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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $536,200 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Develop Energy Independence Study for the Pueblo of Jemez Tribe

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $536,200 grant to the Pueblo of Jemez, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, for a feasibility study for the tribe’s energy independence. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan Indigenous Communities program.

This investment is a good example of EDA’s commitment to Indigenous communities, as well as to addressing Equity as one of its top investment priorities. This project will outline Tribal strategies for economic development and job creation, including an analysis of renewable energy generation capacity and workforce development so the Pueblo can identify ways in which it can acquire or build the energy infrastructure necessary to become carbon neutral.

“The Biden Administration is committed to supporting Tribal communities in their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will support the Pueblo of Jemez as it explores the possibility of its energy independence, which would assist Tribal members with economic recovery by creating good-paying jobs.”

“New Mexico is focused on strengthening energy economies and climate resiliency in communities all across the state,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “These funds will build on the work we’ve done at the state level to support tribal governments’ efforts in the face of the challenges presented by a changing climate. My thanks to President Biden for his leadership and to our delegation members for supporting these important investments in New Mexico.”

“I visited the Pueblo of Jemez recently and was greatly impressed with the way the Pueblo is putting the resources from the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Law to work addressing long-term infrastructure needs and embracing new economic opportunities,” said Senator Martin Heinrich. “Building more renewable energy generation projects offers one of the surest paths for the Pueblo to achieve energy sovereignty and create good-paying jobs and major economic benefits in the process.”

“In New Mexico and across the country, Tribes and Pueblos have had a long history of being great stewards of our lands,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján. “I’m pleased this funding from the American Rescue Plan will allow the Pueblo of Jemez to research opportunities for energy independence and economic development.”

“This funding will help the Pueblo of Jemez explore innovative ways to become carbon neutral and energy independent, which contribute to tribal sovereignty,” said Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03). “As Chair of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, I am glad that we were able to secure this important American Rescue Plan investment to develop renewable energy technologies at Tribes, invest in Tribal workforces, and create good-paying jobs at Jemez and in indigenous communities across the country.”

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Indigenous Communities program, which allocates $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding specifically to support the needs of Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities. The program supports these partners to develop and execute economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future. Indigenous communities are also eligible and encouraged to apply under all of EDA’s other programs.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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