Tribal Culture Must Be Integrated Into the Decision-Making Process for Energy Projects
Many Native communities, like the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), argue that expediting the review and approval process for renewable energy projects undermines the time needed to take tribal concerns into consideration.
A recent report “Saving Fast Track: Alternative Energy Futures at Stake” by James A. Kent, a global social ecologist, and John Ryan, a regional economist, underscores that a major focus of new projects should be ensuring “tribes have some reasonable prospect of emerging with their ancestral lands and spiritual life intact, in a realigned political, social, cultural and economic environment that benefits them directly.”
The purpose of the report was to highlight the difficulties encountered with the 17 renewable energy projects given “priority status” by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2012, including nine solar, six wind and two geothermal projects across six Southwestern states. The fast-track list was created in collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. READ MORE …