Law Seminars International Presents:

A Comprehensive Conference on Current Challenges and Opportunities for

Tribal Energy in California and the Southwest

Strategies for successful Tribal energy projects and pathways for exercising sovereignty over a Tribe's energy future

June 24 & 25, 2021

Live Online via Interactive Broadcast

As a value added bonus, you'll receive access to downloadable audio and video recordings at no additional charge.

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Program Overview

Who Will Benefit from Attending

Attorneys, Tribal representatives, land use planners, environmental professionals, industry executives, governmental officials and consultants

Why You will Benefit from Attending

As we embark on the beginnings of a new federal Administration in Washington and the tenure of the first Native American Secretary of Interior, change for the better is in the air. Throughout the West and in Indian Country there is an expectancy of significant improvements in Tribal-federal relationships and opportunities for reservation economic development. Greg Smith from Hobbs Straus has been following these developments closely and will bring us up to speed on what we can reasonably expect from Congress, DOI, DOE, EPA, and USDA.

Tribal renewable energy in particular will be an important part of the administration's climate response and economic recovery efforts. We are very pleased to have Wahleah Johns, Director of DOE Office of Indian Energy, and Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to talk about how the Department plans to implement the American Energy Innovation Act of 2020 (AEIA) and with the goal of creating Tribal economic development opportunities. This will be an interactive online broadcast, so bring the questions you would like to ask them.

At the state level, California has been very aggressive in promoting development of Tribal renewable energy resources as part of its efforts to improve grid resiliency. We'll also cover programs being pursued by other Southwestern states.

All of this will provide an excellent foundation for the practical tips you'll hear for developing successful strategies and projects. This conference prides itself on offering lively and informative discussions with our speakers. We hope you will join us.

~ Todd Hooks, of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Pilar Thomas, Esq. of Quarles & Brady, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • Impact of the Election on Federal Tribal Energy Policy
  • The American Energy Innovation Act of 2020 (AEIA)
  • How the AEIA Creates Tribal Economic Development Opportunities
  • State-Level Programs for Promoting Tribal Energy Development
  • Energy as the Locomotive and Caboose for Tribal Economic Development
  • Regulatory Processes for Tribal Participation in Power Markets and Grid Operations
  • Leverage Negotiations Over Expiring Rights of Way to Achieve Tribal Energy Infrastructure Development Goals
  • The Potential Legal Risks and Costs Associated with Implementing New Technologies
  • Tribal Project Development Success Stories

What Participants Have Said About Similar Programs

  • Good detailed view of energy law in Calif and US.
  • "Great presentations, especially the small projects by Tribes."
  • "Excellent program."
  • "So many amazing people!"
  • *It was so helpful to learn about what other tribes are facing and accomplishing!
  • *Impressive course with excellent presenters

Agenda Day 1

9:00 am

Pacific Time: Introduction & Overview

Todd Hooks , Program Co-Chair, Economic Development Director
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians / Palm Springs, CA

Pilar Thomas, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Quarles & Brady / Tucson, AZ

9:15 am

Impact of the Election on Federal Energy Policy as It Relates to Tribal Sovereignty and Energy Development

Live Online via Interactive Broadcast

Gregory A. Smith, Esq.
Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker / Washington, DC

10:00 am

Break

10:15 am

The American Energy Innovation Act of 2020 (AEIA) and How It Creates Tribal Economic Development Opportunities

Overview: A section-by-section analysis of the provisions with a focus on the areas of most significance for Tribes

Richard A. Agnew, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman / Washington, DC

Perspectives from the key DOE offices

Wahleah Johns , Director (inv)
DOE Office of Indian Energy / Washington, DC

The Hon. Kelly Speakes-Backman , Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy / Washington, DC

12:00 pm

Lunch Break

1:15 pm

State-Level Programs for Promoting Tribal Energy Development in California

Mandated utility resiliency planning, the role for Tribes in that process, and the opportunities for Tribal development of infrastructure for achieving greater resiliency

