DOE Office of Indian Energy to Host Tribal Leader Roundtables and Tribal Summit

Posted: March 8th, 2011 by Site Editor

The Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs announces a series of roundtables for tribal leaders to discuss tribal energy-related policy and programs; invites tribal leaders to attend the DOE Tribal Summit in Washington DC

For more on the Office of Indian Energy, the summit, or the roundtables, see below or visit DOE’s Web site.

Tribal Leader Roundtables: March 16 through April 14
The newly established Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (Office of Indian Energy) has begun its outreach to Indian tribes and tribal leadership to discuss the various policy and programs issues and opportunities related to energy on tribal lands. For more, see the attached invitation. Roundtable discussions are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

Tribal Leader Roundtables
Date Location
March 16 Reno, Nevada
March 16 Las Vegas, Nevada (at RES 2011)
March 23 Pala Reservation, California (at NAFOA)
March 30 Washington, D.C. (DOE Headquarters)
April 5 Phoenix, Arizona
April 6 Albuquerque, New Mexico
April 12 Quinault Reservation, Washington (at ATNI)
April 14 Tulsa, Oklahoma
April 14 Anchorage, Alaska

Tribal Summit: May 5
In conjunction with announcing the establishment of the Office of Indian Energy, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that DOE will host its Tribal Summit with American Indian and Alaska Native leaders on May 5, 2011, in Washington D.C (see the attached flyer). The Office of Indian Energy is working closely with DOE’s Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs in reaching out to tribal leaders in the design of the summit.


DOE Tribal Energy Program
1617 Cole Boulevard
Golden, CO 80401

For more information on the Tribal Energy Program and our Guide to Tribal Energy Development, visit our Web site.

Categories: Government, Tribal Energy Issues
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Help guide EPA research for Sustainable and Healthy Communities

Posted: March 8th, 2011 by Site Editor

Tribes are invited to a participatory webinar to provide input for a new applied research program


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development is designing a new research program aimed at assisting communities to become more sustainable, as well as assisting EPA or State programs that support such efforts.  The Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program seeks to conduct integrated, transdisciplinary projects in order to provide useful data, information, and approaches to communities.  Our goal is to help them identify, evaluate and implement options to ensure that people remain healthy and that ecosystems continue to provide valuable services and benefits, in a way that is economically sustainable and socially just.  EPA would like to solicit input from tribal communities actively working on sustainability or related issues to help design a valuable applied research program that is locally and nationally relevant.

We are engaging tribal communities to help identify critical issues and knowledge gaps that create barriers to effective sustainability actions.  We will use the input provided to help us to target relevant and feasible research and development activities.   Our goal is practical: to advance sustainability action at the community level, to use that experience to translate data and tools for a wide variety of communities and to inform further local research.


We hope you will participate in our webinar:

March 23 from 3:00 to 4:30 Eastern Daylight Time

To register email: with “webinar registration” in the subject line

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Priming Banks for Green Loans | EnergyBiz

Posted: February 16th, 2011 by Site Editor

Pro: Clean, renewable wind energy benefits all

Posted: February 15th, 2011 by Site Editor




As American Indian people, the Campo Kumeyaay Nation see ourselves as caretakers of the Earth and know we have a responsibility to help protect the environment and our sacred resources. To this end, we have built a successful wind farm on our east San Diego Countyreservation, which generates enough power for about 30,000 homes and saves approximately 110,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions. We are currently working in partnership with Invenergy LLC and San Diego Gas & Electric to build another wind farm on our reservation that is projected to produce an additional 160 megawatts of energy.

This new wind project will create local jobs and bring revenue to the tribe and to the East County’s rural economy. The addition of another wind farm will enable our tribe to diversify our business investments and provide new and expanded programs and services for Campo people, such as health care, education, job training and youth leadership development. And the creation of green jobs and related business activity will strengthen the overall economy in the San Diegoregion.

Not only is the development of renewable resources responsible and wise for American Indians, it is an essential part of meeting California’s aggressive climate change and renewable energy laws. One part of that is California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard Program, which requires utilities to provide 20 percent of their power through renewable resources. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature are expected to build on this program by passing new legislation this year to require utilities to reach 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

San Diego County boasts some of the best areas for wind energy generation in the nation. We have the natural resources for renewable projects, world-class educational institutions, venture capital funding and community support of innovation.

