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California Energy Policy & Native American Tribes: Consultation, Collaboration, & Support for Renewable Energy Development & Energy Efficiency Programs
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California Energy Policy & Native American Tribes: Consultation, Collaboration, & Support for Renewable Energy Development & Energy Efficiency Programs

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Master's Thesis, 2008 …

Master's Thesis, 2008
Table of Contents, Foreword, Introduction, & Conclusions only - contact me for more information.

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  • Hi Amanda, I am writing a paper on Renewable Energy and Tribal Self-Determination for law school and I came across your paper. I was wondering if you would be willing to let me read the entire article to help with my research? If so, my email is ryanberghoff@gmail.com. I would greatly appreciate it
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  • 1. California Energy Policy & Native American Tribes:Consultation, Collaboration, and Support for Renewable Energy Development and Energy Efficiency Programs by Amanda C. Cárdenas A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (Environment & Resources) at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies University of Wisconsin – Madison 2008
  • 2. ii “America is at an unsustainable place where we’ve consumed half of the world’s known oil and combusted ourselves to the edge of oblivion in terms of global climate change. The challenge is how you transform that to an economy that is more sustainable. A lot of traditional teachings that are indigenous about land management—underburning growth, forestry—are philosophical teachings that have merit. My reservation is doing this renewable-energy program out of locally produced and renewable [sources], in terms of wind energy, biofuel, solar.” ~Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), Native American activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer “We call for a more sustainable and culturally appropriate development that is guided by the values and teachings of our ancestors. We call for an economic base that would truly empower our people rather then the pockets of transnational corporations, western cities, tribal, state and federal government. We call for an end to the colonization of our lands for energy purposes and we demand a better government that is more accountable to the people.”~Roberto Nutlouis, of the Indigenous Youth Coalition of Pinon, a small community on the Navajo reservation, a member of the Black Mesa Water Coalition and part of the IEN youth committee
  • 3. iii Table of ContentsAcknowledgements ……………………………………………………………………... v – viForeword …………………………………………………………………………....... vii - viiiIntroduction ………………………………………………………………………............ 1 – 2Chapter One ………………………………………………………………………......... 3 – 16  Overview of California Indian History and Its Uniqueness  Political and Legal ContextChapter Two ……………………………………………………………………………17 – 34  Tribal-State Cooperative Relationships/Intergovernmental Agreements  Importance of Energy Policies/Programs and Native Americans  Federal Support for Indian Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resource Development  California Energy Law, Policy, and Program Context  California Energy Policy’s Relevance to TribesChapter Three …………………………………………………………………………. 35 – 51  State of Knowledge: Energy-Related State Agencies and Their Studies and Reports  California Energy-Related Legislative Committees  California Legislative Committees/Caucuses/Task Forces and Executive Agencies (Commissions and Offices) for Native Americans  California Legislation for Consultation/Cooperation with TribesChapter Four: Interviews with California Tribes …………………………………..…. 52 – 78  Purpose of Interviewing  Interview Design, Selection, and Response Rate  Interview Results and Analysis: Trends in ResponsesChapter Five ………………………………………………………………………….. 79 – 98  Tribal-State Relations in Both Branches  Varying Degrees of Consultation and Cooperative Policies, Commissions, and Committees on Indian Affairs  Applicable Models for CA & Prescriptive Conclusions for the CA GovernmentChapter Six ………………………………………………………………………....... 99 – 114  Prescriptions for California  Avenues to Expand Native American Voice/Representation in CA Government’s Energy Affairs: What Tribes Can Do
  • 4. ivConclusion …………………………………………………………………………. 115 – 118  Summary of Key Findings, Gaps in Thesis Study, and Call for Further Research  Generating Greater Discussion about Energy Policy Impacts – and Policy Impacts in General – on CA TribesAppendix 1 …………………………………………………………………………. 119 – 131  Maps, Figures, & TablesAppendix 2 …………………………………………………………………………. 132 – 142  Interview InformationAppendix 3 …………………………………………………………………………. 143 – 146  Research Approval and Consent FormsAppendix 4 …………………………………………………………………………. 147 – 148  AcronymsLiterature Cited/Consulted ………………………………………………………… 149 – 155
