Navajo Nation Investment Committee Votes to Protect the Future of the Navajo People; Rejects $90 Million Loan to Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company - Rez Media Group
Sharing is CaringWindow Rock, AZ- On July 6, 2016, the Navajo Nation Investment Committee (NNIC) voted 4-0 to reject a $90 million loan of Navajo Nation trust funds to the struggling Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company (NNOGC). NNOGC has been in default under a $90 million loan since December due to the declining price of oil. The oil and gas market is in a period of great uncertainty. The price of oil pitched sharply downward in 2014 with prices dropping from $90-$100/barrel to $60/barrel. In January 2016 the market saw a 12-year low of $31/barrel. The 2016 outlook remains highly uncertain. Due to this great uncertainty, the NNIC made this crucial decision to not bail out the NNOGC in order to protect the Navajo Nation’s trust assets. Attorney General Ethel Branch noted “The purpose of the Nation’s Permanent Trust Fund was to protect the Navajo Nation and the Navajo people against the decline or cessation of our natural resources-based revenue. That time is upon us. The proposed NNOGC loan would have us sink our closely protected and carefully grown trust funds into the very risk those funds were designed to protect against.” Long-time Auditor General Elizabeth Begay explained “The [...]