Kenneth C. Holbrook , Tribal Advisor
California Public Utilities Commission / Sacramento, CA

Thomas Gates, Ph.D. , Tribal Liaison
California Energy Commission / Sacramento, CA

Jennifer W. Summers, Esq. , Director, Tribal Relations & Land Services
San Diego Gas & Electric / San Diego, CA

Tribal perspectice and progress report on the work of the Disadvantaged Communities Working Group established under SB 350 to review CPUC and CEC clean energy programs

Jana Ganion , Sustainability and Government Affairs Director
Blue Lake Rancheria / Blue Lake, CA

3:15 pm

Break

3:30 pm

State-Level Programs in Other Southwestern States

Overview of the political landscape and programs the Southwestern states are putting in place

Mayane Barudin , Interior West Manager & Tribal Liaison
Vote Solar / Albuquerque, NM

4:15 pm

Energy as the Locomotive and Caboose for Tribal Economic Development

Case study of the Soboba ball field and community center project that morphed into a solar development: A good example of a tribal community and government working with a private sector developer and creating a larger community effort

Mike Castello , Tribal Administrator
Soboba Band of Luseno Indians / San Jacinto, CA

5:00 pm

Virtual Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Test your energy knowledge during our virtual Jeopardy-style game show and win some swag or at least learn some new things

Friday, June 25, 2021

9:00 am

Navigating the Regulatory Processes for Tribal Participation in Evolving Power Markets, Grid Operations, and Microgrids

At the federal level: What to expect from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding power market operations and interconnection processes

Maranda S. Compton, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman / Washington, DC

Kevin J. Ashe, Esq.
Holland & Knight / San Francisco, CA

The potential role for Tribes as sovereigns in project development and interconnection processes

John Lewis , Managing Director of Native American Energy
Avant Energy / Chandler, AZ

10:30 am

Break

10:45 am

Negotiating Leverage: Opportunities for Tribes with Expiring Right of Way Easements on Tribal Lands

Legal and practical perspectives on the issues you can leverage in negotiations to achieve Tribal energy infrastructure development goals

Thomas N Tureen, Esq. , Chairman
Nacero, Inc. / Houston, TX

Pilar Thomas, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Quarles & Brady / Tucson, AZ

12:00 pm

Lunch Break

1:15 pm

Due Diligence: The Potential Legal Risks and Costs Associated with Implementing New Technologies

Identifying risks and addressing them in Tribal codes: Hydrogen explosions, battery fires, building code provisions for rooftop solar and behind the meter storage

Al J. Cadreau , CEO
Indian Energy LLC / Newport Beach, CA

1:45 pm

Tribal Project Development Success Stories

Planning and installing critical clean power infrastructure: Financing options and training resources for Tribes pursuing on-reservation community solar projects, highlighting the Spokane Tribe's rooftop solar initiative

Tim Willink , Director of Tribal Programs
GRID Alternatives / Denver, CO

2:30 pm

Break

2:45 pm

Tribal Electric Utilities

External coordination and the operational accomplishments of Pechanga Western Electric

Pi-Ta Pitt , Tribal Utility General Manager
Pechanga Western Electric / Temecula, CA

Jicarilla Apache Nation electric utility buyout and utility formation processes: Tips for getting the deals done

Nann M. Winter, Esq.
Stelzner Winter Warburton Flores Sanchez Dawes / Albuquerque, NM

4:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Todd Hooks, Todd Hooks, Program Co-Chair, is the Economic Development Director for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

Pilar Thomas, Pilar Thomas, Program Co-Chair, is a partner in the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Practice Group at Quarles & Brady. Prior to entering private practice, she was the Deputy Director for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs at the US Department of Energy and Deputy Solicitor of Indian Affairs for the US Department of the Interior.

Richard A. Agnew Richard A. Agnew is a partner at Van Ness Feldman focusing on energy projects, environmental matters, and the uses of natural resources. He previously served as Chief Republican Counsel for the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (now the Committee on Natural Resources) of the U.S. House of Representatives, he served as committee counsel and staff supervisor in a wide array of federal issues, involving natural resources, Native Americans, and energy production and use.

