Claiming that they will bear a disproportionate burden due to global warming, a coalition of American Indian tribes is requesting the Obama administration to support tribally owned or operated renewable-energy projects.
The group represents around 250 tribes and their affiliates, and also hopes the new administration will direct a bevy of green jobs to the native nations, according to Indian Country Today.
At present, companies working with renewable energy technologies shy away from joint ventures with tribes because they lose tax credit privileges.
Tribal representatives highlighted the energy potential of their lands, saying wind and solar projects could produce billions of kilowatts per year.
They also said investments in renewable energy would yield more jobs per dollar than ongoing investments in fossil fuels.
One energy expert said the renewable energy business model is more stable than one based on casinos, where geographically remote reservations suffer from fewer customers.
“It doesn’t matter how many people want to use the electricity you’re able to produce from a wind turbine in a rural area, you can serve thousands and thousands and thousands of customers from across a whole region,” he told the newspaper.
“Groups press for tribe-friendly renewable energy policies”
Indian Country Today, January 2, 2009