By Keli James, PR communications coordinator

Extreme weather events and climate change affect the way that American Indian tribes use, receive, and produce energy, according to a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) report.

Across the country, specifically in the West and Southwest, higher temperatures, less available water, and more frequent and intense heavy downpours, floods, heat waves and droughts are expected to increasingly threaten tribal energy infrastructure.

“Tribes are among the communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” Chris Deschene, director of the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, said in a statement. “Tribal lands, which are home to more than 1 million people, have a relatively high proportion of low-income residents, and tribes have limited resources to respond to climate-related impacts.”

In Native American communities, which often have high rates of poverty, the effects of climate change can be devastating. The DOE produced the report to help tribes understand the vulnerabilities of their power systems.

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