Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Navajo Council gives BHP dirty coal 'free ride' for poisoning Navajos

Speak UP! Navajo Nation Waived BHP liabilities
Now, Navajo Nation set to Waive Sovereign Immunity Rights

Ash ponds close to Chaco wash/Censored News 


FARMINGTON, NM Two months ago (October 23), the Navajo Nation Council waived BHP Billiton of past, present, and future liabilities associated with BHP Navajo Mine. This translates to the Council agreeing to never hold BHP Billiton accountable for any damages, clean up, environmental, and health impacts associated with the mine. Nonetheless, the Council and the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) are still moving forward with finalizing agreements on the BHP Navajo Mine purchase by December 31, 2013.

The waiver of liabilities given to BHP disregards BHP’s responsibilities! BHP should be held accountable for any and all consequences,” states
Jerry Bodie, President of Sanostee Chapter.

Now, the Navajo Nation is set to waive sovereign immunity rights to obtain the performance and insurance bonds needed to finalize the BHP mine transaction. Legislation 0367-13 will be discussed during today’s Special Session at 1:00pm at the Navajo Nation Council Chambers in Window Rock, Arizona.

The Shiprock Chapter stands opposed to the waiver language and hopes the Secretary of the Interior will live up to its trust obligations and protect the rights and welfare of the people since the Navajo leadership will not” states Chili Yazzie, Shiprock Chapter President.
Your money is being spent on a dying 50 year old coal mine:
$3 million on Phase 1 and 2 due diligence reports;
$4.1 million to NTEC for finalizing agreements;
$85 million for the mine purchase agreement;
$130 million estimated on the reclamation bond

What makes Navajo Nation leaders think they can compete with Wyoming, Kentucky, and West-Virginia on global coal market when they are also buying BHP's liabilities that would only cost us billion dollars. This is like buying a 50 year old junk car with no liability insurance, and going to take out the car on the public highway and you kill lot of people tomorrow, you be paying out of your pocket to pay for the damages,” states Lester Begay, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad Chapter President.

Lester Begay
Chili Yazzie
Colleen Cooley Email:

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