Navajo Congressional Candidate slams Shelly Administration and Energy Companies
By: NP staff | June 28
WINDOW ROCK – Wenona Benally Baldenegro, a Democratic candidate for Arizona Congressional District One, issued a press release June 26 slamming the Shelly Administration and supporters of S.B.2109- along with Peabody Energy, Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP)
The congressional candidate had a scheduled press conference in Window Rock, but was later cancelled by the Speakers office, who later issued a statement “I apologize for the late cancellation of the special session but the Navajo Nation Code is the law of the Navajo Nation and it cannot be circumvented despite the fact that the water rights settlement is a high profile issue,” said Johnny Naize.
Benally said S.B. 2109 benefits outside corporations more, “The proposed congressional legislation seeks to terminate longstanding tribal rights to water that have existed, since time immemorial, without providing just compensation to the Tribes.”, adding “and, in the process, it bestows a financial windfall to Peabody Energy, Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP) — energy industry corporations that continue to generate billions of dollars in revenue from providing cheap, dirty energy while nearly 37 percent of homes on the Navajo reservation continue to have no electricity and nearly 40 percent lack running water.”
According to the press release, it said ‘S.2109 and H.R. 4067 are Republican attempts to coerce the Navajo and Hopi people into surrendering all their rights to the Little Colorado River, in return for token groundwater’
Wenona attended Harvard Law School, where she earned a juris doctorate degree, and a master degree in public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. If elected, she will be the first Native American women in congress.