FARMINGTON, N.M. — The Navajo Nation is seeking more investigation into the potential environmental fallout of hydraulic fracturing as it looks to update its energy policies.

Tribal legislators are pushing for a better understanding of energy industry practices as well as any necessary revisions of rules surrounding oil and gas production, the Farmington Daily Times reported (

The issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has taken a greater precedence in recent months.

Council Delegate Jonathan Hale introduced legislation in April opposing oil and gas drilling on the Navajo Nation.

“I’m just trying to make that conversation for the better welfare and health of our people,” Hale said. “What standards as a Navajo people are we going to set for the future?”

Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company CEO Louis Denetsosie, however, has said the bill is “not based in sound science.”

The conflict fueled a tribal committee’s request for a scientific study.

The tribal council has issued a Dec. 31 deadline for the study.

Council Delegate Davis Filfred said in August that an extension to plan funding was likely.

“The question is, who is going to foot the bill for the study,” he said. ” … I want facts. I want data. I want to know if the water is harmed. I want to know if somebody died from fracking.”

Information from: The Daily Times,