TUCSON, AZ – Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement praising $9.4 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) to advance tribal energy and mineral resources.
“I’m glad to see DOI investing in Native American tribes, particularly in renewable energy,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The grants announced today are a vital resource for tribes as they evaluate and maximize the potential of energy and mineral assets on their lands.”
A long-time advocate for helping Native American tribes harness clean energy on reservations, Grijalva introduced the FAIR CREDIT Act of 2014 to grant tribes access to production tax credits that they are currently exempted from.
“While tribal land comprises 2% of land in the United States, it contains an estimated 5% of all renewable energy sources,” Grijalva continued. “It only makes sense that we help native tribes take advantage of these resources – not just to bring them to market, but to create jobs and generate income for Native American nations.”
Projects funded by the grants announced today include an array of renewable energy sources, including geothermal, biomass, hydro-electric, woody biomass, solar, wind, and plastics-to-energy that will provide clean, low-cost power to tribal members and encourage business on tribal lands. The forty-six grants being awarded as part of the Energy and Mineral Development Program include $320,000 for the Tohono O’odham Nation of Arizona to fund an exploration study designed to identify the quality and quantity of sand and gravel on the Reservation.