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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Johns: "Tribes will ... play a key role" in meeting U.S. climate goals

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Tribal leaders from around the country are gathering in Washington, D.C. tomorrow and Wednesday to meet with senior members of the Department of Energy to discuss clean-energy opportunities for Native communities, the DOE announced recently.

The 2022 Tribal Clean Energy Summit, a "nation-to-nation roundtable," is Oct. 4 and 5 at the JW Marriott DC, the DOE announced Sept. 29. The summit "represents a historic opportunity" for participants to explore ways tribal communities can use clean-energy practices "to enhance energy sovereignty, address climate resilience, and build stronger and safer communities," the DOE states in the announcement.

“DOE is proud to host the 2022 Tribal Clean Energy Summit," DOE Sec. Jennifer Granholm said in the statement, "and we are committed to listening to and working with Tribal nations as they unlock benefits that come with the deployment of clean energy – lower energy costs, more jobs, and cleaner air.”

Summit topics include discussions on federal energy programs and funding opportunities; increasing access to financing for energy projects; information and support on clean energy accessibility, reliability, security and transition; workforce development; and guaranteeing Tribal leaders may participate in decisions regarding national energy infrastructure, the DOE reports.

Wahleah Johns, director of the DOE's Office of Indian Energy, said "(t)ribes will also play a key role in achieving U.S. climate goals, and, together, we will learn about new tools, build new connections, and commit to exploring new opportunities throughout the course of this historic summit.”

Johns said the summit is strengthened by historic investments in clean energy and combating climate change in President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, "which promises to meet the climate crisis head-on while ensuring Tribal communities aren’t left behind in the transition to a clean energy future," the DOE reports.

“Tribal communities are at the heart of President Biden’s vision of a more equitable, resilient, and inclusive America," Granholm said in the announcement, "and at DOE, Native communities will always have a seat and voice at the table.”

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