Hopi Near Agreement on Bio-Diesel Fuel Project
HOPI TRIBE PRESS RELEASE
The Hopi Tribe
Thursday, 26-May-2005, by Office of Public Information
KYKOTSMOVI, ARIZ. – Hopi Tribal Chairman Wayne Taylor Jr. and Headwaters Corp.
executives met with U.S. Energy Department officials in Washington, D.C. today to
discuss possible funding for a bio-diesel production facility on the Hopi
The Hopi Tribal Council is near agreement with a Utah energy company in a joint
venture to explore the possibility of building a coal liquefaction plant and an
electric generating plant on ranch lands owned by the tribe. The liquefaction plant
would use Hopi coal to manufacture high-quality, low-emission diesel fuels.
“We want to brief Energy Department officials on the proposed MOU (memorandum of
understanding) with Headwaters and find out what, if any funding might be available
for clean coal technology projects on Indian lands,” said Kevin Ring*, (*See Abramhoff-Ring connection below) an attorney for Barnes & Thornburg and Hopi’s Capitol Hill lobbyist.
The tribe has been in discussions with Headwaters since October 2004. Headwaters is
the nation’s largest provider of technology used to produce coal based solid
synthetic fuels and is an industry leader in managing coal combustion products.
A Hopi/Headwaters liquefaction plant would use Hopi coal as the base ingredient in
producing high-quality diesel fuel, now in heavy demand with soaring worldwide crude
oil prices. The Headwaters technology can be used to produce many different products
in addition to diesel fuels, including detergents, lube oils, plastics, waxes and
The meeting with Scott Mattox, acting assistant secretary for fossil energy for the
U.S. Energy Department, was followed by a meeting with staffers with the Senate
Committee on Indian Affairs.
John Baird, corporate counsel for Headwaters, and John Ward, vice president for
marketing and government relations, also attended the meetings.
The chairman and Headwaters officials also met later in the day with U.S. Rep. Trent
Issue of Jack Abramoff, Kevin Ring, and hidden interests: One of the key players on “Team Abramoff,” Kevin Ring, was also a lobbyist for the Hopi Tribe who worked directly on energy related issues including meetings with Congress. At a time like this, when the Abramoff scandal is on the table, we expect members of Congress to fight plans like Peabody’s and introduce innovative, progressive solutions. But they’re not. They have all been silent or joined the big coal bandwagon.
Jack Abramoff worked closely with a team of lobbyists including a man named Kevin Ring. The Hopi Tribal Council hired about 1/2 dozen of these super lobbyists and paid them around $1 million over a 6 year period. News reports place Mr. Ring as also working for Reliant energy and, later, Headwaters, Inc. of Utah. Obviously, the hidden interests behind the S 1003 bill include Peabody and other energy interests. Since most of the bill was drafted in ’96, presumption is that Peabody is involved in the original drafting. Regarding the provision requiring HPL/NPL to be parceled, this is more of an open question.
Jack Abramoff is really a latter day John Boyden. Since he is the center of the current congressional mega-scandal, this is a rare opportunity to hold thee lobbyists accountable for this corrupt business as usual which, in 1974, led to this terrible relocation problem.