  • 5. v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis has required much patience, persistence, and faith. I am grateful for myadvisors willing to work within my short time frame and see me through with theirencouragement and support. This topic has been a challenging one, but one that has beenilluminated through interviews with participating tribes. With great appreciation, I want toacknowledge the candid input, time, and trust given by the Ewiiaapaayp Indian Reservation(Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay, formerly Cuyapaipe), Hoopa Valley Reservation (Hupa),Lone Pine Reservation (Paiute and Shoshone), Picayune Rancheria (Chukchansi), RobinsonRancheria (Eastern Pomo), Santa Ynez Reservation (Chumash), and Susanville IndianRancheria (Paiute, Maidu, Pit River, and Washoe). Participation was not easy to acquire forthis study, and their perspectives have provided representative voices even for thoseCalifornia tribes not interviewed. Textual materials can only lend so much to research;interviews with tribal government officials greatly strengthened this study by filling in thegaps and lending greater credibility to the state of affairs in California with respect to tribal-state relations and energy policy. Additionally, I appreciate the prompt communication withthe California Energy Commission (Assistant Director of Policy Development; DeputyDirectors of the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Division, the Electricity Supply AnalysisDivision, the Energy Research and Development Division, the Fuels and TransportationDivision, and the Energy Facilities Siting Division; former Project Manager for the 2007Integrated Energy Policy Report; and Public Advisor) and the California Public UtilitiesCommission (Transmission Permitting Advisor). Not least important, I would like to thankmy parents for taking such interest in and supporting my passion for environmental policy
  • 6. viand Native American issues. Passion is the key to a good argument and good writing, andthey have fostered my passion for the environment and justice since an early age.
  • 7. vii FOREWORD Although the subject of California energy policy and tribes must inevitably havesome informal discussion, the overall state of affairs was not previously assessed nor writtenabout by the state government, tribes, or other organizations. No documents have beenproduced that address this question of tribal-state consultation and collaboration, as well asstate support for renewable energy development and energy efficiency in California IndianCountry. California lacks a sovereignty accord, legislative committee on tribal affairs,executive commission on tribal-state relations, and presently has no Native Americansserving in the State Legislature. This is shocking, considering the vast number1 of NativeAmericans in the state. Moreover, energy development and efficiency programs are moreextensive in California compared to any other state, and yet tribes appear to have no place atthe policy-making table and are barely consulted. Most tribes in California are just beginning to learn about energy issues, either ontheir own initiative or from federal agencies. Still, there is a lack of interaction betweentribes and the state when it comes to energy policy-making and program creation. Tribes arevery much viewed through the lens of gaming, which continues to be a barrier in tribal-staterelations in addition to the unique history of tribal-state relations that is not too long ago to beconsidered a remnant of the distant past. This thesis aims to determine the degree and type of incorporation of California tribesin the state government’s energy policy discussions. 106 federally recognized tribes means1 In 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that there are 687,400 Native Americans in California, thehighest total of any state in the nation (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/005684.html).
  • 8. viii106 sovereign nations within California, not just a single minority population (Map inAppendix 1). The impacts of energy are huge, especially in a state with major electricindustry restructuring, blackout crises, and mass renewable energy development and energyefficiency programs. This thesis is not without gaps and limitations, but my hope is that it provides tribesand others with proof of the matter that can then be used to bring about change to thisunfortunate conclusion.2 I began this thesis with the intention of laying the foundation forfurther pursuit of this topic, which needs more attention. It is therefore not perfect, but it isrevealing. More studies are necessary, which would ideally collect data from even moretribes in California and bring the findings to the state government and general public.Further, seeking state agency perspectives and input3 would help to balance tribes’perspectives provided by this study. Renewable energy development and energy efficiencyare crucial to increasing tribal sovereignty and self-determination, which will bring muchgreater welfare to California tribes.2 The primary conclusion is that California tribes have not sufficiently, nor justly, been incorporatedinto state energy policy debates and existing energy programs. The findings of this study do notimply that tribes have purposely been excluded, but rather, that tribes have been overlooked andneglected by California in its energy affairs. The intention of this paper is not to be antagonistic. It isnot meant to take a completely neutral or complacent position either but to highlight presentdeficiencies and to suggest improvements on the part of the State of California.3 The California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission were contactedfor the purpose of balancing tribal perspectives, although the scope of this study and its primary goalwere more narrowly confined to providing tribal perspectives. Future studies may expand the scopeof this paper and conduct thorough research on California executive agency and State Legislatureviews and experiences with tribal-state relations and energy issues.
