Blog: BIA regulation helps renewable energy development

"America’s Indian Country has the potential to host a significant share of the renewable energy generated in the United States. But development of those resources is stymied by a lack of transmission, onerous tax disincentives, and a thicket of bureaucracy. A new rule proposed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), promises to clear the bureaucratic tangle.

In his address to the second White House Tribal Nations Conference, in December 2010, President Obama assured tribes that his administration was committed to streamlining the approval process for renewable energy projects on Indian land.

For years, tribes had lobbied Congress and the BIA to update burdensome rules, and to speed the approval of projects. When I interviewed him last spring, Jose Aguto, policy adviser with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), described the bureaucratic obstacles slowing tribal renewable energy projects.

“As [former U.S.] Senator [Byron] Dorgan was wont to say, ‘49 steps and two to three years in Indian Country, seven steps, two to three weeks, just outside Indian Country for similarly situated land’ – that’s the broad-brush inequity that we’re talking about,” he said."

Get the Story:
Justin Gerdes: Obama Administration Aims to Clear Roadblocks Holding Up Tribal Renewables (Forbes 1/31)

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