and implementation of the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act and deeply appreciate the historic investments in renewable energy infrastructure that will make it possible to achieve energy autonomy and self-determination,” said Donna Thompson, Vice President, Fort Hall Business Council, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. “We appreciate the efforts of the Department of Energy to work closely with us to ensure that the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes can fully utilize federal resources available under these laws to meet the energy needs of future generations.”

“I appreciate that Secretary Granholm took the time to meet with us, I have also had the privilege of meeting her before. Her efforts to work with Tribal Nations are most commendable. We are optimistic that Secretary Granholm will continue its working relationship with tribal nations,” said President Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation. “As an energy-producing tribe, we have a lot of experience with regulation and responsible development. As we further develop our renewable energy projects, we look forward to a simplified financing process. »

“The Tribal Clean Energy Summit has been invaluable in building relationships with the DOE, especially with the Pueblos, as tribes are at all stages of the journey to energy sovereignty,” said Clarice Madalena, Director of Natural Resources, Pueblo de Jemez.

“Climate impacts on the resources tribal peoples need to live have reached catastrophic levels. As a Tribal Independent Power Producer, Energy Keepers Inc was excited to participate in this year’s Tribal Clean Energy Summit as we look forward to partnering with the DOE to bring additional renewable energy to the country and begin to cope with these impacts. The recently passed legislation has provided an unprecedented opportunity for tribes and tribal entities to meaningfully contribute to the country’s energy transition and reinvest in tribal communities. This year’s summit has done a great job in launching meaningful opportunities for tribes to benefit from the new programs created by the legislation,” said Brian Lipscomb, CEO, Energy Keepers Inc., a wholly owned company of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

In its response to President Biden’s memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships, the DOE reviewed its engagement with Tribal Nations and Communities in 2021 to better understand what it means to honor tribal sovereignty and ensure that the perspectives of tribal leaders are better integrated. in DOE decision-making and policy deliberations. Under Secretary Granholm’s leadership, the DOE hosted numerous consultations, listening sessions, and roundtables to respond to the President’s vision and reinforce his commitment to working with nations and tribal communities to build an inclusive clean energy future and fair.

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