The truth is that the benefits of wind energy are numerous – and we must take a big-picture approach to environmental issues. Wind energy produces electricity without emitting any pollutants or greenhouse gases, does not require mining or drilling, helps preserve habitat and poses no national security threats. And the footprint of a wind project amounts to only about 5 percent of the total project area, preserving agricultural and ranching use, as well as open space.

Critics of wind development claim noise and property value issues to justify their opposition. But the new Campo wind farm will be in compliance with all applicable noise regulations. In addition, numerous studies have found no evidence of adverse health effects from sound emitted by wind turbines.

As for property values, a comprehensive 2009 study by the U.S. Department of Energy’sLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that proximity to wind energy facilities does not cause decreased land values.

Overall, wind energy is one of the cleanest forms of electric power generation among all of the newer renewable energy technologies. The Campo Kumeyaay Nation and other tribes are pursuing green energy as an economic development strategy and a demonstration of our environmental stewardship. We encourage local, state and federal policymakers to help facilitate the development of wind energy projects on tribal lands and elsewhere. After all, the Golden State has set forth ambitious carbon-emission reduction goals, and we need to join together to build a better environment and more sustainable future for all our people.

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North America’s Indigenous can Prosper with Alternative Energy

Posted: February 14th, 2011 by Site Editor

Terrance H. Booth, Sr. – Tsimshian Tribe

Every Indigenous Tribe of North America can prosper through uses of alternative energy. Since America’s loves fossil fuel they spent over $300 Billion dollars for foreign fossil fuel. Already several tribes through the US Department of Energy have completed feasibility studies on alternative energy uses for their particular reservation setting. Every Tribe in North American has readily available solar, wind, water and biomass and it is to convert it into energy. Why? All of America by the year 2016, just a few years away will need 70% more electricity. Who can provide this needed energy of America? All the tribes can by the formation of Tribal Energy Parks to sell needed energy to utility companies of North America. Since America’s love affair with fossil fuel it is prime opportunity to capitalizing on their lagging with immediate implementation of tribal alternative energy projects for their particular state, for near by cities or towns.

A New Mexico tribe chose alternative energy over gaming and this well creates more earnings than gaming for there is a demand for more energy in America. It is readily notice the population growth like in Greater Phoenix, Arizona area one can see that the cities and towns are buffering right up to the reservation borders and who will provide the energy needs of urban growth in the cities and town of America. Tribes of North America can provide the needed energy. In Alaska over several years Southeast Alaska has been working upon the Southeast Alaska Intertie that will eventually hook-up with BC Hydro connecting all of the Southeast Alaska communities to the Intertie. There are three Alaska Native Tribes that can greatly benefit by this Southeast Alaska Intertie for the have available resources like hydroelectric power, tidal waters, biomass from forest and their fisheries all can be converted into needed energy. If an Intertribal approach is implemented the Southeast Alaska tribes can become a major player in the implementation of this Southeast Alaska Intertie. Southeast Alaska’s problem with waste all can be converted into energy. Alaska ‘s problem with waste it all can be converted into energy. Even the homes with its solid waste homes can produce their own electricity from the solid waste of there homes. Fish waste can be converted into energy and one Alaskan in Bering Sea area is making fish fertilizer out of what is ground up into tiny particles and dumped back into the ocean.

Tribes also can benefit with assurance of an environmental safe and secure setting on tribal lands receiving biomass and waste from cities and towns of America and can have full assurances of protecting Native Lands and be in the business of creating energy out of the waste of America. This writer knows a scientist that not only can implement in the creation of energy but also can produce a durable good that replaces aluminum, copper and steel. The inventor of this is not only a scientist but an economist as well, notes that nine major industries use aluminum, copper and steel. So with the production of a durable good that replaces aluminum, copper and steel tribes can be in the business of creating products for these nine major industries that uses aluminum, copper or steel. Thus, creating substantial tribal wealth for tribes that desire to prosper their tribe and have solutions for America’s waste problems.

Available resources are at hand for tribes to consider and this writer is busy networking with tribes to see how he can assist tribes desiring to prosper. Alternative energy is one of several ways to prosper a tribe and its about time we take steps to eliminate poverty and make it history for our tribal people. Possibilities are the hands of tribes. Let us begin to take positive steps toward substantial wealth development through your tribal decisions and from your tribal perspective.

