Presentation Description: Renewable energy development is essential for the transition to a more sustainable and energy efficient society in the United States. Along with land-based wind and solar, offshore wind development (OWD) is becoming a rapidly growing and vital energy sector in the U.S. Future OWD, land-based wind, and solar are not without their obstacles such as energy storage needs and grid infrastructure adjustments. For development on federal lands and waters, one challenge is the uncertainty surrounding the impacts on other users, including that of Native American populations. While past research on the social perceptions of OWD have investigated the distributional impacts of project siting and the procedural fairness of the planning process, there has been less focus on the social perceptions and procedural justice regarding the impacts on Native American Tribes, such as religious freedom impacts through industrialization of the landscape and submerged cultural artifacts potentially disturbed in OWD. The purpose of this study is to assess current tribal engagement strategies and consultation practices employed by the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) and other key players. Tribes are different than other “stakeholders” because they are sovereign entities with a number of federal policies guiding consultation practices. This presentation will offer insights gained from semi-structured interviews with BOEM, other federal and state officials, offshore wind developers, and with Native American Tribes. The findings from this study will help key industry players continue to improve their engagement strategies with tribes in offshore wind specifically, but lessons could be applied to land-based wind or solar.
After the presentation, participants will be able to describe the differences between regular stakeholder engagement and tribal consultation. Participants will also gain an understanding of the different levels and layers of stakeholder engagement while emphasizing the need to move beyond just informing Native American Tribes towards more co-management and cooperation.
Upon completion of presentation, participants will be able to list examples of proper consultation practices with Native American Tribes and understand how to access or find resources (maps, lists of tribal contacts, etc.) to help guide future engagement practices with tribes for clean power generation.
Upon completion, participates will be able to reflect on their own consultation and engagement strategies with Native American Tribes and perhaps begin to look for ways to improve their collaboration with Native American Tribes are the renewable energy industry grows.