Navajo Nation debates power plant in New Mexico

Depending on who you ask, the Navajo Nation's proposed power plant in northwest New Mexico is a boom for tribal sovereignty or a bane for tribal members.

The tribe says the $2.5 billion coal-fired plant will bring in revenues and create jobs. The tribe will own up to 49 percent of the facility with Sithe Global Power of Houston.

But tribal members who live in the Shiprock area say the plant will harm the environment and sacred sites. They have been lobbying the tribe and the state against the proposal.

Gov. Bill Richardson (D) says he remains neutral on the matter. But he has said he is concerned with the emission of gases associated with global warming.

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a draft permit for the project. Officials say it's one of the most stringent in the nation.

Get the Story:
Beyond sovereignty (The Santa Fe New Mexican 2/19)
New Mexico concerned about Desert Rock (The Farmington Daily Times 2/18)

Relevant Links:
Desert Rock Clean Air Act Proposed PSD Permit -
Desert Rock Energy Project -
Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment -

Related Stories:
Letter: Hold Navajo Nation accountable for impacts (2/6)
Tax breaks for Navajo power plant tabled for now (1/30)
Navajos protest power plant at inauguration (1/16)
Navajo president meets with power plant protesters (12/19)
Navajo vice president meets with protesters (12/15)
Navajo protesters block work at power plant site (12/14)
Navajo Nation to own 25 percent of power plant (12/11)
EPA extends comment period on Navajo power plant (10/31)
Navajos criticize tribe's proposed power plant (10/06)
EPA takes comments on Navajo Nation power plant (10/3)
Editorial: Public comment on Navajo power plant (09/21)
Commentary: Environmental justice for Navajos (07/26)
Navajos worried about power plant emissions (7/25)
EPA sets high standards for Navajo power plant (7/21)
Photos show Navajo opposition to power plant (7/19)
Navajo Nation power plant reduces emissions (05/19)
Navajo Nation Council OKs power plant lease (5/15)
Dine group seeks to stop power plant on Navajo Nation (06/16)
BIA holds hearings on reservation power plant (03/29)
EPA seeks to reduce mercury from power plants (03/16)
EPA to issue new rule on mercury emissions (3/15)
EPA proposes rule to curb power-plant emissions (3/11)
Senate committee deadlocks on 'Clear Skies' bill (3/10)
Report faults EPA for mercury rule favoring industry (3/8)
Bush nominates career scientist as head of EPA (3/7)
Report: EPA's mercury proposal biased towards industry (02/04)
EPA to delay regulations on mercury emissions (04/30)
EPA drafts new rules to reduce air pollution (12/05)
Bush administration proposes to ease mercury rules (12/3)
Tribes mull toxic fish study findings (8/1)
Toxic fish threaten tribal subsistence (7/31)