  • 9. 1 INTRODUCTION California has 106 federally recognized tribes (Ben and Coty 2003). It also has multiple othernon-federally recognized tribes and the largest population of Native Americans within any state in thecountry. California is diverse in its geography, environment, demographics, and economic bases;California tribes demonstrate similar diversity. California is one of the most environmentallyprogressive states and is a national leader in the development of renewable resources4 (CEC IntegratedEnergy Policy Report 2007: 101). Over the past three decades, the state has created one of the largestand most diverse renewable generation portfolios in the world (CEC Integrated Energy Policy Report2007: 101). It also has the world’s eighth largest economy (CEC Integrated Energy Policy Report2007: 16). Given this unique status, combined with the notable number of Native peoples in the state,California energy policy’s impact on tribes should also be considered and discussed. The hypothesis –and the impetus for this thesis – was that California tribes have not sufficiently, nor justly, beenincorporated into state energy policy debates and existing energy programs. The focus of this research has been on the State of California’s energy policy process andenergy development/efficiency program support for Native American tribes and communities. Thetwo areas that this study highlights are: (1) inclusion (e.g., consultation and collaboration) of tribes inthe state energy policy process and program development; mutually beneficial partnerships; tribal-state relations and; (2) degree of state funding, education, and technical assistance for tribes todevelop renewable energy resources and energy efficiency programs. There is currently a lack of information in journals, few symposiums/conferences with nowritten conclusions or reports, and no previous or existing studies by California stateagencies/departments in this issue realm. This study is the first to address the confluence of California4 California leads the U.S. in electricity generation from non-hydroelectric renewable energy sources, includinggeothermal power, wind power, fuel wood, landfill gas, and solar power. California also produces the mosthydroelectric power, second only to Washington State (EIA State Energy Profiles, California).
  • 10. 2tribes and state energy policy/programs, and to provide conclusions and suggest prescriptions.Qualitative assessments have been conducted to write this thesis, but further data was needed to fillthis research gap. Thus, this study involved interviews with the tribal government officials themselvesso as to gain a tribal perspective. The interview subjects mostly serve in leading positions within theirtribal natural resources/environmental protection departments/agencies and are most familiar withenvironmental/energy issues for the tribes. These interviews greatly complemented, strengthened, andclarified the qualitative assessment of information sources such as books (about tribal-state relations),journal articles, organization publications, state government documents/records,5 state legislation, andlegal texts consulted for this research.5 Correspondence with California agencies helped in the assessment of state agency reports and programs.
  • 11. 115 CONCLUSIONSummary of Key Findings, Gaps in Thesis Study, and Call for Further Research Originally, this study planned to interview at least one tribe from almost every county inCalifornia that contains tribes (for geographic representation). California tribes were originallyselected based on several other factors: reservation/rancheria size, enrollment, affluence (determinedby per capita income and resort/gaming operations), and whether they have their own natural resourcesdepartment.6 However, this list of 31 tribes had to be altered due to lack of response and timeconstraints. Nonetheless, the seven tribal government officials interviewed in this study reveal a trendthat substantiates and proves the hypothesis of this study: California tribes have not sufficiently, norjustly, been incorporated into state energy policy debates and existing energy programs. Morespecifically, key findings for this study are as follows:  Bearing in mind that California has the largest population of Native Americans out of any state in the nation, the state’s tribal-state relations political structure is underdeveloped compared to other state models.  Virtually no tribal-state consultation or collaborative frameworks exist for energy issues, policies, and programs.  State support (i.e., funding, educational assistance, technical assistance, and project planning assistance) for tribes’ energy needs and interests appears minimal to nonexistent. Outreach by state energy agencies is not specifically geared toward tribes.7 The majority of energy development and energy efficiency support comes6 Statistics and characteristics from Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American IndianReservations (2005) were used in the original selection process. This resource can provide an excellent startingpoint for selection of tribes in future studies.7 A prescription for tribes at the present time is to take the initiative to contact state agencies to find out aboutenergy policies and programs rather than wait for state agencies to contact and consult with them.
