Trust

Navajo Nation still working on rights-of-way deal


The Navajo Nation is still negotiating a rights-of-way agreement with an energy company in a dispute that led to an unusual Congressional study.

The tribe was paid $29 million over 20 years so that El Paso Corp. could run 900 miles of pipeline across the reservation. That agreement expired in October 2005 and the tribe reportedly sought $440 million for another 20-year deal.

The talks led the energy industry to lobby Congress for a study of all rights-of-way issues in Indian Country. Energy executives claimed tribes everywhere were seeking unreasonable amounts for use of their land.

The industry sought a change in law to allow the Interior Department to authorize rights-of-way agreements without tribal consent. The study, release last August, did not specifically endorse that option.

Get the Story:
El Paso, Navajo attempt to find common ground (The Houston Chronicle 1/3)

Federal Register Notice:
Energy Policy Act of 2005, Section 1813, Draft Report to Congress (August 9, 2006)

Rights-of-Way Report:
Draft Report to Congress: Energy Policy Act of 2005, Section 1813 Indian Land Rights-of-Way Study | Appendix: Historic Rates of Compensation for Rights-of-Way Crossing Indian Lands, 1948-2006

National Energy Bill:
Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R.6)

Relevant Links:
Council of Energy Resource Tribes - http://www.certredearth.com
Energy Policy Act Section 1813 - http://1813.anl.gov
Department of Energy - http://www.energy.gov

Related Stories:
Navajo woman booted from rights-of-way meeting (09/01)
Comment period extended on rights-of-way report (8/29)
Meetings set on draft energy rights-of-way report (8/23)
Tribal energy rules proposed by BIA (8/22)
Sac and Fox Nation looks to develop energy park (8/17)
Tribes discuss potential for energy development (8/14)
Federal Register: Draft report on energy rights-of-way (08/09)
Nez Perce landowners protest energy company (07/17)
Indian energy rights-of-way study being delayed (07/07)
Energy rights-of-way study criticized at Denver meeting (03/08)
Tom Daschle: Opportunity for tribes and energy (02/16)
DOI meeting on energy rights-of-way on tribal lands (2/13)
Navajo Nation reaches interim deal over pipeline (01/19)
Navajo Nation close to deal over gas pipeline (1/11)
Company waits for DOI response on pipeline (10/26)
Navajo Nation says pipeline company in trespass (10/24)
Utility bypasses tribe, asks DOI for pipeline approval (09/30)
Tribe, utility far apart on natural gas pipeline (9/23)
Lawyer: Challenges to pipeline on Navajo Nation (07/26)
NCAI's Hall praises Senate passage of energy bill (06/29)
Appraiser warned DOI of undervaluation of Indian lands (12/06)
BIA sued for rights-of-way on Ute Reservation in Utah (06/03)
Trust fund special master alleges government fraud (04/07)
Special master Balaran resigns from Cobell lawsuit (4/6)
Lamberth defends special master against attack (03/16)
Navajo landowners question BIA agreement with company (10/21)
Retaliation alleged in firing of trust fund manager (09/18)
Court report finds undervaluation of Navajo lands (08/21)
Navajo trust fund manager targeted in internal probe (07/15)
DOI employees falsified Navajo trust data (06/11)
Navajo leaders criticize upheaval at trust fund office (05/09)