Navajo Grassroots Delegate to Bolivia Climate Summit Blasts Power Plant
Navajo government invests in disease-producing coal fired power plant
DOODA DESERT ROCK COMMITTEE
Elouise Brown, President P.O. Box 7838 Newcomb, Navajo Nation
(New Mexico) 87455 (505) 947-6159
firstname.lastname@example.org April 16, 2010
Noel Lyn Smith’s piece in the Navajo Times dated April 15, 2010, on whether the Desert Rock power plant is dead and the Dine Power Authority’s denial, raised the fact that the Navajo Nation has put $20 million into the project. For what?
Steven Begay called that an “investment,” but that word assumes that there is some kind of return. What return? Can anyone tell me what we got for the money?
The Dine Power Authority was created in 1985 for the specific purpose of “the development of a major coal-fired, mine-mouth steam electric generating station to be located ... within the Navajo Nation in northwestern New Mexico.” That’s a purpose because it assumes that there will be such a “generating station” despite any environmental or other findings to the contrary. That is likely why no one has asked serious questions about the flawed economics of the project to date. The Nation got sold a phony project by developers (again!!!).
The plant’s clean air permit and other environmental clearances got pulled back last year, as the Bushes left office and the Obama administration came in. The old boy system pushed through the prior air permit despite serious flaws in the environmental assessment (including the health impacts of adding another power plant to two that have been shown to cause serious health problems to people in the Shiprock area). What are we hearing about the possibility of a new air permit? Nothing!!! How are the studies of water quality and impacts on wildlife and plants going? We haven’t heard a thing!!!
It is time for the Navajo Nation politicians to wake up and smell the sheepherder coffee on the campfire: The statutory purpose for the Dine Power Authority has not been achieved, and it also looks like the power line project is dead too! Remember that? The Nation poured $20 million down a rat hole and got nothing! DPA isn’t contributing to our economy or society, so it is time to wrap up its affairs and dissolve it.
Chaco Rio, NM
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