“The letter to Mexico’s energy minister offered a glowing review of a fossil fuel project in Baja California.
Writing in July, three U.S. governors and the chair of the Ute Indian Tribe praised the Energía Costa Azul project — which was seeking approval from the Mexican government — as “one of the most promising [liquefied natural gas] export facilities on the Pacific Coast.”
The letter was arranged by Western States and Tribal Nations, an advocacy group that says it was created in part to “promote tribal self-determination” by creating easier access to overseas markets for gas extracted from Native American lands.
But internal documents shared with The Times reveal that the group’s main financial backers are county governments and fossil fuel companies — including a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, which received approval this month to build the $1.9-billion facility in Baja. In fact, the group has just one tribal member, the Ute Indian Tribe.”