  • 12. 116 from the federal government, with the DOE, HUD, EPA, etc. providing almost all energy-related outreach.  California appears to leave tribal energy matters to the federal government, which is detrimental because of increasing devolution, where tribes and states must learn to work together, and because federal support is not without its gaps and limitations.  Tribal-state relations history in California, and the ways that state and tribal governments perceive each other, needs to be acknowledged and repaired as a precondition for forging future relationships. Tribes are hopeful for win-win situations between tribes and the State of California.  As confirmed by this study, tribes believe that energy development and energy conservation measures will strongly and positively impact tribal sovereignty and self-governance.These findings warrant further attention. Interviews with a greater number of tribes throughoutCalifornia would make an even stronger argument for tribes to bring to the state government.8 Inevitably, there is variation in interview subjects’ knowledge of energy issues andinvolvement in tribal-state relations. Perhaps responses were more strongly influenced by personalbeliefs and feelings in some cases; a larger number of tribal interviews could remedy any bias that mayexist. Still, the individuals who were interviewed represented their tribes for this study, and they allserve in leading environmental positions for their reservations/rancherias. They agreed to participatedue to their belief that they were the most appropriate contact in their tribes for the premise of thisstudy. It is also my belief that they have given very candid responses due to their trust in the promiseof not disclosing their identities, and due to their belief that this study is genuinely intended to benefit8 In addition, future studies should interview state officials to get their opinion and interpretation of the state ofaffairs. Future studies may also want to look at comparably sized government bodies such as townships andvillages to see if such entities report frequent contact with the state for energy matters; if so, this could make aneven stronger case for neglect of tribal nations.
  • 13. 117all tribes in California. Hopefully, tribes will utilize these findings and generate discussion amongthemselves, question state energy agencies’ roles in tribal-state relations, and bring the words andconcerns of tribes themselves to the California government.Generating Greater Discussion about Energy Policy Impacts – and Policy Impacts in General –on CA Tribes Where do tribal governments fit in moving California, America, and the world to a post-fossilfuels economy? Electric industry restructuring, energy policy reform, and energy efficiency programdevelopment are here in California, and tribes should not be to only ones in the state to ask what thismeans in terms of service and welfare for Native American communities and Indian Country. The good news is that tribal-state relations with respect to energy issues is not a conflict overterritorial boundaries and jurisdiction. Rather, it is about incorporating tribes into the state energypolicy process and state energy programs. But the degree to which California tribes are considered andincluded in the state’s energy policy process and programs is still an issue of sovereignty at its core.Alternatives to state-centrism and a zero-sum perception of tribal-state relationships are possible andneed to be pursued to create “positive-sum tribal-state relationships” (Cornell and Taylor 2000: 4).Energy and climate problems transcend political boundaries and require new frameworks to solvesthese problems. California tribes are impacted by energy policy and program choices that the statemakes, and the state is also impacted by tribal energy development decisions. Tribes need to beviewed as both sovereign governments, with a right to consultation, collaboration, and support – aright to seats at the table as fellow sovereign nations sharing the same geography – as well as partnersin solving energy and climate issues. Moving beyond an obsessive concern with restricting tribalsovereignty and ending neglect for energy policy’s impact on tribal welfare is a necessary task forCalifornia. California’s formal recognition of tribal sovereignty is a necessary first step in formingtribal-state cooperative relationships, as we see in several state models.
  • 14. 118 Tribal governments have begun to take advantage of self-determination, and they have begun totake their place in U.S. federalism through tri-federalism (i.e., power shared among tribes, states, andthe federal government). Tribal recognition came in President Bill Clinton’s Executive Order 13084issued on May 1998, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”(Mason 2002: 97). Similarly, a new dimension should be added to tri-federalism where tribes andstates engage in positive power-sharing – consultation and collaboration – in such a way that affirmsand upholds tribes’ status as co-existing sovereign nations with legitimate and important roles in ourvital renewable energy future.