Native American Law attorney Tara Kaushik will present "Unique Legal Considerations and Issues in Indian Country" during the Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands Conference. This presentation will give an overview of the significant legal issues, Federal Indian policy and current policy that impacts development on tribal land. Specifically, it will identify the issues relating to tribal sovereignty, immunity, trust responsibility, jurisdiction over non-members, and applicability of tribal law, federal approvals, and dispute resolutions.
Lands that have been permanently set aside for the use of Indian nations — known variously as “tribal lands” and “Indian country”— contain significant renewable energy resources. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) completed a study in 2012 assessing the technical potential for renewable energy on Indian lands, finding that American Indian land comprises approximately 2% of U.S. land but contains an estimated 5% of all renewable energy resources. Tribal communities and power industry professionals who recognize this huge development opportunity will often collaborate to build solar, wind, and geothermal projects. These projects are appealing for a variety of reasons, as they can be not only financially rewarding but contribute to the economic development and energy security of tribal communities.
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