"Navajo Leaders Seek Hearing On Oil And Gas Drilling Dispute"

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Top officials with the largest Native American tribe in the United States are renewing a request for congressional leaders to hold a field hearing before deciding on federal legislation aimed at limiting oil and gas development around Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The Navajo Nation has struggled for years with high poverty rates and joblessness, and the tribe’s legislative leaders say individual Navajo allottees stand to lose an important source of income if a 10-mile (16-kilometer) buffer is created around the park as proposed. They’re calling for a smaller area of federal land holdings to be made off limits to oil and gas development as a compromise to protect Navajo interests.

Navajo Council Speaker Seth Damon and other council members recently sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy outlining their concerns about pending legislation and the need to fund a comprehensive study of cultural resources throughout the region."

Susan Montoya Bryan reports for the Associated Press October 6, 2021.

Source: AP, 10/08/2021