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Grijalva Seeks Renewable Energy Tax Credits for Tribes

Congress is considering legislation that could give Native American tribes new tax incentives for renewable energy projects. Credit: U.S. Air Force.
Congress is considering legislation that could give Native American tribes new tax incentives for renewable energy projects. Credit: U.S. Air Force.
July 14, 2015

SACATON, Ariz. – Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona is sponsoring legislation that would amend the U.S. tax code to give Native American tribes tax credits for renewable energy projects.

Grijalva says the Tribal Tax Incentive for Renewable Energy Act would make tribes eligible for tax credits already available to non-tribal businesses.

"Once you level the playing field with regards to solar, I think they'll be in a position not only to compete, but compete very effectively," he says.

According to Grijalva, the legislation would enable tribes to offer the same economic incentives to companies that operate solar and wind farms, and other clean energy projects.

Stephen Roe Lewis, governor of the Gila River Indian Community near Phoenix, says the legislation could help tribes develop their economies and become more energy self-sufficient.

"It would diversity tribal economies," says Lewis. "Beyond the tribes that have Indian gaming, beyond other business opportunities, this would really share in this renewable energy revolution going on around us."

Lewis says the Gila River Indian Community is planning on almost immediate development of renewable energy projects if Congress approves the legislation.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tribal land makes up two percent of U.S. land, but contains an estimated five percent of all renewable energy resources.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