The Navajo Nation Council called into session at 11:30 a.m. Delegate Edmund Yazzie prayed.
Speaker Johnny Naize announces that Delegates Russell Begaye and Kenneth Maryboy excused. And that the mother of Maryboy’s staff assistant, Woody Lee, former Delegate, passed away.
Delegate Leonard Tsosie asked for financial report on tribal investment and the impact of government shutdown on tribal investments.
Speaker says Naabiki’yati’ Committee tomorrow.
Tuba City/Western Navajo Fair next week.
DELEGATES DWIGHTS WITHERSPOON/LEONARD TSOSIE
Delete Energy Policy legislation from agenda.
Concerns during Naabiki’yati Committee to prepare for better document. Waiting on week wud not hurt nation and wud help make document better.
VOTE AT 11:42 AM 7 IN FAVOR, 8 OPPOSED
VOTE ON AGENDA
11 in favor, 4 opposed
Where is our chief legislative counsel candidate?
When no candidates, Speaker moves to next itme, $4.1 million for Navajo Transitional Energy Company.
DELEGATE LORENZO BATES
Had lengthy discussion at committees’ level, including Naabi. When created NTEC, Four Corners and BHP unable agree on coal fuel agreement, it was determiend that BHP wud consider leaving when contract expired 2016. Navajo Nation then stepped in and provided direction which was to create NTEC. We also did not approve funding, other than due diligence which also resulted in creation of NTEC. Due Dilegence stated why Navajo Nation needed to own BHP coal mine. NTEC negotiating all agreements for mine purchase. Time lines were created. NTEC given full authority to move forward. But then Az Corporation began discussing deregulation which resulted in BHP and Four Corners stepping back and there was possiblity of need to redo all numbers and Four Corners had to fund retrofit.
With presistence of NTEC, Speaker and other parties, We were persistent in indicating to Az Commission that this not good for nation but also sovereignty issue related to BHP mine buy so Az Commission voted down deregulation.
But deadlines that wud have been met, prior to Az Commission are now looking at us in the face within next 30 days. These decisions include signing on dotted line for ownership, mine manager ageement, coal fuel agreement. These then trigger the owner, one of owners which is APS to move on owner, Southern California Edison, to buy their ownership in Four Corners.
NTEC does not just get check. There are stipulations before dollar released and in section 2, 3, 4, 5.
In event all falls back then NTEC wud repay to Reserves. If happen next week then money returns to Reserves. There are parties outside Navajo, yes Navajo created Navajo and aside from creating NTEC has yet to show to rest of industry that by putting money into NTEC that serious. With any startup of a business, it requires dollars.
A colleague asked for assurance that successful. BHP and Four Corners Power Plant has track record. Four Corners has track record of burning coal and producing power. Also dedicated work force, some here today, to assure that coal delivered to Four Corners. So have skilled labor force. The other assurance is that Navajo Nation has more than 100 yrs of coal resources sitting there.
Final assurance is that technology improves day in and day out. As sit here and the rest of world may opposed coal, even Prez Obama, technology shows there is a future for coal.
So there are assurances and out of these assurances and we do the math in our own minds, $174 net runs central government and goes to 110 chapters. If take away $65 million that lowers gross revenues from $140 m. And so less than $175 m. net and money to chapters. So has ripple effect going forward if these two entities go away in 2016.
NTEC BOARD PREZ STEVE GUNDERSON
Honored to be on Board and more honor to be chairman of management committee of NTEC, LLC., whichis wholly owned entity of Navajo Nation. Today funding proposals and presentation in hard-copy. Not go thru cuz numbers confidential and if discuss numbers then need executive session.
Extremely important to successful venture of NTEC. The Az Commission voted down of rederegulation shows Four Corners important to Mexico, Arizona, critcal baseload supply. Power that be believe. Based on 19 yrs in acquisitions, mine purchase extremely important.
Page 2: Oct. 31, done by Dec. 31, 2013.
page 3: cash flow projections for NTEC position in future.
There is also breekdown of entire transaction.
And BHP is also proving some funding to NTEC.
DELEGATE ELMER BEGAY
What wud happen if closed down? All I hear is that we are saving jobs. Also hear that Navajo Nation negotiated so what was negotiated? Third questions: when we say that stge 2, somewhere in transition of coal fired power plant that it’s cleaner. But nothing in there about renewable energy. is it written somewhere that clean and for how many years. You guys said five years that start working into this so what year see cleaner coal fired power plant. It written down and not goes that way then who says that NTEC not going by agreement. I want to see in writing. Also say that NTEC, and I’m opposing, we the Dine’, we have a principal to Creation, Life. When is Legislative Branch going to use Fundmental Law especially since use name Navajo. I’m opposing this.
DELEGATE ROSCOE SMITH
Is that same consensus that we made earlier for NTEC
First off, upset about money coming from Reserves. Prez line item vetoed money for Bennett Freeze and chapters. and the reason for veto was for money in Reserves for NTEC. What i see is we have sacrificed housing for Bennett Freeze and pple for interest of Bates, Shelly, Speaker. Really disappointed in leadership of three individuals that orchestrated veto of their money. People in western Navajo shud be up in arms.
