Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dirty coal wants Navajo water, and reporters are helping the cause

By Brenda Norrell
Power lines on Navajoland take electricity to the Southwest

Censored News
 May 2, 2013

The Salt River Project has not signed the Navajo Generating Station lease signed by the Navajo Nation. SRP wants the Navajo rights to the Little Colorado River water for the future, and SRP does not want to pay the amounts in the lease to the Navajo Nation to keep the dirty coal-fired power plant operating.
Arizona wants Navajos to bear the burden of dirty coal for electricity for Arizona's unsustainable lifestyles, as Dine' Klee Benally said. Arizona wants to take Navajo water from future Navajo generations so Arizona can water lawns and golf courses, run air conditioners and fill swimming pools in the desert, while Navajos haul their water on Black Mesa.
Most of the reporters covering the dirty coal power plant issue on Navajoland are writing the regular spin, while ignoring the effects on the earth, and the poisoning of the water, land and air by dirty coal.
Coal fired power plants are one of the primary reasons for global warming, and the melting of ice in the Arctic, with Native villages falling into the sea, and habitat destroyed for polar bears and other wildlife. Besides the effects globally of dirty coal energy, Arizona wants to steal Navajo water rights. 

The reporters seem to be frozen in the 1950s.
Here is a good way to rate the news coverage of dirty coal on Navajoland. Count the number of paragraphs in the article dedicated to spin ('oh, all those jobs,' or 'oh, how Arizona needs this,' or comments from the dirty coal corporation) and compare that to the number of paragraphs devoted to the comments of real Navajos who live on the land and are fighting dirty coal, or those who have been relocated, or have respiratory diseases.
Paid armchair journalists writing national Indian news, who never leave their homes, are good at reaching executives on the phone and padding their articles with spin from corporations and politicians. 

Local reporters often do not want to risk upsetting the tribal politicians by writing the real story about the global effects of the dirty coal industry, and so they hide behind other issues. They seldom go out to the land and talk to the people resisting dirty coal and relocation.
The dirty coal industry knows this, so they make sure dirty coal industry workers make it to Window Rock for interviews. They know the reporters won't make the effort to get out to Black Mesa and talk to those still resisting dirty coal and genocidal relocation.

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