In one of the more ironic of Barack Obama’s impersonation of Franklin Roosevelt, the Navajo economy was dealt a serious blow today. In 1932, FDR appointed John Collier to be Commissioner of Indian Affairs. One of his first acts is to begin a system of livestock eradication on the Big Rez, killing thousands of head of cattle and sheep the Navajo need in order to survive. Starvation ensued.
The Navajo need that power plant. But – what’s the financial ruin of a few innocent Native Americans when Mother Earth is in danger?
You just gotta love that Hopeinchange.
I figure if Obama has his way, half the American people will not even be able to afford electricity. In a way I wish he would try it. Give it a week and you won’t be able to get a Democrat elected as Dog-Catcher, let alone county council.
The EPA basically shut a much needed power plant in the Four Corners region here in New Mexico, killing the Desert Rock Power Plant outside of Farmington. Naturally outgoing governor Bill Richardson has basically also betrayed the Navajo.
Because of past history, and the way Washington has treated the Dine over the years, this is seen as just ANOTHER betrayal of the Navajo by the powers that be. First it was the Long Walk. Then FDR’s livestock eradication that caused starvation and hardship. Now this.
“…Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley said in a statement the decision was further proof that the U.S. government isn’t “honest and truthful in its dealings with Native America.” Shirley said that the EPA withdrawal of the permit will harm the Navajo people.
“I have people dying every day because of poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, gangs, and the U.S. Government is not there to adequately fund the direct service programs that cater to these needs,” he said.
Shirley concluded by saying that the message from the EPA is that it will hold projects “on Navajo land to standards that may well be impossible to meet — and that wouldn’t be applicable elsewhere.”
Cohen, however, said New Mexico respects the right of the Navajo Nation to develop its land, but it needs to be done in a way that protects air quality in New Mexico.
“There needs to be a substantial re-analysis, but we’ll work with the applicant to re-think the permit,” he said.
New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry made similar remarks in a statement issued by Gov. Bill Richardson’s office that noted concerns related to carbon dioxide and climate change.
“Air emissions from Desert Rock would have singlehandedly undone our state’s climate change initiatives,” Curry said. “We stand ready to assist EPA Region 9 and the Navajo Nation to make significant improvements to the design of this facility including technologies that will address greenhouse gas emissions.”…”