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Navajo lawmakers examine energy bills

A special session of the Navajo Nation Council focuses on one of the tribe’s most abundant natural resources — coal.

Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on two energy-related bills Wednesday. One would invest money in a company the tribe formed to purchase a coal mine in northwestern New Mexico. The other updates the tribe’s energy policy that includes support for clean coal technology.

Coal and the power plants it feeds make up a significant portion of the tribe’s general fund.

Navajo President Ben Shelly has said that lawmakers’ approval of the energy policy is a prerequisite for him supporting the purchase of the Navajo Mine from BHP Billiton.

The special session takes places in Window Rock and will be streamed live online.