Editorial: Will Cobell mediators reach unbiased solution?

"Charles Byron Renfrew was named as chief mediator, while John G. Bickerman was named co-mediator. Renfrew is a former Chevron Oil executive and Bickerman formerly worked with the Department of Interior as a mediator between the Navajo and Hopi tribes on the closure of a shared landfill.

On the plus side, Renfrew is probably familiar with the trust account payments made by energy companies to the feds. Likewise, Bickerman has experience dealing with tribal issues.

But is it more than simple irony that, after spending more than $100 million fighting the Cobell lawsuit, the Bush administration has now agreed to mediators to assist in the case who have more than a passing acquaintance with the extraction-energy industry or with the Department of Interior?"

Get the Story:
Editorial: Stacking the deck? (The Farmington Daily Times 4/9)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -
Bickerman Dispute Resolution -
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice -
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -

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Cobell mediator Renfrew has oil tanker named after him (4/6)
Anderson praises Cobell suit in NCAI speech (2/25)
Norton finally responds to trust settlement (11/20)
Cobell plaintiffs disputing trust fund rider (11/17)
Campbell pushes action on trust fund suit (10/30)
Settlement in trust fund case an elusive goal (05/29)