Navajo lawmakers approve $4 million to tribal company to buy coal mine

WINDOW ROCK, AZ - Navajo lawmakers have approved a $4 million appropriation to a tribal company set up to purchase a coal mine in northwestern New Mexico.

The vote Wednesday came during a special session of the Navajo Nation Council in Window Rock.

The bill will give an initial infusion of cash to the Navajo Transitional Energy Company, LLC., if tribal President Ben Shelly also signs off on it.

Shelly has said he will not support the purchase of the Navajo Mine from BHP Billiton if lawmakers don't approve an update of the tribe's 1980 energy policy. A bill to do so also is on the council's agenda Wednesday.

The measure states that coal would remain a key part of the tribe's energy future. It says renewable energy also will be developed.

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