Stimulus funds yet to make it to Jemez Pueblo

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Geothermal mapping project on hold till Feds cut a check

By The Staff

JEMEZ PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — Jemez Pueblo is ready to study the geothermal energy potential locked thousands of feet beneath its rural reservation in northern New Mexico, but the federal government has yet to deliver the stimulus funds needed to start the work.

The tribe was among more than 120 recipients in dozens of states that were awarded $338 million in grants by the U.S. Department of Energy at the end of October to jump-start the domestic geothermal energy industry. Maps developed by agency show potential across much of the West, including a large portion of New Mexico.

Steve Blodgett, director of Jemez Pueblo's resource protection office, said Monday he was hoping to get the funding earlier so work could start in January. Now, he said, it looks like the formal award could take several months to get to the tribe.

"They haven't given us any time frame. They're basically saying we'll get around to it when we get around to it," Blodgett said.

A DOE spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., did not immediately return phone messages left Monday.

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