Coal Fired

Coal Fired Power Plants
TAKE ACTION NOW TO STOP THE DESERT ROCK POWER PLANT!
DON’T ALLOW THE POLITICIANS TO SEND YOUR MONEY TO SITHE GLOBAL

In an unprecedented move, the New Mexico State Senate is moving at lightening speed to approve a series of tax breaks and incentives to help Sithe Global, in cooperation with the Dine Power authority, build a 1500 megawatt coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation north of the Burnham Chapter. The bill is scheduled to come before the senate finance committee this week. Without a groundswell of resistance, the huge multinational conglomerate stands to gain 60 million in tax abatements and incentives from the State of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. Here are just some of the reasons why we CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN.

FLAWED POLITICAL PROCESS AND MISLEADING CLAIMS

Despite misleading claims in the press, there is NO CONSENSUS in the Navajo Nation in support of the plant. While 3 chapters have voted in favor, 4 others have voted down the plant and another has yet to vote. Some Navajo Nation Council members asked debatable questions at the Sithe Global and DPA work session on January 20, but did not get straight answers – only assumptions. The opponents have requested for “equal time” to present their case to the Navajo Nation Council, but have yet to get a response from the Legislative Branch. There have also been numerous back room deals and conflicts of interest among decision makers supporting the plant. Backroom deals, as some like to say, is like trying to cook a turkey in your neighbors hot tubs, its just not something that’s viewed as being acceptable. Of course having friends over to enjoy your hot tub and spa environment would not be frowned upon. After all hot tubs provide hours of entertainment and relaxation for family and friends no matter whether your home is located on the shoreline of an ocean or lake, on the side of a mountain, in the woodlands of the east coast, in the red rock landscape of southern Utah or in tribal lands in Arizona. On the other hand if the person secured their hot tub / spa due to some backroom deal then it most certainly wouldn’t be ok.

Most recently a Council member – who just happens to also serve on the DPA Board – negotiated a back room deal channeling Tribal funds directly to the corporations to subsidize the plant while claiming publically to be renegotiating the deals to better favor the Navajo Nation.

HEALTH IMPACTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGES

Two existing plants in the vicinity have been called two of the worst point-sources of pollution in the U.S. by the EPA, spewing concentrations of a number of pollutants proven to be damaging to human health and the environment. The health of neighboring residents on Navajo lands has been compromised by their exposure to these toxins. Those residents, and many of their neighbors and supporters, have joined forces to resist forced relocation and exposure to even more toxic pollutants the new plant will add to their already overburdened community.

THE CURRENT ISSUES: UNFAIR TAXATION AND UNPRECEDENTED PUBLIC SUBSIDIES

While the plant is being touted as an economic development opportunity for the Navajo Nation, testimony before the state legislators revealed details of tax breaks approved by the Navajo Tax Commission giving Sithe Global dramatic tax cuts. The company would see an 85% savings on their tax bill during construction. The deals would save them 75% during the first 10 years of operation and 61% over the following 15 years. In sum, the Navajo Nation would receive less than one third – 32 percent – of the tax revenues it would normally receive under tribal statutes. ($530.5 million instead of $1.64 billion)

DESPITE THE SWEETHEART DEALS, SITHE GLOBAL WANTS MORE!

While Sithe Global has received generous deals from the Navajo Nation, the New Mexico State Senate is about to give them more. Under SB 464, the company gets 3 different options for calculating its tax burden – and Sithe Global gets to choose which formula to use to minimize its tax burden! One of the 3 formulas requires them to pay only whatever annual fee they can negotiate with the Navajo Nation (as noted in the previous section). Another provision in the bill severely limits the maximum tax the company could pay to 60 million.
Write or call Your Senator And Governor Bill Richardson Today 
(505) 476-2200
Tell Them You Are Opposed To Senate Bill 464
Tell Them You Are Opposed To Public Subsidies for Multinational Corporations
Tell Them You Are Tired Of New Mexicans Bearing the Burden for Economic Development
We Do Not Benefit From and That the Health of the Dine Community Should Not Be Compromised For Sithe Global’s Profit

TELL THEM TO VOTE “NO” ON SENATE BILL 464

Bill Richardson

Office of the Governor
490 Old Santa Fe Trail 
Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Contact information for Governor Richardson and the Senate Finance Committee
Senator Joseph J. Carraro
10216 Carraro Place NW
Albuquerque, NM [email protected]
Senator Sue Wilson Beffort
67 Raindance Road 
Sandia Park, NM 87047
505-986-4395 [email protected]
Bill Richardson
Office of the Governor
490 Old Santa Fe Trail 
Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 476-2200
Bill Richardson
Office of the Governor
490 Old Santa Fe Trail 
Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 476-2200
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
Senator Joseph A. Fidel 
Box 968
Grants, NM 87020 
505-986-4362
Senator John Arthur Smith
Box 998 
Deming, NM 88031 [email protected]
Senator Pete Campos
500 Raynolds Avenue
Las Vegas, NM [email protected]
Senator Timothy Z. Jennings
Box 1797
Roswell, NM 88202-1797
Senator Carroll H. Leavell
Drawer D
Jal, NM [email protected]
Senator Leonard Lee Rawson
Box 996
Las Cruces, NM [email protected]
Senator Nancy Rodriguez
1838 Camino La Canada
Santa Fe, NM 87501
505-986-4264
Senator Leonard Tsosie
Box 1003
Crownpoint, NM 87313
505-986-4859

Ask your senators why they support regulation of products that impact the health of our citizens (for example, preventing the sale of hCG for use in the hCG diet) in some areas but not others (like natural gas fracking) that have an even more onerous impact on a larger number of citizens. Health and the environment are 2 major reasons for intervention on behalf of the citizens most impacted, yet those reasons are seldom the primary ones for legislative action. Jon Long has an excellent article posted on Tumblr about this.

Senate to hear Desert Rock tax-credit plan
by Staci Matlock and Shannon 
Shaw The New Mexican 
www.freenewmexican.com/news/39489.html
Lawmakers are considering a multimillion-dollar tax break for an international power company working with the Navajo Nation to build a coal-fired electric-generating facility south of Shiprock. The tax credit is part of an omnibus-tax package the Senate is scheduled to hear today. 

Tribal officials say the two proposed 750-megawatt plants called the Desert Rock facility would bring millions of dollars in revenue and provide hundreds of jobs to Navajo people. 

But some Navajos living near the proposed plant and a Navajo legislator oppose the tax credit and the project. They say it would only add to the brown cloud hanging over the region from two other generating plants and use precious water in a region now under official drought warning. 

“The smoke in San Juan County, with the naked eye you can see the smoke cover the valley for miles and miles, and that’s a big concern for the community people,” said Sarah Jane White, Navajo and president of the Dooda Desert Rock Committee.

April 26 2010 Categorized Under:

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