Also discussion of why Delegates not talking about global warming. Leadershp disputed and since that day, Global Warming is in the air. Are we also in denial of Gloval Warming and why support BHP and Four Corners? We are. It is harmful to pple and we put moratorium on uranium because harmful to pple so why not do that for coal.
And Permanent Trust Fund is for entire Navajo Nation, not just Upper Fruitland (Bates’ home chapter). There is no projection about what wud happen if use PTF to buy mine. Wat does Wall Street say? And without those answers I do not support those legislation and hope my colleagues demand answers.
DELEGATE NELSON BEGAYE
What is really going on here. Read in media that Prez Shelly wants Energy Policy and Desert Rock before sign off on $4.1 million for NTEC. I don’t like those tactics. And this money, $4.1 million, is givng jobs to NTEC.
So i guess we can pass this and see what he does.
DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
I absolutely support purchase of coal mine cuz first year here, coal miners and families from Black Mesa area suggested that we buy Peabody coal mine. And I have asked more than once if we wud be using Navajo Nation money and I was told no. there is an arrangement with BHP and that the mine wud pay for itself. Page 4, line 17, number 6: talks about money being put into escrow account and Investment Committee provide revolving line of credit exceeding $36 million dollars. Where will those funds come from? And is that Navajo Nation money esecially when you told me that no Navjao Nation money used? Sounds like Navajo Natin money that Investment Committee has control over.
DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE
That is politics, wheeling and dealing to get done for pple here. But how much wud chapters get back and it will be shown that put one in one together. Council asked more funding for chapters. If approved, and talk across the street that prez pushing to save Reserves and if Prez signs then show wheeling and dealing and pple know wheeling and dealing occurs.
I support the legislation. We said let’s try this and let’s explore and yes some Navajo Nation funds dedicated to it and come this far. Also credibility of Navajo Nation at stake here. Made decisions and I supported. And we already decided to use coal mining resources. approved NGS and I opposed. There were many issues but approved. Same with Four Corners extension. At crossroad: do we own mine? Another reason to own was jobs. Understand environmental and have confidence in state, federal, tribal to protect enviroment. So many laws over coals and can’t walk away. There are assurity bonds and that gives me little confidence.
But coal mining supports half of budget. First time for Navajo Nation and things will pay for themselves especially with stated and federal taxes being waived when Navajo Nation becomes owner of coal mine.
Urge that we go forward with it otherwise hurt credibility of Navajo Nation. Also can this legislation go forward without Page 4, line 17, number 6.
DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
$70 M TO $80 M INTO GENERAL funds and about third into funds. Talk about funds to chapter. Just imgine, after 2016 and don’t acquire mine then Four Corners close and $200,000 annually loss to chapters. Big impact to chapters. less money for scholarships, public employment so big impact.
To use tribal funds to buy mine; the way i lok at it, no matter what we wud use tribal funds. even if BHP loans use money, we have to pay back. no matter wat we have to use tribal money to buy mine. we cud get loan but still use tribal money cuz own mine and ned tribal money pay back.
and first of all, i support legislation, needs to be done. If don’t buy, big impact on tribe. closure of Four Corners big impact. proud of Navajo pple make $80,000 to $90,000 and make a good living.
I’m pro-green but it has to be in transition. not over nights and not two years. It has to happen. Energy there but slowly do. If green economy bring in same amount then close mine down and if pple guaranteed high paying jobs but need slow transition.
Let’s vote green on this legislation.
DELEGATE LEONARD PETE
World full of rishs. Coal purchase risk. We luv govt if have big bottle for us. If govt shutdown four more weeks then we will find out how dependent on govt. If happens next year, where get money survive and support all these programs. We haven’t felt what cud happen in future. it’s good to say no, no but how survive. Wat are your plans? Past Council’s made mistakes but how exist in future. HOw wud our kids exist in future. At least coal in ground, no one walk off without our permission. There is tons and tons of coal and we haven’t studied potential: how use to generate revenue. If power plant stops, what do we do?
Higher education is key to success. We lead nation in high school dropouts. There are no jobs out there. What is the future plan?
DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
We believe in importing many products, that is how we are programmed and that is doing us harm and ability to advance ourselves. This is opportunity. There are some that oppose investment. Many of our pple are players in this industry. And we can allow pple opportunity to compete.
And when we ask where is money coming from; it came from the mine. We are reinvesting that money into mine. So way to move foward. And when electricity temporarily went off, we had no use of microphones. that is how much rely on electricity. The idea is that we have this industry as part of tribe. We have powerline there. If we say we oppose, those will go away. There is mine and power plant. Once gone, how wud we reestablish. And now we can’t establish enterprise. Forefathers did well to be better community and government. They have done us well and we shud not shortchange self and say risk for us. So support lesson of past.
Have we failed? This is opportunity for us to move forward.