Navajo Nation to play host to Energy Summit July 23-24 at Twin Arrows

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - A new Navajo Nation energy portfolio is the goal of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources.

Tribal officials said the Navajo Nation is faced with depleting natural resources and must find innovative ways to generate new revenue using renewable energy.

This is one of the topics that will be discussed at a first-ever Navajo Nation Energy Summit July 23-24 at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort.

The Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources is putting on the summit to establish energy development as a priority for the Navajo Nation. Moreover, the summit will help educate the Navajo people about the Navajo Nation Energy Policy, which the Navajo Nation Council passed in October 2013.

According to Administrative Service Officer Michelle Henry, this is the first time a summit is taking place.

"We want to help the Navajo people better understand the need for an energy policy that best fits the Navajo Nation and establish energy development as a priority," Henry said. "We want to educate the Navajo people about the revised energy policy and to showcase current and future energy projects on the Navajo Nation such as large scale power generation to small scale community level renewable projects."

Currently, coal is the primary source of natural resource revenue on the Navajo Nation.

"With the new goals of the federal government, the Navajo Nation needs to position themselves to have a balanced portfolio," Henry said.

Some of the discussion topics will include the Energy Policy of 2013, the history of natural resources and energy development on the Navajo Nation, the future of renewable energy, the Navajo land title data system, information about the general leasing process on the Navajo Nation, protecting, managing and developing Native Americans' outdoor and natural resources, the Department of Energy's comprehensive energy approach for a clean energy future, information about gasification technology, a project development and finance workshop, Bisti Ranch and Bisti renewable potentials, coal markets and their future, carbon capture and information about the global institute of sustainability. Organizers said some of the topics for discussion are subject to change.

Summit organizers are stressing that attendees pre-register, but they can also register the day of the conference. More information about the summit is available from Henry at michellehenry@navajo-nsn.gov or (505) 371-5405. Information about registration is available from Susan Day at sday@frontiernet.net or at (928) 729-4003 or Char Roanhorse at cjroanhorse@frontiernet.net or at (928) 729-4004. Booth information is available from Irma Roanhorse at iroanhorse@frontiernet.net or at (505) 371-5406.

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