Letters: Readers weigh in on issues of the day

Farmington Daily Times
Letters to the Editor

Making Shiprock the 'Native City of the Future'

One of the positives of not having campaigned is, I don’t have to pick up signs and posters or see my smiley face on flyers blowing around in the trash. I am greatly honored that my constituents in Shiprock voted to keep me in office for another four years, in spite of uncertainties including the seeming state of non-development of Shiprock, my yet-to-be-fully explained and understood vision and my opponent’s tenacious campaign.

What also lost me some votes was the last minute sniper attack by a certain Bad Dad who accused me of losing $78,000 based on false information and conjecture, the intent of this attack was for its jini (gossip) value, that was circulated in the last couple days before the election.

One of the reasons I didn’t campaign is because our Navajo election process is a component of a colonialized system of government. This imposed election process has mud-slinging, dirty politics and it leads to people, friends and even family getting mad at each other, sometimes permanently. Not to mention the money that goes into it — "buying elections." That is not our way as Diné, it’s not who we are. So my thought is if I don’t appreciate the process, why would I participate in it.

How I look at Shiprock’s state of seeming non-development is that we have a clean canvas, a new opportunity to develop our community the way WE want, to our style and preference. We get to "start over." So to my dear colleagues and development partners, let’s get busy building Shiprock into the "Native City of the Future." I acknowledge that those who voted for me maintain that hope in my leadership for the realization of good development. It is our time, the tremendous potential of Shiprock shall be realized.

Regardless of where we are in our journey of life, we must eat. Shiprock has the incredible opportunity to be the "breadbasket" of Navajo and our four corners region, we must achieve that opportunity in a major way. The essence of true Sovereignty is being able to independently feed the people, that’s where we must go. Until we do so, the Navajo Nation will not be a true Sovereign.

Another thing I see in the vote for me is that, the people need someone who will stand up for them; for their rights as Diné, for our liberties and for justice. I am committed to defend my people and my land. Our fight for justice, our waters and Earth Mother will get more difficult and so, we must have faith and courage. That foretold time of prophesy is here, we must be vigilant.

Duane Chili Yazzie


Leave the Ten Commandments monument where it is

I have something to say about the Ten Commandments monument in Bloomfield.

This country was founded by men who had a deep belief in God — this is well documented.

This alone should be enough for the Ten Commandments to get respect.

This country, in which every citizen enjoys freedom, would not even exist without those beliefs.

Each person in this country is allowed their own beliefs to be sure but when did that start meaning people cannot allow others to have their own beliefs and support those beliefs.

Our founding fathers believed in God. If you do not want to live in a nation under God, perhaps it is time to consider relocating to a different country.

Chris Warren


Producers should invest in 'clean energy'

Regarding the Daily Times story about local oil producer's  “optimism that a Trump administration will mean less-restrictive drilling regulations, resulting in increased production.”

Since Trump has said he does not believe in global warming I suppose the oil/gas/frackers are justified to expect he will support policies that benefit them.

The consensus of the oil men quoted in the article seemed to me to be: carbon emissions regulations are based on ‘global warming’ and since global warming is not caused by oil/gas/fracking there is no need to maintain the “hassles and regulation burdens”.

But it does not matter whether global warming is caused by carbon emissions or not.  Perhaps global warming is an effect of causes as yet not discovered.  But the problems of carbon emissions are no less serious.  The atmosphere is reaching the saturation point  — it cannot absorb much more pollution.  This problem is still real.  All the “hassles and regulation burdens” are still required — in fact those regulations are still insufficient.  The need to reduce and eliminate carbon emissions remains imperative — even if those emissions are not causing "global warming."   Those emissions ARE causing the pollution of the atmosphere.

As to those oil businesses who are “not sure they want to be in the business anymore — I would point out that even if Trump makes a "boom" possible — it will be of short duration.  Dr. (Daniel) Fine has pointed out that overproduction “could lead to a second downturn in 2018.” Even in the good times the oil industry was subject to booms and busts.

The best solution would be for the oil/gas/fracking businesses to transfer their assets to clean energy projects.  The need for energy has not gone away but the energy does not have to come from oil/gas/fracking — the assumption that it does is just a "habit of thinking" still prevalent in the oil/gas industry that has been "the No. 1 energy source" for a century.  There is no need to add another 22,000 fracking wells to the Four Corners (even on "federal" land — which by the way does not belong to the oil/gas industry — no matter how cheaply acquired).

There is more money to be made in the LONG TERM by switching to clean energy.  All the money put into a coming "boom" of fracking will only pay off for a short time — and it will just leave more pollution — not to mention the waste of scarce water which when "produced" by fracking will be around for centuries to migrate into good water.

Farmington and the Four Corners could have a "clean energy boom" (no need to get Trump’s permission) — no need to worry about “hassles and regulation burdens” — there wont be any pollution to regulate — no more wasting of scarce water — nothing to worry about except those whipper-snappers who come along with something better than solar and wind.

Nick Evans