The individuals speaking at the press conference were Delegate Bates, who also is the Budget & Finance Committee chairperson and sponsor of proposed legislation to the Council for $4.1 million for NTEC, Speaker Johnny Naize and President Ben Shelly. The audience was primarily BHP workers, and staff from the Speaker’s office and President’s office.
The press attending the press conference were Farmington Daily Times reporter Noel Smith, Gallup Independent reporter Kathy Helms and myself.
SPECIAL NOTE: I POSTED THE COMMENTS BY DELEGATE BATES AND PRESIDENT SHELLY SOON AFTER THEY SPOKE WITHOUT MAKING SPELLING CORRECTIONS AND SO I’LL BE UPDATING THAT POST SO THEIR COMMENTS ARE MORE READABLE AND UNDERSTANDABLE. MY APOLOGIZES FOR MY TYPOS.
THE FOLLOWING IS SPEAKER NAIZE SPEAKING AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE:
SPEAKER JOHNNY NAIZE
The Navajo Nation will not survive without these industries. I assure workers that Navajo Nation wud do watevr it can to complete ageement with BHP and Four Corners working. I was in mining business with Peabody coal for 12 yrs.
I’ve seen miners produce. They are good workers and I want Four Corners Power Plant to understand Navajo miners can produce coal and Four Corners Plant shud not doubt miners and how much they can produce.
BHP shud not doubt workers and how Navajo Nation plans to operate mines.
Navajo Nation doing it’s best. Hope we have mine operated by entity established by Navajo Nation, which is Navajo Technical Energy C and mine and plant operating full capacity.
We talk about alternative energy; is it here to stay? Yes but does it produce same power as coal? No. But if does then look at
Navajo has abundance of coal and there are more ways to utilize and burn in cleaner method but EPA pushing selective catalytic system.
I don’t know wat that is but I feel for Four Corners Plant and I hope they install that so they comply with EPA, and the same for Navajo Generating Station. There are other ways to address pollution and it’s a lesser way of producing pollution.
But NGS and Four Corners will comply with EPA.
We have a deadline to worry about which is finalizing agreement with BHP. What occurred yesterday in Farmington, between President Shelly and Delegate Bates is information that we don’t want to hear about. You have to see it to believe it. Yesterday’s meeting was a re-visit with Prez and his staff and our staff, Craig Moyer and Paul Frye, due diligence team, NTEC and we all re-assured each other.
We all have to get back together to make sure we are all on right track and Navajo Nation not about to lose it’s revenues, $60 million a year.
As speaker, I will make sure my Council gets legislation passed. Legislation sponsored by Mr. Bates and we give him our full support. When comes to Council would be nice if had representatives from BHP.
NTEC has its own board, attorney and people. Talking about Craig Moyer and Paul Frye and they are responsible for talking with BHP. And all Navajo does is make sure on right track and to hear if any problems. So we are totally separate from NTEC, separate from Navajo Nation, they are negotiating purchase.
I know Mr. President mentioned earlier about Energy Policy and yesterday we assured him that we would get E Policy passed and I just hope it does not interfere with purchase. Maybe later on get back together and make the president happy.
Again, thank you very much. I appreciate Mr. Peterman’s involvement and he’s not a lawyer. He just bring information back. We don’t want to add people to team or take away.
Mr. Bates and I will do whatever we can to get mine purchased.
Sorry missed your free bar-b-q. Maybe Norman (Benally, BHP tribal liasion) will treat us to fried bread and mutton stew.
COUNCIL DELEGATE LORENZO BATES
Challenges exist but we realize importance of the coal, the workers. You are an important resource to Navajo Nation and it’s incumbent on the Navajo Nation to come up with solutions.
When Council acts on $4.1 m supplemental, it’s not precedence in formation of other enterprises. Navajo Oil and Gas came to Council and money was appropriated for them. The same with Navajo Agricultural Products Industry.
NTEC is a new entity and will face new challenges. But president, speaker and council understand importance of moving forward. Technology progressing where coal no longer dirty word.
MR. BATES, DID PRESIDENT SHELLY SHOVE YOU IN THE HALLWAY YESTERDAY?
Politics has its way of dealing with itself. President knows what happened and I know what happened. This is a new day and we stay together.