Tribal energy loan program starts, more than a decade after its OK

The government estimates that there may be almost $1 trillion in energy reserves on tribal lands, but the $2 billion Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee program can be used to fund renewable as well as traditional power development projects.

WASHINGTON, D.C.-More than 10 years after it was first approved, a federal loan program for tribal energy development projects will accept its first applications in September.

The Department of Energy in July said it was accepting applications for projects under the $2 billion Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program, which will provide "partial loan guarantees to leverage private sector lending" for a range of energy projects by tribes.

"It's a good start," said Pilar Thomas, a professor specializing in Indian energy and policy at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law. "The...