Kevin J. Ashe, Kevin J. Ashe, Holland & Knight, focuses on energy regulatory, environmental and land use law, with a particular emphasis on the permitting, development and disposition of traditional and renewable energy projects.

Mayane Barudin Mayane Barudin is Interior West Manager & Tribal Liaison for Vote Solar. A Tribal member of Kewa Pueblo in New Mexico, she previously worked with the United Nations Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (SPFII) and organizing with other local and national non-profits to push a solar transition within Tribal nations and at a state level.

Al J. Cadreau is CEO of Indian Energy LLC. He has expertise in full-scale development of hybrid utility scale electric power generation with an emphasis on parabolic trough (CSTP) technology integrated with combined cycle gas fired turbine generators (CCGT).

Mike Castello is Tribal Administrator of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians.

Maranda S. Compton Maranda S. Compton is a partner at Van Ness Feldman and a co-coordinator of Van Ness Feldman's Native Affairs practice. She is experienced in representing both Tribal and non-Tribal clients in a wide range of federal regulatory, environmental, energy, and natural resources issues.

Jana Ganion Jana Ganion is the Sustainability and Government Affairs Director for the Blue Lake Rancheria

Thomas Gates, Ph.D., Thomas Gates, Ph.D., is the Tribal Liaison for the California Energy Commission. He has three decades of experience working with Tribal governments in the areas of tribal historic preservation, land conservation, self-governance and Tribal energy.

Kenneth C. Holbrook, Tribal Advisor at the California Public Utilities Commission, is a member of the Maidu Tribe and the Pit River Tribe. He also is President of Native Forest Resources, Inc., which provides solutions to sustainable forestry and fire resilient forest project planning and implementation needs.

Wahleah Johns Wahleah Johns is Director of the DOE Office of Indian Energy and a member of the Navajo (Dine) Tribe. In her DOE capacity, she is responsible for upholding and advancing the Office of Indian Energy's mission to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives. She previously co-founded Native Renewables, a nonprofit that builds renewable energy Tribal capacity while addressing energy access.

John Lewis John Lewis is Managing Director of Native American Energy for Avant Energy. He has overseen a wide array of projects including Tribal utility formation, renewable energy development, Tribal organizational management, energy infrastructure development and energy and utility related negotiations.

Pi-Ta Pitt is the Tribal Utility General Manager of Pechanga Western Electric.

Gregory A. Smith Gregory A. Smith is a partner at Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker. He has represented Indian tribes and tribal organizations as an attorney and as a government affairs specialist for nearly twenty years.

The Hon. Kelly Speakes-Backman The Hon. Kelly Speakes-Backman is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and Acting Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy. She previously served as the first CEO of the Energy Storage Association, the national trade organization for the energy storage industry.

Jennifer W. Summers Jennifer W. Summers is Director of Tribal Relations & Land Services at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). She manages Company relations with county, city, and other local government and quasi-government jurisdictions supporting land and the Native American communities that SDG&E serves.

Thomas N Tureen Thomas N Tureen is Chairman of Nacero, Inc. and also Chairman and Co-Founder of Coachella Energy. It is a partnership between Coachella Partners LLC, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Southern California Edison for a $1.0 billion transmission upgrade project for bringing renewable energy into California.

Tim Willink, Tim Willink, is a Navajo from Pueblo Pintado and Director of Tribal Programs for GRID Alternatives. He leads the company's new National Tribal Solar Program. He formerly worked as a lobbyist for the Navajo Nation Washington Office representing the Tribe in economic development and education and spent six years with Namaste Solar as a Field Supervisor for commercial solar installations.

Nann M. Winter Nann M. Winter is a shareholder at Stelzner Winter Warburton Flores Sanchez Dawes. She advises the Jicarilla Apache Nation, Angel Fire Public Improvement District, and other local governments on utility matters. She also lobbies on behalf of local government interests.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 11.00 California MCLE and 10.75 ABCEP environmental professional credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

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