Indian Country Energy & Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG) | July 2020, Q2 Meeting


ICEIWG group photo Feb. 2020.

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy held its second-quarter meeting of the Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG), July 29, 2020, online and a month later than originally scheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 40 participants joined the two-and-half-hour virtual meeting via Zoom.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Opening Remarks from ICEIWG Co-Chairs

  • Kevin R. Frost, director, Office of Indian Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Jana Ganion, sustainability and government affairs director, Blue Lake Rancheria


  • Thomas Robinson, president, Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska

State of the Office of Indian Energy and White House Introduction

  • Kevin R. Frost, director, U.S. DOE-IE
  • Tyler Fish, executive director, White House Council on Native American Affairs 

IE Budget and program activities 

  • Funding/status of technical assistance (TA) and staffing/support
  • ICEIWG COVID-19 Tribal Energy Survey status/short list of stats 
  • Federal legislation considerations
  • WHCNAA business, priorities and partnership opportunities

Mini-Overviews from Federal Expert Panel

Introductions: Jana Ganion, sustainability and government affairs director, Blue Lake Rancheria

Nelson James, a fellow in the Science, Technology and Policy Program within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Building Technologies Office, addressed the Smart Building Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and efficiency projects, including water heating and appliances – widely needed/modest investments in light of COVID-19 challenges. | Presentation

Paul Spitsen, an energy technology specialist for Strategic Priorities and Impact Analysis within EERE’s Office of Strategic Programs, discussed the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) Draft Roadmap/Request for Information (RFI). Seeking stakeholder input, the comprehensive program will accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage based on the initiative – Innovate Here, Make Here, Deploy Everywhere. | Presentation

Sam Bockenhauer, HydroWIRES Initiative lea (Water Innovation for a Resilient Electricity System) works within the EERE Water Power Technologies Office, and focused on its Grid integration program, including pumped storage hydropower technology R&D, and hybrid systems (e.g. adding batteries to hydropower plants to enable additional flexibility). Presentation

Scott Mason, director of the American Indian Environmental Office at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave an update on efforts around the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) final rule, modernizing its implementing regulations related to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). AIEO leads EPA's efforts to protect human health and the environment of federally recognized Tribes by supporting the implementation of federal environmental laws consistent with the federal trust responsibility, the government-to-government relationship, and EPA's 1984 Indian Policy. No Presentation

Business Session

  • Tribal Leader Roundtable: 2-Minute Report-outs
    • ICEIWG delegates each gave a short update regarding tribal events and activities regarding the pandemic.

Meeting Adjourned