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Navajo lawmakers take up energy-related bills

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo lawmakers have approved a $4 million
appropriation to a tribal company set up to purchase a coal mine in northwestern
New Mexico.

The vote Wednesday came during a special session of the Navajo Nation Council
in Window Rock.

The bill will give an initial infusion of cash to the Navajo Transitional
Energy Company, LLC., if tribal President Ben Shelly approves it.

Shelly has said he won’t support the purchase of the Navajo Mine from BHP
Billiton if lawmakers don’t vote to update the tribe’s 1980 energy policy.

A bill to do so had been on the council’s agenda Wednesday. But the council
lost a quorum.

The measure states that coal would remain a key part of the tribe’s energy
future. It says renewable energy also will be developed.

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