By James Reed and Brooke Oleen
Nearly 450 participants from an array of tribal, state and federal stakeholders will gather in Washington, D.C., this week when NCSL hosts the National Tribal Energy Summit Wednesday through Friday at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs and in collaboration with the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), the summit will focus on energy policy priorities important to American Indian tribes.
Participants from tribal and state governments, state legislatures, federal agencies, tribal corporations, private industry, utilities and academia will collaboratively explore the reduction of regulatory and financial barriers to energy development on tribal lands, along with energy security issues identified by tribes.
DOE’s Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG), to which NCSL provides staff support through its Environment, Energy and Transportation program, has worked for several years to create dialogue between Indian tribes, federal agencies, states and industry to find ways to tap the extensive energy development potential—both renewable and fossil—found on tribal lands, while protecting cultural and environmental resources.
As part of the summit, NCSL’s Native American Legislators Caucus will meet to conduct caucus business and receive briefings regarding the potential for state legislators to continue outreach and collaboration with tribes in their states to help address energy development issues raised at the summit.
Both Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will address the summit.
Among the topics to be considered are: navigating the federal-tribal energy partnership, energy workforce initiatives, Arctic opportunities, intertribal coordination, energy financing, access to transmission, hydropower systems, technology transfer, electric service to tribal communities, and energy efficiency.
You can watch a live video stream of several sessions.
State legislators who work directly with tribes or who would like to make those connections are encouraged to follow up with NCSL staff after the summit.
James Reed and Brooke Oleen, members of the NCSL Environment, Energy and Transportation program, help staff several U.S. Department of Energy working groups dealing with Indian energy, environmental cleanup, nuclear energy and radioactive materials transportation.