07/29/2011

Navajo Nation contingent visits Lab for energy discussions and tours

Linda A Lucchetti, LLNL, (925) 422-5815, lucchetti1@llnl.gov



(From left) Raymond Max; Ed Moses, principal associate director, NIF and Photon Science; Fred White; Sam Woods, Energy Policy advisor for the Navajo President's Office; Harrison Tsosie; LLNL Director George Miller; Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly; Tommy Smith, director of Office of Strategic Diversity Programs, LLNL; Martha Shelly, Navajo Nation first lady; Steve Grey, program manager, American Indian program, LLNL; Ray Benally; Steven Etsitty; Martin Ashley; Actar Zamar; Leo Hoskie and Ron Cochran, Laboratory executive officer.

The Navajo Nation Energy Advisory Committee (EAC) made a special visit to the Laboratory last week to look at new technologies and discuss a formal partnership to assist the tribe as the nation put Navajo energy policy in place.

Joining the EAC committee members were Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and first lady Martha Shelly.

"We are in need of national laboratory expertise to assist us with our energy portfolio," Sam Woods, Energy Policy advisor for the Navajo President's Office said.

"The tribe is looking down the road and we feel that the scientists and engineers of the labs have excellent information on where energy security is going. The energy plan will not only assist the tribe, but the country as well," Woods added.

The Navajo tribe is looking at both Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories to become formal partners in their energy efforts. Navajo tribe representatives recently met with Energy Secretary Stephen Chu to discuss a tribal energy plan.

With an abundance of coal, oil, gas, uranium, water and transmission lines, the tribe is developing an energy plan to better utilize their resources. The tribe believes that as they develop the energy plan, it will not only assist the tribe but also the country in areas such as energy security.

Throughout the day, the EAC committee members met with LLNL experts in carbon sequestration, coal gasification, shale gas, enhanced oil recovery, wind, geothermal and solar energy. They also took tours of the Terascale Simulation Facility, the High Performance Computing Innovation Center and the National Ignition Facility.

In addition, Shelly met with seven Native American summer students studying at LLNL. The students come from Northern Arizona University, and are funded through a NNSA program to promote American Indian scientists and engineers.

"It is so good to see young Native American students working in this great facility alongside some of the best scientists and engineers in the world," Shelly said. "You are the future tribal leaders who will bring much needed knowledge back to Indian lands. Please continue that path because you make your people proud."

The EAC committee members spent the second day of their visit with Sandia National Laboratory experts discussing similar topics.

This was Shelly's first visit to LLNL. A dinner was hosted by the Director's office for the EAC members and Shelly.

"Such visits are important for outside groups so that partnerships can be established," said Steve Grey, program manager. "American Indian Tribes in the United States own about 15 percent of the non-renewable energy natural resources in the country. "


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.