In a powerful display of resistance, Navajo Nation citizens rallied against the Biden administration’s recent oil and gas leasing ban. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Bureau of Indian Affairs head Bryan Newland faced a road blockade and signs urging them to “Go Home” and “No Trespassing” as they tried to enter Navajo territory.
Implemented on June 2, the ban prohibits oil, gas, and mineral leasing within a 10-mile radius of the Chaco Canyon site for the next 20 years. This decision has faced strong opposition from Navajo communities and government leaders who argue that it will harm low-income Navajo citizens dependent on revenue from leasing their allotments.
Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren and tribal leaders have criticized Haaland’s action, emphasizing that it unfairly disregards local communities. The ban’s celebration of policies that push people further into poverty and undermine the Navajo Nation’s sovereignty is deeply concerning. Placing already impoverished individuals in third-world-country conditions is heartless and does not reflect the values we hold dear.
Currently, there are 53 Indian allotments within the 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Canyon, generating $6.2 million in royalties annually for an estimated 5,462 allottees. Additionally, there are 418 unleased allotments in the zone associated with 16,615 allottees. The Western Energy Alliance estimates that Navajo members will lose approximately $194 million due to Haaland’s actions.
Opponents argue that the ban’s impact extends beyond economic loss. By disregarding the Navajo Nation’s input and failing to consider compromise solutions, Haaland undermines the value of Indian-owned allotments. The ban effectively puts an end to drilling in the area, making these allotments worthless and jeopardizing the economic prosperity of the region.
The protest by Navajo landowners has sent a clear message to Secretary Haaland and President Biden. The voices of hardworking Americans must be heard and considered when making policy decisions. The American people deserve policies that prioritize economic growth, protect individual rights, and respect the sovereignty of Native tribes. The Biden administration must take a step back and reevaluate its approach to ensure a fair and prosperous future for all Americans.
Source Fox News