The Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG) has been established to work collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs to assist in surveys, analysis, and recommendations related to those program and policy initiatives required to fulfill the DOE statutory authorizations and requirements of Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Secretary Steven Chu announced the creation of the Working Group in May 2011 as an initiative to establish a working group of tribal government leaders and DOE to survey, analyze, and provide feedback to the DOE on its policy and program initiatives to meet the goals and programmatic requirements under Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Working Group is hosted, managed, and supported as a program initiative in the DOE Office of Indian Energy. It is also supported by the National Conference of State Legislatures through a cooperative agreement.
Through the Working Group, the Office seeks to collaborate and gain insight into real-time tribal experiences representing obstacles and opportunities in energy and related infrastructure development and capacity building in Indian Country.
Goals and Objectives
One goal of the Working Group is to establish a baseline of information to guide policy and program prioritization and long-term strategy related to energy and infrastructure development while supporting the Energy Department’s and the Office of Indian Energy's missions of:
- Facilitating and supporting tribal energy development in its various forms, including commercial- and community-scale projects
- Fostering increased and appropriately developed electrical infrastructure development on Indian lands
- Promoting the delivery of reliable and affordable energy to tribal communities.
The Working Group may also provide comments and recommendations related to the DOE Office of Indian Energy's Strategic Plan. The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to describe the Office’s planned strategies, funding, and accomplishments over the next five years. This plan summarizes the DOE Office of Indian Energy's progress to date, presents performance measures, discusses assumptions and the decision-making process, and provides estimated DOE Office of Indian Energy funding over the Fiscal Year 2012-2016 time period.
The Working Group will also operate to address programmatic needs and activities, issues, and concerns at the working level. The Working Group does not and will not establish policy, but will work collegially under the oversight of the Director of the DOE Office of Indian Energy. The objectives of the Working Group are to:
- Survey and assess the current state of Indian energy, energy business, and energy infrastructure development and needs, such as:
- Identifying current tribal energy and infrastructure assets
- Identifying current tribal obstacles and needs, including but not limited to financing, technology, and other typical project development matters.
- Exchange information about energy development practices, needs, obstacles, and potential solutions, including alternative approaches to energy development in its various but relevant forms, including but not limited to the following priority areas:
- Energy generation
- Energy infrastructure
- Energy value chain businesses
- Energy component manufacturing or assembly, and
- Energy storage in its various forms.
- Develop and disseminate to the public and prospective technology partners information about tribal resources and opportunities, including:
- Conventional and renewable energy resources
- Public-private partnership models
- Joint venture models.
- The Working Group will utilize this forum to share information, to transfer lessons-learned, and to inform and be informed on current policy, procedures, and industry partnership mechanisms. Discussion of policy concerns will be encouraged with recommendations and/or comments forwarded by the Working Group to the Director well as through other appropriate channels.