The Navajo Nation Energy Policy of 2013 is officially underway as Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed the legislation during a signing ceremony on October 24.
According to a Navajo Nation press release, Shelly also signed legislation allocating around $4.1 million to Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) and a third legislation changing the operating policies of NTEC.
“This is a great day for the Navajo Nation,” Shelly said following the signing.
Shelly has been behind the Navajo Energy Policy, which was created in 1980, for the last three years. The updated version, recently passed by the Navajo Nation Council, was created by the Energy Advisory Committee and Fred White, Natural Resources division director.
“I am happy the Council passed the Energy Policy,” White said shortly after the legislation passed.
On October 21, Shelly shared a report with the Navajo Nation Council as part of the State of the Navajo Nation fall address that highlighted the need to pass the Policy now. The Policy will expand the Nation’s energy portfolio and at the time Shelly said, “[w]ith our abundance of resources, both natural and renewable, it makes perfect sense to have a policy to guide us in decades to come.”
Navajo Council Speaker Johnny Naize, who sponsored the bill, called the Energy Policy “a basic framework for which our Nation can work with other entities to effectively use our resources for energy development.”
With the passage of the Policy comes a the ability to have direction and guidance for energy development and other initiatives. The Policy also puts the Nation in a better position to advocate for funding from federal sources for energy studies, projects and other projects.
“I want to thank the Navajo Nation Council for the cooperation and the spirit of working together to pass the energy policy. It’s been a long journey. Much work from both branches of government went into today’s ceremony. Now we can move ahead with our future of renewable and non-renewable energy,” Shelly said before he signed the legislation.