Whose plan is it anyway? Energy Planning by American Indian Tribes in the United States


Plan quality evaluations have used conformance of the plan to standards or their use in subsequent deliberations as metrics. In this study, we argue that plans could be evaluated using other criteria such as utility for different users. We use the energy planning of thirty-five American Indian tribes as a case study to demonstrate this evaluation methodology. American Indian tribes have used energy planning to address interdependencies of mineral rights with economic development and tribal sovereignty as well environmental stewardship under uncertainty. Our evaluation methodology explicitly acknowledges the complexity of information presented in the plans and evaluates them holistically with an eye towards plan users, who may be different from the plan makers. We evaluate whether or not interdependencies among actions are addressed and what types of uncertainties are explicitly 15considered and in what ways. This framework helps identify how different plan elements are useful for different entities.

Journal of Planning Education and Research