Opinion: Green groups threaten Navajo project
"Navajo Nation, the largest tribe in the United States, has faced a number of enemies in its long history: Anasazi warriors, Andrew Jackson and now, lawyered-up environmentalists.

The Navajo homeland, an area that spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, is endowed with abundant coal deposits. That makes it ideal for powering the Southwest.

Navajo elders are trying to build a new coal-fired power plant to export electricity off the reservation and rev up their ailing economy. For environmentalists, however, coal is unacceptable, no matter the economic consequences, because it comes with a large carbon moccasin print.

According to Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, the $3 billion, 1,500-megawatt Desert Rock power plant would create more than 1,000 annual jobs during the four-year construction period, 400 permanent jobs, and generate more than $50 million annually in reservation revenues. This would be welcome relief -- the reservation is plagued by unemployment of almost 50 percent.

A coal power plant may be an economic boon for the Navajos, but it's an eco-sin to green groups. They boast of having stopped the construction of 100 coal plants, as if imposing expensive energy on American consumers is a good thing. Now they have unleashed a phalanx of lawyers to stop the Navajo Nation from helping itself."

Get the Story:
William Yeatman and Jeremy Lott: Greens threaten Indian American prosperity (The Washington Examiner 8/28)

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