Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 11, 2012

VIDEO: Dine' Louise Benally responds to Navajo Attorney General on Coal Fired Power Plants

Dine' Louise Benally: No to coal fired power plants!

Louise Benally responds to Navajo Attorney General in DC this week attempting to halt US EPA air pollution standards on Navajoland
'Dismiss these Navajo leaders who don't care about nature or the people'

Narcosphere article translated in French:
Traduction française de l'article "Louise Benally, Arizona's Cultural Genocide" on"

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Louise Benally, Dine' from Big Mountain, resisting relocation on Black Mesa, describes the destruction caused from Peabody Coal's coal mining on Black Mesa and the Navajo Generating Station in nearby Page, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation. It is now poisoning Navajoland, the Grand Canyon region and the Southwest.
On the video, Louise responds after Navajo Attorney General Harrison Tsosie spoke to a House committee in Washington this week, attempting to halt US EPA regulations. Tsosie said the standards, which would lower mercury emissions, were "too harsh."
Benally responded and said the Navajo Attorney General went to Washington to “beg” to keep the Navajo Generating Station open.
Benally describes the pollution to the land, water, air and people. “He doesn’t seem to see all the bad problems people are living with each day.”
She said Navajos on Black Mesa are without water and have to haul water. In some cases, Navajos on Black Mesa have to drive 80 miles a day to haul water in barrels.
She describes the air pollution, depletion of the aquifer, and the water scheme underway by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl for more theft of Navajo water.
As for Navajo Attorney General Harrison Tsosie, Benally said he is not looking at the arsenic and mercury released into the air and how this impacts climate change.
“There are plants dying. There is no rain, no snow, it makes things worse than usual. The drought is very intense and it is going to get worse as time goes on.”
Benally described the harm being done by the current Navajo elected leaders.
“These so called leaders of the Navajo Nation are totally uneducated and they just totally don’t care about the environment, all in the name of profit. And that is a danger.
“I think we need to dismiss these leaders and replace them with leaders who do care about nature and the survival of the people," Benally told Censored News.
The Navajo Generating Station, one of three corporate owned coal fired power plants on the Navajo Nation, is one of the top producers of greenhouse gases in the US.
While the electricity goes to distant Southwest cities, many Navajos live without running water and electricity, suffering from respiratory problems and other illnesses.
Interview recorded by Brenda Norrell/Censored News, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

ALSO LISTEN to Louise Benally, on First Voices Indigenous Radio, WBIA New York and broadcast nationwide. Louise was the guest of show host Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Cheyenne River Lakota:

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