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How the Smart Grid May Solve Solar’s Cost and Control Problems

Posted: February 12th, 2011 by Site Editor

By Sid Singh
Published February 10, 2011

Utilities from California and New Jersey — the two leading solar energy producing states — face different solar energy deployment challenges because of their respective geographies, political climates, and the penetration of solar to date. Both, however, struggle with the same two issues: cost and control.

Today, without Renewable Portfolio Standards, utilities may not be striving to increase the solar portion of their energy supply. This is because when utilities weigh the cost of deploying solar against the cost of buying supply from (or building) a natural gas plant, they find that natural gas is cheaper. While solar costs — broadly encompassed by PV panels, inverters and other electronics, and mounting systems — all continue to decrease in price, it is not enough to offset low natural gas prices. Utilities note that this cost comparison methodology falls short by not considering emission reductions, local job creation, and other indirect positive benefits, such as converting unusable lands into usable solar farms, or the educational benefit of solar systems installed at schools. To capture some of these benefits, New Jersey has a system of SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) that act as currency to reward solar energy generators.

Federal incentive programs in the form of PTCs and ITCs (Production and Incentive Tax Credits) also attempt to bridge the cost differential between solar and natural gas. On the state level, similar programs exist. PSEG outlined its program for New Jersey as having two components: Solar loans worth $250 million to help finance solar system installations, typically covering 40-60 percent of costs; and the “Solar-4-All” program, which provides $515 million to construct, own and operate 80MW of distributed grid-connected solar. The latter program is 50 percent consumed by pole-mounted solar installations by Petra Solar, a NJ-headquartered company, that will install approximately 200,000 systems to generate 40MW of solar power. The other 50 percent, however, could theoretically result in PSEG, not the homeowner, owning 40MW of roof-mounted solar systems. This potential ownership decision forms part of the second issue of distributed solar energy deployment: control.

The issue of control mainly refers to controlling the load generated from solar energy assets, especially in situations of high PV (photovoltaic) deployment, a uniquely Californian problem in the U.S. For instance, San Diego Gas & Electric’s programs to encourage small businesses and homeowners to adopt solar energy have been so successful that the utility has circuits with more than 40 percent PV penetration. There are certain instances in which so much solar is generated in the circuit that the voltages exceed acceptable ranges, which affects power quality. To address this issue, the utility can either upgrade the circuit system (a costly undertaking) or prevent circuits from over-penetration by: 1) limiting PV penetration on a circuit to 20 percent (PG&E automatically flags solar permits in circuits with more than 20 percent penetration); or 2) curtail or throw away excess energy.

As an owner of a solar energy generating asset, curtailing load results in revenue loss, which in the above example is at the discretion of the utility. Therefore it may be beneficial for the utility to own and control the asset. In this case, the homeowner would also be relieved of worrying about cloud cover and other generation interruptions.

Johan Eslin, CTO of Petra Solar, suggested at a recent solar energy conference what may be the best alternative: Empower the solar asset to mimic typical generator features by adding intelligence around the asset and the grid. Load could be better controlled, predicted, dispatched, and integrated with the grid enabling maximum revenue generation. For example, weather patterns could be considered to predict solar supply, batteries could be employed to effect load shaping, or automatic demand response events could be initiated. Additionally, more widespread integration of dynamic pricing would value peak-hour generation higher, corresponding with the hours of maximum solar generation. This would result in a significant increase in the revenue potential of solar assets.

A smart grid would address both the major issues imposed by distributed solar deployment — cost and control. Increased revenue generated from solar assets would make them more competitive with alternative forms of generation. Improved control of solar resources will result in maximum utilization of generation capacity and optimization to maximize revenue. In this optimized systems, the beneficiaries will be the solar resource owners, whether it be utilities or consumers. Regardless of the owners, however, increased emission-free, renewable energy resources are beneficial for everyone.

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National Indian Energy Group expands to work with Native Hawaiians

Posted: February 10th, 2011 by Site Editor

NIEG is proud to announce our expansion into the Hawaiian Islands with the addition of two wonderful people to our staff.  Native Hawaiians share many similar struggles with Native American Indians with regard to developing and maintaining prosperous, sustainable economies. The recent addition of Ku’ulei Stockman, Vice President and Lorra Kaleoaloha Naholowa’a, Director of Business Development for the Hawaiian and surrounding islands gives us a strong presence and the ability to offer help where needed.

