Two months ago, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce invited NAFOA Executive Director Richard Frias to testify on H.R. 8068, the “Tribal Energy Investment Act of 2022”.
This bill aimed to allow the Loan Programs Office (LPO) to offer direct loans to tribes for various energy projects and greatly improve access to energy development in Indian Country. Last week, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act which included these substantial increases to loans available for Tribal energy projects through the LPO.
Below is NAFOA’s Executive Director’s thank you letter to Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM-03) for her work in ensuring that this LPO funding remained available for Tribal Governments.
Dear Representative Leger Fernandez,
Earlier this week the Inflation Reduction Act was signed by President Biden after passing the House of Representatives on Monday. Included in that bill are important changes for Indian Country. These changes make permanent the authorization for the Loan Programs Office (LPO) to offer direct loans to tribes for energy projects and increase the total amount available for loans from $2 billion to $20 billion. I would like to thank Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez, from New Mexico, for her work championing this legislation.
Representative Fernandez, thank you very much for the work you and your office have done to raise awareness of this issue both inside and outside of Washington, D.C., as well as for taking the critical step of introducing H.R. 8068, the “Tribal Energy Investment Act of 2022”.
In June, I testified before the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s hearing on Strengthening Energy Infrastructure, Efficiency, and Financing on H.R. 8060. My testimony stressed to the Committee how important it is that Tribal Governments participate in the energy transition and how unlocking the energy potential of Indian Country will be a major benefit to not just tribal governments and members, but the country as a whole.
I want to recognize this success for Indian Country. While by no means is this the last step in energy development for Indian Country, it is an important step forward for energy and economic development for our tribal governments and members.
Again, I thank you Representative Fernandez and your staff. I am eager to continue to work together and look forward to accomplishing even more on behalf of our tribal members throughout the country.
Executive Director, NAFOA