WINDOW ROCK – President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez signed an Executive Order to build a clean energy economy for the health and sustenance of the Navajo Nation on Friday, Sept.8, during the Miss Navajo Pageant at the Navajo Nation Fair.
The Executive Order aims to promote energy security while safeguarding the health of the Navajo people and increasing the Nation’s prosperity.
“Many of our people are concerned with the environmental impacts resulting from the Nation’s dependence on fossil fuel markets,” President Begaye said. “With this Executive Order, we plan to further our utilization of renewable energy sources like solar, where we can start to transition our buildings and street lights to operate on solar energy.”
The Executive Order mandates that within 120 days the head of each agency will submit a report detailing ways in which their department can improve on its environmental performance. Within 180 days of the Order’s date, the Navajo Nation will establish an integrated strategy towards environmental sustainability.
“We realize that through endeavors like the recently dedicated solar farm in Kayenta, that the Navajo Nation can produce and provide power without negatively impacting our environment while reducing the carbon footprint we leave for our future generations,” Vice President Nez said.
By starting at a departmental level, the Nation can initially make a positive impact on governmental operations through the utilization of clean energy. In doing so, the divisions and departments will formulate a unified plan to implement the use of solar energy in buildings suitable for solar renovation to eventually extend toward other operations on the Navajo Nation.
The president stated that by pursuing renewable and alternative energy solutions, the Nation will also ensure energy and water security. The Order places responsibility on Division Directors and Departments of the Nation for implementation while also ensuring their compliance toward building a clean energy economy.
“As we look toward the future, we need to lessen our dependency on the energy production structures that we currently have in place,” President Begaye said. “The future of the Nation lies within building environmentally friendly solutions to power supply while utilizing advancing technologies to lead the Nation forward.”
The Executive Order is attached.