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Equity in EnergyTM is an initiative designed to include and expand the participation of individuals in underserved communities, which includes minorities, women, veterans, and formerly incarcerated persons, in all the programs of the Department of Energy (DOE). Equity in Energy also seeks to infuse and expand participation in the private energy sectors in our nation’s economy to ensure America’s energy independence.

Honorable James E. Campos speaks at a podium labeled NTES. Kevin Frost and another man listen attentively.
Director James E. Campos delivers remarks
Photograph is courtesy of the National Conference of State Legislatures

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED), the Honorable James E. Campos, hosted the Equity in Energy Tribal Stakeholder Discussion, “Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies to Reduce Disparities within the Energy Sector,” at the National Tribal Energy Summit in Washington, D.C. This is the fourth in a series of meetings aimed to solicit feedback directly from leaders in the community and facilitate an increased open dialogue with the Department.

Director Campos shared an overview of ED and the Equity in Energy initiative, and highlighted the importance of energy diversity. He was joined by panelists: Carrie L. Billy, President and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium; Michael Bourdukofsky, Director of Business at the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program; and Tanksi Clairmont, Director of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund at Grid Alternatives.

The panelists’ vast industry knowledge and cultural awareness made for an engaging dialogue. They shared strategies and best practices in policy, innovation, and technology deployment used by their organizations to increase participation of tribal communities in the energy sector. They discussed how to create meaningful partnerships that foster self-determination and ensure tribal communities and businesses are aware of DOE opportunities.

The conversation opened up for stakeholders to share their insights on current challenges they face, and discuss ways to address these challenges and how to access the growing opportunities. At the conclusion of the meeting, attendees were able to network with each other and DOE staff to continue dialogue in the future.