The US’s largest lobbying group for Native Americans has called for a halt on all offshore wind scoping and permitting until a “comprehensive and transparent procedure” to protect tribal interests is in place.
The US National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is also asking to be included in the management, permitting and development of offshore wind power purchase agreements and to be both consulted and included in determining the terms and conditions of the agreements.
It also wants “fair compensation” for use of tribal lands and resources, inclusion in any revenues associated with development of their traditional resources as well as a requirement that the development does not harm their environment or cultural heritage.
The Biden administration has already vowed to include Indigenous rights in decision-making – but apparently not enough for NCAI. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is the US’s first Native American cabinet secretary.
This comes amidst pushback from other stakeholders. Opponents of offshore wind recently called for public hearings and a moratorium on offshore wind because of whale deaths. Meanwhile fishing groups and local residents have filed about five lawsuits against proposed or under-construction wind projects off the US north-east.