Despite Tsosie’s pleas, Council votes against URI subcommittee

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, July 24, 2014

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Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie used every effort Tuesday, including parliamentary tricks, from keeping his colleagues from dissolving a subcommittee that was set up to negotiate with Uranium Resources Inc.

Tsosie even went as far as calling Department of Justice attorneys Dave Taylor and Harrison Karr “biased” and Attorney General Harrison Tsosie for issuing a “non-transparent” legal opinion in February that called the subcommittee he heads “null and void."

“It’s a biased opinion,” Tsosie said. “It’s going to get us in trouble. The DOJ people are totaling deceiving us and wanting to be against us. They’re not being objective."

In spite of his pleas, his peers voted to terminate the subcommittee by a vote of 18-3.

Most of his colleagues, including Resources and Development Chairperson Katherine Benally, spoke about the dangers and risks of allowing Texas-based URI to conduct the in-situ uranium recovery project in Church Rock and Crownpoint after years of suffering due to radioactive waste from the 1940s to 1970s.

“This has to be heard among the Council,” said Delegate Edmund Yazzie, who sponsored the bill that essentially “rescinded,” “repealed” and “rendered” the Resources and Development subcommittee null and void.

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