Triple Pundit has companion articles about Indian tribes moving steadily towards having renewable energy on their lands. This not only provides income it can also lead to closing coal plants and replacing them with renewable energy, which greatly lessens health risks for them. Thus, renewable energy is inextricably bound to environmental justice. They key is that the tribe has a major, active role in the development and management of the resources, and maybe controlling interests too (like the Moapa Paiutes are planning in Nevada)
Native Americans, renewable energy and environmental justice
The [Navajo and Hopi] tribes are not paid anything for their water, they live in the pollution plumes, and some 40 percent lack access to stable sources of electricity or running water, despite all the promises to provide basic services. They are essentially a third-world nation in the heart of U.S. Southwest, providing subsidized electricity and water for Southern California, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Denver.
“The challenge as we make the transition to yet another energy development is to learn from the errors of the past and not to repeat them,” Clark said. “To make the transition from where we are to where we need to be will mean including more equitable resource access and economic and social development opportunities to people who have borne the brunt of this arrangement.”
Renewable energy, energy efficiency on the rise in Indian country
Red Horn’s Lakota Solar Enterprises provides a full range of energy efficiency and solar energy products and services to Native Americans far and near, including South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, his hometown. Home of the Oglala Lakota Nation and some 40,000 residents, Pine Ridge’s Native Americans have traditionally lacked access to modern, reliable sources of water, heat and power, conditions that haven’t been lost on Red Horn.