The Navajo Council is now debating the proposed Navajo Nation Energy Policy of 2013.
DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON/Delegate Charles Damon II
page 5, line 17: between two and three paragraphs: promote and nurture and protect water, springs, animals, Dine’ health, balance thru ownership, health impacts, environmental protection, and thru Treaty, Hozhoni, Walking in Beauty, 1972 Clean Water Act, amendment Clean Air Act, BART for pollution reduction, including bonding and assurances for reclamation and cleanup.
DELEGATE LORENZO BATES
Delegate Tsosoie’s proposed amendment is already in Energy Policy.
SPEAKER JOHNNY NAIZE
It’s Delegate Witherspoon’s amendment.
If go to page 6 & 12, section 4 talks to Fundamental Law and section 5 talks to sustainable energy and so Witherspoon’s amendment is the same. What makes Witherspoon’s amendment different?
Part of amendment addresses federal laws and like Attorney general Tsosie explain.
ATTORNEY GENERAL TSOSIE
Address Navajo and develop laws regarding management of land, air, water and energy resources. Amendment like this might create conflict between federal and tribal laws.
Section 401: before commencement of large scale energy projects, it says proper consultation with medicine people. That is practice. The section I’m referencing speaks to section in preamble where it talks about that it will help to provide balance in three of sections but no indication of policy practice to protect, nurture, restore resources. WE have four natural elements. I concur with attorney general, yes if have own Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act and aquifer protection law then use but if not then reference so companies comply with protecting natural elements for life.
this whole doc talks about how use resource, lot in preamble but in actural policy there isn’t protection. I’m listing protection list for balance to use when entities attempt to not comply with federal law and Navjao nation law. they will have these guideances, protection, and balance to these policies.
No reference to bonding, BART and I’m talking about nurturing, restoring, balance. the other concern that I have is, individuals have indicated where’s the teeth and i’m indicating teeth to protect and put right up front. otherwise feel one sided policy – let us make easy for pple to come on rez to maximize resources but nothing about protecting and restoring.
So the nation thru inherent sovereign authorities allows nation to do what your amendment is trying to do.
DELEGATE WALTER PHELPS
I’m thinking I have to agree with Delegate Pete that this is basically what we discouraged at Naabi on the federal language. I’m thinking that it’s kind of making an about face to it. But our interest/intent with whole legislation was promote sovereignty and assert sovereignty and amendment is tying chain around our necks.
VOTE ON AMENDMENT THREE: Delegate Witherspoon amendment
3 in favor, 10 opposed