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Source: US Congressional Budget Office

S. 2610 would authorize the appropriation of $50 million annually over the 2021-2030 period for programs sponsored by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Indian Energy. Under those programs, the agency would provide grants and technical assistance to Native American tribes, intertribal organizations, and tribal energy development organizations for energy efficiency programs, electric infrastructure projects, and other related activities. The bill also would expand eligibility for assistance under those programs, amend cost-sharing requirements, and require DOE to develop a strategy on Native American energy in the Arctic.

In addition, S. 2610 would authorize the appropriation of $30 million annually over the 2021-2030 period for DOE’s Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP), which partially guarantees loans issued to tribal organizations for energy development activities. The bill would expand eligibility for the program and would require DOE to report to the Congress on program implementation. Using information from the department, CBO estimates that $4 million per year would be needed for administrative costs; the remaining $26 million would be available to cover subsidy costs each year.

In 2020, the Congress appropriated $22 million for the Office of Indian Energy and $2 million for TELGP. Because CBO estimates budgetary effects under continuing resolutions on an annualized basis, in 2021 CBO assumes that the same amount will be available under the current continuing resolution (Public Law 116-159). As a result, CBO estimates that the bill would authorize additional appropriations in 2021 of $28 million for the Office of Indian Energy and $28 million for TELGP, the difference between the authorized amounts and the annualized amounts provided under the continuing resolution.

Based on historical spending patterns for similar activities, and assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing S. 2610 would cost $219 million over the 2021-2025 period, $618 million over the 2021-2030 period, and $158 million after 2030. The costs of the legislation (detailed in Table 1) fall within budget function 270 (energy).

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