The government once again failing Native Americans: “It just seems like they are listening more to the environmentalist people.”
“Efforts to protect the Chaco landscape have been ongoing for decades, as Tribal communities have raised concerns about the impacts that new development would have on areas of deep cultural connection. Today marks an important step in fulfilling President Biden’s commitments to Indian Country by protecting Chaco Canyon, a sacred place that holds deep meaning for the Indigenous peoples whose ancestors have called this place home since time immemorial,” said Secretary Haaland. “I value and appreciate the many Tribal leaders, elected officials, and stakeholders who have persisted in their work to conserve this special area.”
The planning started two years ago.
The idea immediately met fierce opposition from the nearby Navajo Nation.
Yes, the energy and oil companies complained, but so did the Native Americans the administration so wants to protect:
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said the rule, which would amount to a withdrawal of 336,000 acres of public lands from mineral leasing, would protect the environment and “rich cultural legacy” of the region.
“We’re not destroying anything — we are Native Americans ourselves. Nobody is destroying the park,” Delora Hesuse, a Navajo Nation citizen who owns allotted land in the Greater Chaco region, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “The oil companies sure aren’t destroying the park. And they have new technology.”
“It just seems like they are listening more to the environmentalist people,” she continued.
Once again, it’s all about virtue signaling and protecting land, not people.
Hesuse and other Navajo citizens have land given to them by the government spanning generations. They often lease the lands to energy companies:
“It is really going to make an impact on the allottees if they follow through with the withdrawal of federal lands and public lands around Chaco Canyon,” Hesuse said.
Hesuse noted that the Navajo community is extremely impoverished and that oil and gas revenues are critical for sustaining many individuals.
There are currently 53 Indian allotments located in the so-called 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Canyon, generating $6.2 million per year in royalties for an estimated 5,462 allottees, according to the Navajo Nation. In addition, there are 418 unleased allotments in the zone that are associated with more than 16,000 allottees.
“We are very poor. It’s like living in a third world. No help from the government, no help from the tribe,” Jean Armenta, another Navajo citizen with allotted land, told Fox News Digital. “A lot of us don’t have electricity or running water.”
“I’m for drilling, I’m for drilling,” she added. “People need the money.”
People don’t matter. The Biden administration is owned by lunatic environmentalists just like the gas companies own people, they claim.
The new rule would stop any new royalties:
The group opposes the Biden administration rule, saying it would prevent them from collecting much-needed royalties on the land they’ve held for decades.
While the administration has stated the rule wouldn’t impact Indian-owned allotments, blocking federal land leasing would ultimately block development on non-federal land, according to Hesuse and other local stakeholders including Navajo Nation leadership.
“In reality, the rule would have a devastating impact because the indirect effects would make the allottee land worthless from the standpoint of energy extraction,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer wrote in a letter to President Biden in November slamming the proposal.
“To maximize full extraction of the product, a horizontal lateral crossing of two to four miles of subsurface may be required,” they added. “Due to the cross jurisdictional land status in Navajo Eastern Agency, a proposed horizontal lateral may need to cross federal land.”
The Navajo Nation Council denounced the rule. It would have supported a five-mile radius rule.
The San Juan County Board of County Commissioners also strongly opposed the rule.
The gas and energy companies aren’t infringing on Navajo land. Those companies go where people allow them to go. It seems they respect boundaries.
The government doesn’t care. Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, had a mic drop moment:
“We provide a source of livelihood in an impoverished area,” she continued.
“These are people that own these minerals and are property owners,” she said. “When you have the federal government infringing on Navajo property owners, it’s hard to say that this administration is committed to environmental justice.”
Livelihood through trickle-down economics the left insists so hard doesn’t exist:
The New Mexico energy industry is responsible for about 100,000 jobs and has an economic impact of $12.8 billion per year, according to the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association.
“Over 100,000 of my fellow New Mexicans are employed by the oil and gas industry, which also supports our public education system through royalties and taxes,” Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“The Biden administration prefers freezing permits, political gimmicks, and putting up roadblocks to domestic energy innovation instead of promoting affordable, reliable, and clean energy, and American families are the ones who will bear the burden.”
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