Navajo Nation insulted by state stance on power plant
The Navajo Nation and the state of New Mexico are feuding over the tribe's proposed power plant.

The tribe plans to build the $3 billion Desert Rock Energy Project near Shiprock. The state is fighting an Environmental Protection Agency air permit for the site and has requested a meeting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss endangered species issues at the site.

State Environment Secretary Ron Curry never consulted the tribe before requesting the meeting, a spokesperson for Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. said. A bill recently signed into law calls for the state to work more closely with tribes.

“It’s farcical that just weeks after Governor Richardson signed the New Mexico State-Tribal Consultation Act that Secretary Curry still ignores the Navajo Nation regarding the most important project it has ever undertaken," Shirley's spokesperson said in a statement, The Gallup Independent reported.

The Environment Department says it held at least two formal consultation meetings with the tribe. The state says the tribe broke off talks.

Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment and some tribal members who live near the site oppose the power plant.

Get the Story:
NM official concerned about proposed power plant (AP 4/3)
New Mexico questions Desert Rock fish impact (The Gallup Independent 4/2)

Related Stories:
New Mexico governor to sign tribal collaboration bill (3/19)
Editorial: Abandon Navajo power plant project (2/13)
Letter: Just say no to Navajo Nation power plant (1/26)
Navajo activists keep up fight against power plant (11/3)