BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalJune 13, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 13, 2023
1 year ago

Biden Admin Forced to Cancel Oil Lease Ban Celebration When Furious Navajo Citizens Strike Back

In what could generously be described as a debacle for the incumbent president and his administration, a celebratory event came to a screeching halt thanks to a collection of peeved Navajo Nation protesters.

As a surprising number of his woes can be traced back to, this latest incident stems from Joe Biden and Democrat's insistence on stifling domestic oil production (often under the guise of "green" initiatives.)

In this instance, the Biden administration was actually getting ready to celebrate a new 20-year oil drilling ban in New Mexico.

This ban comes despite mass objection from the Navajos, per Fox News. The ban was enacted on June 2 by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and it officially banned oil, gas and mineral leasing within a large plot of land that includes Navajo lands for 20 years.

The reason for the Native American opposition to this oil drilling ban is a simple one: Oil drilling is good business.

Banning it, conversely, would have dire financial implications for low-income Navajos who depend on revenue from leasing their land to oil drillers. One industry group told Fox that Navajos could lose $194 million over 20 years due to this ban.

Obviously, by banning oil drilling, those plots of land suddenly become a lot less valuable to the oil drilling companies willing to pay the Navajos top dollar for ease of access.

Navajo Nation is not thrilled about that, and weren't too keen on letting the Biden administration celebrate the oil drilling ban either.

On Sunday, Navajo protesters created a blockade on their land, specifically inconveniencing Haaland and head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bryan Newland.

Megan Gleason, a reporter for local outlet Source NM, posted a video of part of the incident to Twitter:

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren excoriated the celebration specifically in an interview with Fox News.

"To totally disregard those local communities -- it's unfair," Nygren told Fox on Saturday. "There's no need to celebrate putting people into poverty, to celebrate undermining the Navajo Nation's sovereignty, undermining everything that comes into working with tribes, in this case, Navajo Nation."

Power The Future, a group focused on independent energy advocacy and education, piled onto Haaland and Newland (and Biden) via a statement from their founder and executive director, Daniel Turner.

"These Navajo landowners served up a much-needed dose of reality to Deb Haaland and Joe Biden," Turner said. "The decision to cut off their land from oil and gas development was opposed by the landowners and the leadership of the Navajo Nation, yet the green agenda always comes first for Biden and Haaland.

"We are grateful to these landowners for popping the distorted D.C. bubble where Joe Biden and Deb Haaland think they can ignore the voice of the people."

Haaland, for her part, called the incident "not ideal" and that was the "nicest thing I can say."

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal



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