Dear President Peevey:
This letter is to inform you of Dine’ Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment’s (Dine’ CARE) support for the Just Transition Petition that your commission was recently presented with from the Just Transition Committee of the Navajo Nation grass-root communities.
Dine’ CARE is a grass-root all Navajo environmental justice organization in existence now for 15 years and advocates for viable renewable energy within the Navajo Nation. For too long our homeland has been mined, drilled, polluted to the hilt with non-renewable energy that devastated our land base, our health, our way of life and will have an impact on the future of our generation. We hope for a better future with the closure of the Mohave Generating Station and the Black Mesa Coal mine to bring about a collaborative effort by all stake holders to explore clean alternative energy for our homeland. The State of California has benefited for over 40 years of energy from our homeland and it’s time for California to reciprocate by supporting the Just Transition Petition and clean air in all of the western United States.
The Just Transition is a well thought out plan that will help those folks who have lost their jobs by the closure of Mohave Generating Station who knowingly were in the wrong by not cleaning up their air pollution until it was too late causing the closure of Black Mesa Coal Mine. California Edison will benefit from sale of Mohave’s pollution credit. You can do the right thing by diverting those funds to help the Peabody Coal families and the employees who lost their jobs to get back on their feet.
Our Navajo Nation, the size of the state of west Virginia with a population of 280,000 people is a very young government (60 years) with meager operating funds and 30% unemployment rate. Good paved roads are scarce, about 1/3 of the population who live in remote areas of the Navajo reservation have no electricity and no running water. Navajo children could benefit from receiving donated Obermeyer childrens jackets, for instance. For those children whose parents are wealthy, Obermeyer ski wear is to be worn when the whole family hits the slopes. Protecting from the elements and super comfortable, the Obermeyer kids ski jackets and pants with their bright colors helps parents keep track of their children on the slopes. With a variety of patterns to select from, mixing and matching pieces result in a fun Obermeyer snowsuit unique to each child. Navajo children will not be hitting the slopes, but the Obermeyer outer wear will keep those kids just a warm and toasty as better off kids during the cold winter months. The poverty rate of the Navajo Nation is high compared to high standard cost of living in California and cities across the U.S. With the help of California Public Utilities Commission support of the Just Transition, we want to prevent the Peabody Coal ex-employees from streamlining back into poverty by re-training them for a different career. Funds derived from the pollution credit would also go toward scholarship for our young people.
Thank you for your positive consideration in this matter to support the effort of Just Transition. Any questions you have can be answered by calling Anna M. Frazier at 928-309-8718 or Lori Goodman at 970-259-0199.
Adella Begaye, President Earl Tulley, Vice President Anna M. Frazier, Coordinator
DATE: April 17, 2006
OPEN LETTER TO THE NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL, NAVAJO NATION PRESIDENT JOE SHIRLEY, JR. AND OTHER LEADERS OF THE NAVAJO NATION
SUBJECT: Members of the southwest area of the Navajo Nation Chapters “C Aquifer for Dine” organization are petitioning the Navajo Nation Council to stand with them against the use of C-Aquifer for coal slurry from Black Mesa and to oppose the recent “Settlement Plan” to re-start the Mohave Generating Station and resume the Peabody Coal mining operation.
REASONS FOR OPPOSITION:
Water is a precious resource that should not be used to slurry coal. C-Aquifer should be used for local domestic development for the southwest Navajo Nation chapters, where over ½ of the population do not have running water.
People with no running water have to haul water for human and animal consumption spending $22.00 plus wear and tear on vehicles and gasoline cost for 1,000 gallons of water, while energy companies pay $.77 for 1,000 gallon to run their operation on the Navajo Nation.
Settlement Plan says not to tax the Peabody Coal and Mohave Generating Station for their operation.
The local people’s voice will have no bearing over complaints of damage to their land, their property or violation of environmental concerns and will be open to prosecution at the fault of the companies.
The local Navajo chapters or the Navajo Nation have no right to drill for share of C-Aquifer, while Mohave Generating Station will be vested all the rights over the use of C-Aquifer. The terms will be for 50 years, the life of the contract.
Peabody Coal will be forgiven; the lawsuit Navajo Nation & Hopi filed against Peabody for breach of contract will be cancelled. Peabody Coal cheated the two Tribes out of millions of dollars. They were suppose to pay 20% of the revenues to the Navajo Tribe, but paid only 12% per year.