Washington, D.C. — As the Biden administration boosts investment in offshore wind energy, policymakers must include Tribes and Indigenous people throughout the process, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.
These projects will have a wide-ranging impact on Indigenous groups that have sacred relationships with the ocean, river-migrating fishes, wildlife, and lands — both coastal and inland. These all could potentially be affected by offshore wind turbines and transmission infrastructure.
The brief urges the Biden administration to consider how to help Native and Indigenous people benefit from the clean energy projects undertaken in their backyards. The administration must also understand and minimize the environmental impacts of offshore wind development and ensure these projects are coordinated with other federal priorities such as building out broadband services in Tribal areas. That will help officials make the best choices for the energy future while making sure that historical wrongs are discontinued and environmental impacts are mitigated.
Recommendations include the following:
- Ensure that robust community and workforce benefit agreements are developed.
- Support Indigenous-serving educational institutions.
- Strengthen registered apprenticeship programs for Indigenous communities in economies experiencing energy transitions.
- Use Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge to minimize the environmental impacts of development.
Read the issue brief: “4 Ways the Biden Administration Can Ensure Offshore Wind Development Benefits Tribes and Indigenous People” by Zainab Mirza, Lonyx Landry, and Miriam Goldstein
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at firstname.lastname@example.org.