Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), has launched a website to create a web-based clearinghouse of environmental information that will support American Indian and Alaska Native traditional and renewable energy resource development.
The Tribal Environmental and Energy Information Clearinghouse (TEEIC), which can be accessed via http://teeic.anl.gov, creates a knowledge base for tribes and tribal organizations that can assist them in capacity-building efforts to develop environmental analysis and evaluation programs and processes that further their energy and economic development goals.
"The Tribal Environmental and Energy Information Clearinghouse initiative is an excellent example of how we can support the goal of increasing traditional and renewable energy development on tribal lands, thereby enhancing economic development opportunities for Indian tribes, while ensuring that such activities are conducted in an environmentally sound manner," Secretary Salazar said.
In addition to environmental best practices, how-to's on conducting environmental assessments to aid in decision-making, and links to applicable federal and state laws and agency contacts related to energy development, the clearinghouse's database includes information on the various impacts of different types of traditional and renewable energy development and infrastructure projects. The database has been developed using existing information, which will be augmented over time with environmental impact assessments as they are completed.
"As concerned stewards of their natural resources, tribes will be able to use the clearinghouse as a convenient, authoritative resource for information, both to use in the protection of their environmental and cultural values and to maximize their economic development opportunities," Salazar said.
The Secretary of the Interior created the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development in 2005 to encourage economic development in Indian Country. The IEED's mission is to foster strong Indian communities by creating jobs, Indian-owned businesses, a trained workforce, by developing Indian energy and mineral resources, and increasing access to capital. The IEED believes that thriving economies and opportunities for work are the best solutions to Indian Country's economic and social challenges.