Energy Justice
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Energy Justice

US and International Perspectives

Edited by Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Elizabeth A. Kronk Warner

Energy Justice: US and International Perspectives is a pioneering analysis of energy law and policy through the framework of energy justice. While climate change has triggered unprecedented investment in renewable energy, the concept of energy justice and its practical application to energy law and policy remain under-theorized. This volume breaks new ground by examining a range of energy justice regulatory challenges from the perspective of international law, US law, and foreign domestic law. The book illuminates the theory of energy justice while emphasizing practical solutions that hasten the transition from fossil fuels and address the inequities that plague energy systems.
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Chapter 7: Energy access is energy justice: the Yurok Tribe’s trailblazing work to close the Native American reservation electricity gap

Catherine J.K. Sandoval

Abstract

7. Catherine J.K. Sandoval, Energy access is energy justice: the Yurok Tribe’s trailblazing work to close the Native American reservation electricity gap. This chapter examines the roots of energy poverty in Native American reservations through a case study of the Yurok Tribe’s path-breaking work to extend the electric grid to the Yurok Reservation in northern California. The chapter analyzes the federalist framework that contributes to the Native American electricity access gap. Since 1935 when Congress passed the Federal Power Act, the federal government has been responsible for interstate transmission and wholesale energy market regulation. However, the federal government has not assumed responsibility for funding the electric distribution infrastructure necessary to supply electricity to Native American tribes. The chapter argues that the federal government’s failure to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable energy access on Native American reservations is incompatible with existing federal policy and law. The chapter concludes with practical recommendations to foster electric grid expansion to Native American reservations consistent with both federal and State law and policy priorities.

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