portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

environment | indigenous issues

Why Peabody Coal fears solar energy

Some potential problem corporations causing the delay of solar energy availability and continued dependency on polluting petroleum/coal corporations as energy extortionists..
from sfimc;


Million Solar Roofs - ACTION ALERT

by - a war hater

California's Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is set to vote on the creation of the largest solar program in the United States.

virtuous_circle.gifzaiyju.gif, image/gif, 384x215

The California Public Utilities Commission is now just weeks away from voting to create the largest solar program in the United States. If passed this "Million Solar Roofs" initiative would create a 10-year incentive program to increase and extend California's current solar programs, and achieve Governor Schwarzenegger's 3000 MW solar target -- equivalent to one million 3kW residential solar energy systems.

With the failure of SB 1 in the California Legislature... (see link):


...the California Public Utilities Commission is considering whether to implement a solar program on its own.


Right now, before any decisions are made, the CPUC Commissioners need to hear (thru the vote solar initiative) that Californians want solar...

Take Action at:



How Much Will "Million Solar Roofs" Cost?:


added comment

Notice the sites linked above display an ad banner from British Petroleum Solar (aka Beyond Petroleum), one of the corporations that bought up (monopolized) the large scale manufacture of solar photovoltiacs. The article on this site doesn't give a reason as to why the million solar roofs initiative (SB 1) failed to pass in the CA Legislature, blaming bipartisan bickering between Schwarzenegger and others. Labor unions may become the scapegoats once again. Sometimes there are deliberite failures of certain bills, like endorsement by Arnold means it's going to pass?

Why is solar energy "million roofs" experiencing delays? Some possible reasons;

The biggest problem with solar energy is that the wealthy shareholders and execs of corporations like Peabody Coal (or other petroleum/coal/nuclear/etc..)won't be able to extort people for their unsustainable energy profits. Peabody Coal is located on Black Mesa bordering between Hopi and Dineh (Navaho) traditional lands. The US government under the Bush regime is perpetuating the injustice by stifling a lawsuit on the Dineh's behalf to hold the US Dept of Interior responsible for their deceitful dealings with Peabody Coal in 1985, resulting in the theft of resources from under the feet of the Dineh, providing nothing in return but contaminated (or no) water and smogged up air (Sulfur dioxides, mercury, etc.)..

Peabody's coal is transported miles away from black Mesa by coal slurries that require a large amount of ground water. In the desert climate the water table is very sensitive and many Dineh noticed their wells often dry. If the water is reclaimed and returned from the slurry, it is often contaminated with toxins like mercury and not safe for drinking by human or animal. There is also a great deal of leaching into the groundwater, sometimes toxins enter their wells from direct groundwater infiltration..

Most of the energy from the burning of Peabody's coal is used for the excess neon lighting in cities like Las Vegas. Here people are conditioned to believe that Las Vegas is an oasis in the desert, in reality LV is like a giant parasitic tick, sucking up energy and water from the surrounding desert at the expense of the Dineh and the ecosystem. The year round residents of Las Vegas don't get the chance to sleep well at night from the glare of constant lighting. Several human stress disorders have been linked to excess light pollution and lack of dark skies when people try to sleep. Tourists may find the constant activity in LV at 4am exciting, but at the expense of the year round residents who must work graveyard shift to clean up after the tourists..

International Dark-Sky Association;

Las Vegas can be a fun, lively and jolly place without needing to drain the groundwater from the surrounding deserts, resulting in the Dineh suffering with parched lips and throats from Peabody's corporate induced drought. Peabody Coal needs to leave the people's land and give the coal mining a rest. Real energy needs, not energy waste, can be solved by providing Las Vegas residents with solar cells, windmills and rain catchment systems. No more pollution from coal burning needed, no more water stolen and contaminated by the miles of Peabody's coal slurry. Bye-bye Peabody, we won't miss you..

luna moth

Some extra info found at Black Mesa Indigenous Support;

All across the nation billions in American Indian royalty funds remain unaccounted for and many tribes are accusing the Interior Department for mismanaging the funds.

The Bush Administration has actually intervened in a Navajo Nation lawsuit against Peabody that produced evidence that Peabody engaged in backdoor deals with the Interior Department and diminished Navajo royalties since 1985. A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in August that the Interior Department violated its trust responsibility when it engaged in these deals. The Bush administration says a ruling ordering the Government to make payments to the Navajo Nation to make up for lost royalties could be too costly and lead to similarly expensive rulings favoring other tribes that share royalties with other energy companies.

Meanwhile, Navajo coal lights up the homes of the wealthy in the Southwest "while the defendants reap huge and illicit profits using Navajo coal to generate electricity for homes and businesses in Southern California, Las Vegas, and Arizona, thousands of Navajo homes are still without electricity"... "Where many Navajo children still read by kerosene lanterns," pointed out Navajo Nation president Kelsey Begaye. "For many years, the Navajo Nation has served as an energy colony of the U.S." Native Nations have been cheated and taken advantage of in their dealings with the dominant culture. A culture that many find foreign.

