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Pilar Thomas Discusses How the Inflation Reduction Act’s Climate Provisions Will Help Tribal Nations

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Quarles & Brady partner Pilar Thomas, a Tucson-based Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice Group, was a guest on Native America Calling, a live radio program provoking a national conversation about issues specific to Native communities, in which she discussed how the Inflation Reduction Act helps Tribal nations and individual native families take advantage of the climate-specific provisions and tax benefits of the bill.

Thomas discussed the three major provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act that will help Tribal nations, stating:

The first of the tribal specific provisions is money specifically devoted to electrification of unelectrified tribal homes, tribal resiliency grants that are currently run through the department of the interior, as well as an increase in the tribal energy loan guarantee program, wildfire and other drought resistant issues. The two other programs tribal communities should pay attention to are: On the environmental side, there is $27 billion in funding to support climate resiliency and clean energy technology deployment intended to be matched by private funds, which will flow out into lending institutions who will partner with private money to deploy clean energy technology. The third key provision is on the tax credit side – This will expand the available tax credits to a whole host of new clean energy technologies including clean hydrogen, EV charging stations, EVs themselves. Importantly, even though tribes typically aren’t concerned with tax credits because they’re exempt – the bill allows tribal governments to apply to Treasury through a tax document that allows tribes direct pay. Which means the Treasury will in effect pay tribal governments directly for the same amount of the tax credit.

She continued to discuss how big an impact the IRA will ultimately have on Tribal nations. You can listen to Thomas’ full segment (6:00 – 17:55) here.


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