For more information, please click on the Services button and select Hawai’i to find out more.  Or contact any of our staff listed below:

Ku’ulei Stockman –

Lorra Kaleoaloha Naholowa’a –

For media inquiries, please contact Steve Payne


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Indian leader: Unleash energy on tribal lands

Posted: February 10th, 2011 by Site Editor
Section: AP Nation
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Indian leader: Unleash energy on tribal lands

To achieve energy independence, the United States should focus on tribal lands with vast untapped supplies of coal, natural gas, oil and wind, the leader of the nation’s largest Indian organization said Thursday.

Jefferson Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said tribal lands contain about 10 percent of U.S. energy resources, but provide less than 5 percent of national energy production. He blamed bureaucratic obstacles that prevent tribes from generating an estimated $1 trillion in revenue from energy sources.

Keel cited at least 49 bureaucratic steps in the Interior Department alone that deter energy development. He called for Congress and the Obama administration to unleash the potential of Indian energy resources throughout the nation.

“Realizing the potential of energy resources offers immense promise for tribal communities and the United States as a whole,” Keel said at the ninth annual State of Indian Nations conference in Washington. “To achieve the goals of energy independence and economic growth, the focus must turn to the potential in Indian Country.”

Keel’s speech came as Senate Democratic leaders announced that Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, is the new chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

The four-term senator said he is looking forward to leading the panel, adding that indigenous people face complex issues, including disparities in economic development, health care, public safety, education and energy development.

“I believe the United States can serve as a model for the rest of the world in the treatment of its first people. I am eager to holo imua – to move forward,” Akaka said.

Reservations from Oklahoma to Montana and Alaska sit atop large amounts of oil, natural gas and coal. Others in wind-swept regions of the Northern Plains and on the West Coast have huge renewable energy potential.

But existing government rules make it easier for energy companies to pursue projects on nontribal land. As a result, tribes often miss out on the chance to develop their natural resources.

The Energy Department estimates that wind power from tribal lands could satisfy 14 percent of total U.S. electricity demand. Solar projects on tribal lands could generate more than four times the total amount of energy needed to power the country, the government says. Yet only a handful of commercial-scale, renewable energy projects operate on Indian lands.

Keel, who also serves as lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, said too many tribal homes lack electricity and affordable heat. He called energy development the best opportunity many tribal communities have to create jobs and improve their quality of life.

“Tribal energy development will mean long-term economic development, and in turn the United States will become stronger. That is an investment worth making,” Keel said, noting that Energy Secretary Steven Chu last week announced $10 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on Indian lands.

Nationwide, energy royalties paid to tribes through the federal government totaled more than $334 million in 2008, the most recent year with figures available. That was down sharply from 2007, driven largely by a drop in oil and gas prices.

More than 2 million acres of tribal land have been developed for oil, gas and coal, according to the government. Estimates show 15 million acres more have the same potential, with additional land suited for wind, solar and other renewable energy projects.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told the conference that Indian lands should be an important part of what she called an “all-of-the-above energy policy” that includes oil, natural gas, coal, alternatives and renewables.

“We must support our native people in their efforts to develop energy resources on native lands, whether for use in native communities or to generate income to support our tribal governments and tribal enterprises,” Murkowski said.

Read more:

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EPA raises allowable ethanol limit to 15% with partial waiver

Posted: February 9th, 2011 by Site Editor

by Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 13 — The US Environmental Protection Agency partially waived its 10% limit on ethanol in motor fuels, allowing up to 5% more for model year 2007 or newer cars and light trucks. Fuel ethanol advocacy organizations said the move fell short, while the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association and American Petroleum Institute criticized it.

Gregory M. Scott, NPRA’s executive vice-president and general counsel, said EPA essentially abdicated its responsibility to safeguard the nation’s health and environment with its action. “This unwise and premature decision to allow the sale of gasoline with higher levels of ethanol may be good politics in Corn Belt states on the even of the midterm elections,” he said, “but it is bad news for every American who owns a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, lawnmower, chainsaw, or anything else powered by gasoline.”