Many Dineh elders are opposed to continued mining. Roberta Blackgoat always use to state that coal mining is gouging out the liver of Mother Earth and all humanity will suffer.

Peabody is hoping to extend its mining operations on Black Mesa and has filed a lease extension application with the federal Office of Surface Mining. The application has a revision to the mining plan so as to allow mining in an area known as J-23, a section of the Hopi reservation where Navajo Elders reside. Peabody has determined that to mine in area J-23, it would need an additional 1,200-acre feet per year of water to slurry the coal from the mine to the power plant. This would be a 32% INCREASE despite the fact that tribal leaders have been calling for an end to Peabody's pumping of groundwater used to transport coal. Issuance of the permit that Peabody is requesting, would result in a life of mine permit, which means Peabody would be permitted to continue mining coal for as long as it takes, until there is none left within the lease area."


In an era of transnational corporations operating all over the globe, the methods of separating indigenous peoples from their land and natural resources have outstripped any agency or nongovernmental organization to monitor or regulate. It's up to the people-the grassroots organizations and individuals who care to STAND IN SOLIDARITY!, and unify with all those affected by the mining and the pumping. There are many issues within Black Mesa, all of which are interwoven and interconnected. WE SHARE A COMMON ENEMY here. Do not miss your opportunity to participate in making a vital decision for the preservation of the indigenous cultures of the earth, of the Hopi and Dineh.

Black Mesa Water Coalition has been working on a process that will result in solutions for a sustainable economy. Solar and wind electrical generation do not use any water or coal to generate electricity. Leonard Selestewa, Chairman of Black Mesa Trust, argues against the need for a power plant to stimulate the Hopi economy. " We should be doing feasibility studies on alternative, renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind power."

Write letters to the tribal councils and other governmental agencies.

Ask yourself the question of why do these issues spark your interest. Most of us are from or benefit from the dominant western society
(Adapted from The Black Mesa Syndrome: Indian Lands, Black Gold, Judith Nies & Natural Resources Defense Council Draw down Report)

Speak Truth to power! Stop the use of the N-Aquifer!
Stop the destruction of the Earth & her children!!

Tribal Governments

Hopi Tribal Council
Wayne Taylor, Jr., Chairman & Eugene Kaye, Chairman's Chief of Staff,
The Hopi Tribe
P.O. Box 123
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039
tel: 520-734-2441 (x101 Wayne Taylor) (x107 Eugene Kaye)
fax: 520-734-6665
e-mail:(for Wayne)  wtaylor@hopi.nsn.us
(for Eugene)  jacquelinenahee@hopi.nsn.us

Tell them to not build a coal-fired power plant on Black Mesa and to come up with feasibility studies that look at other (sustainable) options. Tell them to support their people in their endeavor to be true stewards of the land.

The Navajo Nation
Kelsey Begaye, President
P.O. Box 9000
Window Rock, AZ 86515.
tel: 928-871-6352
email:  kabegaye@navajo.org

"All water, coal & other materials underneath what used to be the 1882 Hopi Reservation, also belong to the Navajo Tribe. Therefore, this prefect simply will not work unless the Navajo Tribe is brought into the loop." -Hopi grassroots leader.
United States Government

Gale Norton
Department of Interior
1849 C. Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
(202) 208-3100

United States Senators of Arizona:
"Your silence has been deafening on this matter."-Hopi Grassroots organizer

Senator John McCain
241 Russell-Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
tel: 202-224-2235 fax: 202-228-2862
E-mail address:  John_McCain@McCain.senate.gov
web:  http://www.senate.gov/~mccain

Senator Jon Kyl
Washington, D.C.
730 Hart Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4521
Fax: (202) 224-2207
Web  http://kyl.senate.gov/con_form.htm
Mining Corporations

Peabody Coal Company
Chairman and CEO Irl Engelhardt
Public Relations (Beth Sutton)
Peabody Energy
701 Market St.
St. Louis, MO 63101

Reliant Energy
Chairman and CEO Steve Letbetter
Director of Corporate Communications (713)207-5881

The Office of Surface Mining
web site:  http://www.osmre.gov/

Dineh families living on Black Mesa are trying to be heard on the international level.
United Nations Special Rappatour
European Union



Black Mesa Water Coalition represents a common interest by students of Northern Az. University & Flagstaff community members to aid in the struggle to end the pumping of groundwater from the N-Aquifer.  bmwc31@hotmail.com

Black Mesa Indigenous Support is a group of individuals acting to support the sovereignty of the indigenous people affected by mining activities on Black Mesa, who face forced relocation, environmental devastation, and cultural extinction at the hands of multi-national corporations, and United States and Tribal Governments.  http://www.blackmesais.org

Natural Resource Defense Council's purpose is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.  http://www.nrdc.org/water/conservation/draw/drawinx.asp

Sierra Club Environmental Justice Projects: Arizona.  http://www.sierraclub.org/environmental_justice/projects_az.asp


Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) works to support the sovereignty of indigenous people on Black Mesa facing forced relocation, environmental devastation, and cultural extinction at the hands of multi-national corporations, and United States and tribal governments."

other info @;

Black Mesa Indigenous Support;