Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include comment from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
The largest lobbying group for Native American tribes called for a moratorium on offshore wind projects Thursday, according to Bloomberg.
The National Congress of American Indians voted on a resolution asking the Biden administration to halt the projects, citing their non-inclusion in the planning, permitting and contracting process of the coastal projects, according to Bloomberg. The resolution follows concerns over the projects’ potential links to whale deaths. (RELATED: Biden’s Interior Secretary Refers To The US Capital As The ‘Ancestral Homelands’ Of Native American Tribes)
The group asked the Interior Department and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to stop all scoping and permitting of offshore wind projects until a “comprehensive and transparent procedure adequately protecting tribal environmental and sovereign interests” is implemented, according to Bloomberg. They also emphasized that all tribes “must be included in the management, permitting and development of power purchase agreements.”
News: The National Congress of American Indians wants the Biden administration to halt work on offshore wind farms amid concerns tribes aren’t being fully consulted on the plans.https://t.co/IHwidKGWkh
— Jennifer A. Dlouhy (@jendlouhyhc) February 23, 2023
“We have taken coordinated actions to incorporate Indigenous Knowledge and Tribal input into our decision-making process, and we are working to help Tribes expand capacity to engage in environmental reviews, work with industry, and develop partnerships. BOEM is committed to upholding our Tribal trust responsibilities and fostering working relationships based on trust and meaningful consultation and we are always working to improve the consultation process to engage Tribes in a respectful way,” a BOEM spokesperson told the DCNF.
Offshore wind projects have also been the subject of recent criticism from environmental groups like Clean Ocean Action due to mounting whale deaths near project sites. On Tuesday, 30 New Jersey mayors signed a letter calling for an immediate moratorium on offshore wind projects until an investigation into the whale deaths is conducted, according to MidJersey.News.
The Department of Energy (DOE) announced more funding to accelerate floating offshore wind development Wednesday, according to a DOE press release.
Biden had vowed to include tribal nations in the decision-making, according to Bloomberg. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is the first Native American to lead a cabinet agency and has taken action like renaming U.S. sites with “racially insensitive” meanings.
The Department of the Interior and the National Congress of American Indians did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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