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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

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