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Pilar Thomas quoted in “Coronavirus Throws Wrench Into Tribal Clean Energy Plans”

Law360

Due to COVID-19 many tribes have decided to slowdown their energy development plans and focus more on the pandemic's health risks. However, slow downed projects can also have negative effects on the tribes long-term development plans. 

Below is an excerpt:

"The bandwidth just isn't there for the most part," said Quarles & Brady LLP energy and environmental partner Pilar Thomas, a former official at the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. "Finding the time to enter into negotiations or maintain negotiations, to maintain some type of effort and attention to big projects that require a lot of attention, that's just hard to do at this point."

"That extends to any negotiations to secure federal funding for projects, Thomas said. For example, she said she isn't expecting much response to the DOE's latest offering of up to $15 million in grants to deploy energy technology on tribal lands. The agency put out the solicitation on March 27."

"I'd be shocked if they got any applications this time around," Thomas said. "You've got to have the bandwidth and capacity to pull together all the information that the DOE grant program requires."

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