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Indian Energy Development
by Greg Martin, click here for bio
Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: June 15, 12
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Indian Energy Development. I’m Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.
The Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest are working to develop clean energy technologies in many rural areas. Andrea Alexander is a Makah Tribal member.
ALEXANDER: About 15 years ago we started an energy program under our regional tribal organization called the Associated Tribes of Northwest Indians. And at that time we had a mentor come in and just educate us on the fact that we have the rights to develop out own energy system on our tribal lands using our resources
They had to make sure they could hook into the grid and that meant making sure the tribes were at the table with BPA talking about transmission planning.
ALEXANDER: With the Obama Administration, a new opportunity and some new grants that did provide both energy efficiency connections to the tribes we also began to take a serious look on the project development process. How can we actually develop energy programs and systems for our native people living on the reservation and the connection with Harvesting Clean Energy folks is that we’re all rural.
She says they discovered a close model of what they needed at the Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Boise. Recently though their grant ran out.
ALEXANDER: Our team met with Portland State University and they invited us to partner with their Institute for Tribal Government program and that was really helpful because we really needed to develop our organizational capacity to apply for the federal grants that we’re available to help tribal people in rural communities connect to energy programs.
But Alexander says there are a lot of hurdles for the tribes.
ALEXANDER: The interesting thing that people don’t realize, tribes are very tied to federal policy. And what I see that I want to focus on this next year is to reduce the policy barriers that tribes face in developing energy systems. We’re really the most managed people in the world because we have tribal law, there’s county issues we deal with, there’s state issues then there’s federal law. So when you look at just a permitting process for energy there’s an unreasonable level of regulations.
For additional information on clean energy, visit harvestcleanenergy.org. That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.???www.harvestcleanenergy.org
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