“The large majority of today’s vehicle warranties only cover gasoline with up to 10% ethanol,” added API Downstream Operations Director Bob Greco in a separate statement. “More ethanol in gasoline could result in the voiding of customer warranties. EPA also seems to believe that a label on the pump will keep consumers safe from misfueling, but the impacts of misfueling are unknown until the necessary research is completed.”

Tom Bulis, chief executive of Growth Energy, the ethanol advocacy group that requested the waiver, called EPA’s decision “the first crack in the blend wall in more than 30 years,” but added that there’s no reason to limit E15 to 2007 or newer vehicles. “We urge EPA to quickly follow today’s announcement with the approval of E15 for vehicles 2001-06 and begin testing for legacy vehicles so that the American people can choose a blend of fuel that is proven to be better for our economy, our security, and our environment,” he said.

‘Unjustified bifurcation’

“EPA’s scientifically unjustified bifurcation of the US car market will do little to move the needle and expand ethanol use today,” Renewable Fuels Association Pres. Bob Dinneen separately said. “Limiting E15 use to 2007 and newer vehicles only creates confusion for retailers and consumers alike. America’s ethanol producers are hitting an artificial blend wall today. The goals of Congress to reduce our addiction to oil captured in the Renewable Fuels Standard cannot be met with this decision.”

In its Oct. 13 announcement, EPA said its action was the first of several that will be needed to make E15 gasoline blends commercial. Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said she reached her decision after reviewing US Department of Energy tests and other data on E15’s impact on engine durability and emissions. “Thorough testing has now shown that E15 does not harm emissions control equipment in newer cars and light trucks,” she maintained.

NPRA and organizations representing engine manufacturers have said that full tests have not been completed, and that such a conclusion is premature. “The ethanol industry has won a victory today by convincing the federal agency charged with protecting our nation’s public health and environment to disregard public safety and environmental issues, and instead base a major policy decision on inadequate engine test data that has not been made public or reviewed independently,” Scott said.

EPA said a decision on allowing E15’s use in 2001-06 model year vehicles will be made after the agency receives the results of additional DOE testing, which is expected to be completed in November. However, no waiver is being granted this year for E15 use in model year 2000 and older cars and light trucks—or in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or nonroad engines—because currently there is not testing data to support such a waiver. Since 1979, up to 10% ethanol, or E10, has been used for all conventional cars and light trucks, and nonroad vehicles, it noted.

Labeling pumps

EPA said several other steps are being taken to prevent use of the wrong motor fuel by consumers. First, it said that it would propose E15 pump-labeling requirements, including one that refiners and marketers specify the ethanol content of gasoline sold to retailers. There would also be a quarterly survey of retail outlets to help ensure their gasoline dispensers are properly labeled, EPA said.

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act mandated an increase of renewable fuels volumes in the US marketplace to 36 billion gal by 2022. Fuel ethanol production has been approaching its limit as demand started to level off as the 10% limit, which EPA established in 1979, approached a so-called “blend wall.” That prompted ethanol producers to seek a higher allowable limit.

Greco noted that API members have invested or committed more than $13 billion in biofuels. “However, EPA needs to be thorough in its examination of the impacts of higher levels of ethanol on both engines and gasoline station equipment,” he said.

Scott said NPRA will consider every option available to reverse EPA’s decision, which the trade association believes was ill-considered and politically motivated. “EPA is asking the American people to pump first and ask questions later, and to become guinea pigs in a giant science experiment that involves their vehicles, their gasoline-powered equipment, and their safety,” he said. “Instead of rushing to judgment to announce this decision today, EPA should have required the completion of thorough and objective scientific testing of increased ethanol in gasoline to protect millions of Americans.”

Dineen said tests already have shown that E15 can be safely used in older vehicles. “This decision continues to leave the market artificially constrained and further limits market opportunities for next generation biofuels very close to commercialization,” he said. “While we appreciate the work put into this waiver request, especially the 2-plus years of testing by [DOE], it is clear EPA is missing an opportunity to meaningfully increase America’s use of renewable fuels and reduce our dependence on imported oil.”

Categories: Government
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Introducing Northwest Native American Events and News

Posted: February 9th, 2011 by Site Editor

National Indian Energy Group is committed to supporting all types of Native American run and owned businesses.

Northwest Native American Events and News, run by Magenta Marie Spinningwind, is a free website highlighting Native American news and events all across the country. Is it free to submit and receive information, and a great place to discover “What’s Happening” in Indian Country!

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