FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ann Frazier-Dine CARE
June 28, 2006 Cell: (928) 380-7697
Calvin Johnson-C Aquifer for Dine
Cell: (928) 814-1475
CYNICISM LINGERS AFTER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON’S DECISION TO CLOSE MOHAVE GENERATING STATION
President of C-Aquifer for Dine pleased with announcement
LEUPP, AZ – Skepticism is still abound among the C-Aquifer for Dine’ organization members after the news release earlier this week of Southern California Edison’s (SCE) decision to discontinue plans to reopen Mohave Generating Station power plant in Laughlin, NV.
For the past two years local people of southwest chapters of Navajo land united against their tribal leaders, Peabody Corporation and SCE’s plan to use Coconino aquifer to slurry coal from the defunct Peabody Coal Mine on Black Mesa to Mohave Generating Station.
Twenty six year old Calvin Johnson, President of the local organization, led the fight in protest marches to Window Rock, AZ in 2005 and 2006 to sway the Navajo Nation Council members from supporting the issue. The organization core group mostly elderly women are grazing permit holders and would be directly impacted by the water drilling. Many week ends of laboring over selling mutton stew and fry bread at the local Flea Market helped raise funds for the cost of the vigorous campaign to halt the plans.
Chapter resolutions in opposition to the corporate take over of the C-Aquifer were ignored by the Navajo Nation leaders. The unconscionable handling of promises, human rights to free speech and ignoring the NNC Local Governance Act by the Navajo leaders added wood to the fire of doubtfulness in the minds of the opposition.
“Our people have been through a lot these past two years full of emotions, heartache, sleepless nights because of the onslaught of life changing schemes by our leaders. The clencher came when the news broke in March, 2006 about the secret negotiations to restart up the Mohave Generating Station. I think the organizing and outcry of the opposition on the ground had an impact on the decision made by SCE to withdraw from restarting Mohave Generating Station. We are relieved, but will continue to watch-dog what comes out of the latest news. Another company will most likely come up and buy out SCE’s majority interest in the power plant.” said Anna Frazier, Dine’ CARE.
“SCE withdrawing their plans is good news, but they may be pulling another stunt like they did when they negotiated the deal in secret,” Said Johnson. “When your leaders pull the wool over your eyes on something as important as loosing your drinking water, the trust is not there anymore. We will
continue to fight to keep our water here, to develop it for our use, for our people, for our future generation.”
“Some of the ideas from the government, like promoting tourism and high end craft jewelry as an industry are really off the mark. The southwest area of the Navajo Nation is in bad need of water. Over half of the population there does not have running water and we want to work on bringing water into the homes of those people,” said Johnson. “You don’t offer extravagant sterling silver rings – basically bling – and other jewelry when something much more basic is what is needed. It’s not just a matter access to silver, but a cultural heritage that has not valued silversmith art.”
DATE: January 31, 2006
LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION, MICHAEL PEEVEY
Michael R. Peevey, President
California Public Utilities Commission
San Francisco Office (Headquarters)
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
RE: Just Transition Petition Support