—————————-Original Message —————————-
Subject: New York Times: Navajos and Environmentalists Split on Power Plant –
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Please take action today to RESIST THE DESERT ROCK POWER PLANT!
You can take action to support the Desert Rock Resistance today!
1. Send a comment to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) today!
Make your comment online: http://www.desertrockenergy.com/fileupload/
(The Desert Rock Project’s website is unclear on who to send written
comments to.Ã‚Â Contact them to see who to send comment to:
ANYONE can submit comments to the BIA, not just those living on the
Navajo Reservation. You can submit as many comments on different
issues as you need.
The BIA will be looking for comments that address specific elements
of the proposal. The comment deadline is August 20th, 2007.
Read the full Draft Environmental Impact Statement here: http://
Check out the San Juan Citizens Alliance’s Desert Rock Comment
Talking Points at: http://www.sanjuancitizens.org/air/desertrock.shtml
2. Support the Dooda’ Desert Rock resistance!
A resistance camp has been established near the proposed site of the
Desert Rock Power plant.
Visit this website for more information: www.desert-rock-blog.com
Contact Dooda’ Desert Rock to find out what their current needs are:
Elouise Brown, DoodÃƒÆ’¡ Desert Rock Committee
Ph: 505.947.6159Ã‚Â – Email: email@example.com
3. Donate online!
Follow this link to make a financial contribution to the resistance!
4. Host a comment writing party!
Get together with your friends, relatives and community members to
write comments and send them to the BIA!
5. Write letters to the editors of your local papers!
Visit these sites to find out more of how you can support healthy
environments for our communities!
LINK TO THE NY TIMES AUDIO FEATURE: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/
Navajos and Environmentalists Split on Power Plant
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Elouise Brown, foreground, protesting the Navajos planned 1,500-
megawatt power plant near Burnham, N.M., with her sister Victoria Alba.
By FELICITY BARRINGER
Published: July 27, 2007
BURNHAM, N.M. í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” For the Navajo nation, energy is the most valuable
currency. The tribal lands are rich with uranium, natural gas, wind,
sun and, most of all, coal.
The Energy Challenge
Coal as Currency
Articles in this series will periodically examine the ways in which
the world is, and is not, moving toward a more energy efficient,
environmentally benign future.
But two coal-fired power plants here, including one on the
reservation, belch noxious fumes, making the air among the worst in
the state. Now the tribe is moving forward with plans for a bigger
plant, Desert Rock, that Navajo authorities hope will bring in $50
million a year in taxes, royalties and other income by selling power
to Phoenix and Las Vegas.
The plan has stirred opposition from some Navajos who regard the $3
billion proposal as a lethal í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”energy monsterí¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬? that desecrates
Father Sky and Mother Earth and from environmental groups that fear
global warming implications from its carbon dioxide emissions.
New Mexico, which has no authority over the tribal lands, has also
expressed misgivings and has refused to grant the plant tax breaks.
The struggle is a homegrown version of the global debate on slowing
Developed countries are trying to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide,
the most ubiquitous gas usually linked to climate change, and argue
that rapidly growing nations like India and China should avoid
building coal-fired power plants. The criticsí¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ targets say it is
unfair to keep them from powering their way to prosperity with cheap
and abundant coal.
The Navajo president, Joe Shirley Jr., said his tribe felt similar
pressure. Mr. Shirley said the plant here would mean hundreds of
jobs, higher incomes and better lives for some of the 200,000 people
on the reservation. The tribe derives little direct financial benefit
from the operation of the existing coal-fired plants and it has not
yet invested heavily in casinos.
í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”Why pick on the little Navajo nation, when ití¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s trying to help
itself?í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬? he asked.
The Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, teaming
with local groups like the San Juan Citizensí¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Alliance, point to
environmental shortcomings in the federal governmentí¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s tentative
blessing of the plant, as laid out in a 1,600-page draft
environmental impact statement and an analysis by the Bureau of
The staff of Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democratic presidential
aspirant, recently issued a statement saying that the plant í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”would
be a significant new source of greenhouse gases and other pollution
in the regioní¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬? and that Mr. Richardson í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”believes, as planned, it
would be a step in the wrong direction,í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬? undoing his proposed
reductions in emissions.
In 2003, the Navajo invited Sithe Global Power, a merchant power
company based in New York, to build the $3 billion 1,500-megawatt
plant with the Navajo-owned Dine (pronounced dee-NAY) Power Authority.
In most respects, the plant would be relatively clean, with emissions
of mercury, soot and smog-forming pollutants lower than most such
operations. But each year, it would emit 12 million tons of carbon
dioxide, the equivalent of adding 1.5 million average cars to the roads.
Coal-fired electricity contributes more than half of the 57 million
tons of annual carbon-dioxide emissions in New Mexico. Together, the
two existing plants emit 29 million tons.
Tom Johns, a vice president of Sithe Global Power, said he, too, was
concerned about climate change. Desert Rock, Mr. Johns said, would be
part of the solution.
í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”Carbon is emitted when we use energy,í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬? Mr. Johns said. í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”By not
building one plant but another or by using older inefficient plants
instead of new ones, we doní¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t solve the problem. The solution to
carbon issues is to be more efficient in how we use energy.í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬?
Worries about pollution from a new plant build on lingering concerns
about the ill effects of previous energy exploitation on the tribal
lands. Navajos have been sickened and killed by uranium tailings,
leading the tribal government to ban uranium mining. Mercury
contamination has led New Mexico to warn children and pregnant women
against eating large carp and catfish from much of the San Juan
River, which passes through the northeastern end of the 26,600-square-
mile reservation. And the ozone levels in San Juan County, which
includes the eastern part of the reservation, have exceeded suggested
new federal standards.
