Three Amendments to 2013 Navajo Energy Policy

Greetings Relatives/Frens,
There has been some discussion among the readers about whether the Navajo Nation Council approved three or two amendments to the 2013 Energy Policy when it was approved yesterday with a vote of 13 in favor, 6 opposed. I posted on my blog that there were three amendments. The following is an official press release from the tribal Legislative Branch which also reports that three amendments were made by the Council to the Energy Policy prior to the Council approving it yesterday.


WINDOW ROCK – On the second day of the Council’s Fall Session, Council members approved Legislation No. 0276-13, the Navajo Energy Policy of 2013.

If signed into law, the Navajo Energy Policy of 2013 would rescind the 1980 Navajo Nation Energy Policy, established under former Chairman Peter MacDonald and update and amend language within the original energy act.

In a written report provided to Council on Monday, Speaker Johnny Naize (Low Mountain, Many Farms, Nazlini, Tachee/Blue Gap, Tselani/Cottonwood) described the policy as, “a basic framework for which our Nation can work with other entities to effectively use our resources for energy development.”

Speaker Naize, who co-sponsored the legislation, also emphasized that the policy is subject to future amendments and should not be considered “set in stone.”

“It is our hope that the energy policy will remain a working document as we begin to further define the process for dealing with energy related projects and programs,” wrote Speaker Naize.

The bill was previously considered by Council during a special session held last Wednesday. However, as a result of Council losing quorum prior to the vote on the main motion, the item was placed on the Fall Session agenda.

During last week’s special session, Council Delegates Leonard Tsosie (Baca/Prewitt, Casamero Lake, Counselor, Littlewater, Ojo Encino, Pueblo Pintado, Torreon, Whitehorse Lake) and Dwight Witherspoon (Black Mesa, Forest Lake, Hardrock, Pinon, Whippoorwill) urged Council members to vote down the legislation to allow additional time to make the bill “stronger” by including more definitive language.

Council also approved three amendments during the special session, which included adding language to ensure that the Council can amend the energy policy in the future, and another amendment stating that the executive and the legislative branches shall be involved in the negotiation and approval of energy agreements.

Following a debate over floor rules and questions over whether the legislation should be the first item discussed at today’s session, Speaker Naize called for a vote on the main motion.

Council members approved Legislation No. 0276-13 with a vote of 13-6.

President Shelly will have 10 calendar days to consider the bill once it is sent to the Office of the President and Vice President.

For news on the latest legislative branch activities, please visit

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