Elouise Brown, a Navajo whose family is from the area around the
proposed plant, has led a group called Dooda (pronounced dough-DAH)
Desert Rock, Navajo for í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”No to Desert Rock,í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬? in a seven-month
protest at the site.
The tribal council voted overwhelmingly to back the project, but
Navajos are divided, with each side claiming to speak for the majority.
í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”Ití¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not just that ití¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s so close to my house or my family,í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬?
Ms. Brown said. í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”Ití¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the pollution and what the impacts are going
to be from the pollution to all the people that live there. Not only
the people that live there, but it adds to global warming. So ití¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s
going to be a worldwide issue.í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬?
The fight, in one of the emptiest regions, echoes in many respects
the debates over the more than 100 proposals to build coal-fired
A major Texas utility, TXU, was bought by a financial group that
agreed to scrap 8 of its 11 proposed coal-fired plants.
The Desert Rock fight is complicated by the status of the Navajos as
a sovereign nation within a nation. Although some federal approvals
are required for the project to proceed, no state regulators can tell
the tribe what to do. Even with their divisions, the Navajos are
thinking big about the possibilities. The tribal council is trying to
find banks to lend it up to $750 million to buy a 25 percent
The council also plans a transmission line to carry electricity from
Desert Rock and, perhaps, future wind farms.
The arrangement would be lucrative for the struggling tribe, which
earns $102 million a year, much of it from selling coal and other
minerals, and $400 million or so in government grants. The new power
line might help send electricity to 20,000 remote houses í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” one-third
of the residences on the reservation í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” that lack it.
Local opponents, like Mike Eisenfeld of the San Juan group, are more
concerned about potential health and environmental costs.
í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…”Your conclusion when you read the federal environmental impact
statement is things are so bad already that you woní¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t even notice
another power plant,í¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬? Mr. Eisenfeld said.
Some backers of the plant hope that Desert Rock could be a proving
ground for an experimental technology to reduce carbon emissions by
capturing them and injecting them deep in the ground.
Mr. Johns of Sithe Global Power and Senator Jeff Bingaman, the New
Mexico Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Energy Committee,
expressed hope that the carbon-capture technology could be
incorporated into the plant with an additional $1 billion investment.
The Senate Finance Committee approved a measure for a production tax
credit of $20 a ton for sequestered carbon dioxide, and Mr. Bingaman
said he was looking for bill to attach it as an amendment.
Mr. Shirley, the Navajo president, said he hoped that the plant would
be running by 2012. That may be optimistic. The plans are subject to
final approval not only by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but also
from at least three other federal agencies. If they come, lawsuits
are a good possibility.
From our AIM allies in Denver….
Western Shoshone Defense Project
P.O. Box 211308
Crescent Valley, NVÃ‚Â 89821
From: Glenn Morris [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:55 PM
Subject: Protest – Newmont Gold Mining Corp. — Invader of Indigenous
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30TH, 2007
MARRIOT HOTEL, 17th and CALIFORNIA STREET, DOWNTOWN DENVER
BRING YOUR COURAGE, YOUR VOICE, YOUR BULLHORNS, and YOUR MOST CREATIVE
PROTEST STRATEGIES —
On Thursday, August 30, 2007, the University of Denver Graduate School
of International Studies (GSIS) will honor Wayne Murdy, CEO of Newmont
Mining Corporation for the company’s “progressive” work around the
world. That work happens on every continent, and involves the invasion
of indigenous peoples’ territories from the Western Shoshone in Nevada
to the Quechua/Aymara in Peru and Bolivia to the Aboriginal peoples of
Two years ago, Colorado AIM joined with the Stop Newmont Coalition to
force Newmont to be accountable to the communities that it is
destroying through its mining. Brothers and sisters from Peru, Ghana
and Western Shoshone joined us at the annual shareholder’s meeting to
expose Newmont’s practices. Newmont was so frightened by our
mobilization that it changed locations for the meeting three times,
and ended up in an armed location with sharpshooters on the roof of
the building where the meeting was held. This year, Newmont was so
frightened of a repeat performance in Denver that it held its annual
meeting in Delaware.
Newmont has been put on notice that as long as it is invading and
poisoning indigenous peoples’ territories, and steal Native peoples’
natural resources, that there will be no business as usual. It will be
exposed for its actions at every opportunity. Such an opportunity is
Thursday, August 30, in downtown Denver.
Colorado AIM has joined the call for a mass protest action at the
University of Denver’s annual Korbel Dinner, the largest fundraiser
for the Graduate School of International Affairs. The keynote speaker
will be Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State under Bill
Clinton. On the estimated death of 500,000 children in Iraq because of
U.S. sanctions there, Albright had the following exchange on CBS’ “60
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half
million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in
Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard
choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.
–60 Minutes (5/12/96)
This statement alone is worth picketing the dinner for, but, in
addition to Albright (after whose father the dinner is named), DU will
be giving an award to Wayne Murdy of Newmont. Attached to this message
are two letters — one from activists in communities being destroyed
by Newmont, and one from OXFAM International, the renowned
international human rights group. Both give reasons to protest this
event. This is the link to the OXFAM letter:
Indigenous leaders are in imminent threat. Father Marco Arana, whom we
in Colorado AIM honored two years ago, is under death threats right
now for opposing Newmont.
Our Native sisters and brothers are asking for us to stand for them
against Newmont here in Denver, Newmont’s international headquarters.
Can you give one or two hours of your time to walk with a sign, to
raise your voice, and to let Newmont and DU know our outrage? We march
against Columbus and Columbus Day, but Newmont is the heir of
Columbus, it is the living expression today of the Columbus legacy —
invasion, greed and destruction. Join us in the streets, for all of
our Native relations. Please let Glenn know if you are arrestable at
this action, and if you are willing to risk arrest at this protest.