MAC: Mines and Communities

Urgent Action on Peabody Coal Black Mesa

Published by MAC on 2004-09-15

Urgent Action on Peabody Coal Black Mesa

September 2004

There are two alerts out for public participation in major decisions affecting Black Mesa.

Nationally, the Office of Surface Mining is entertaining Peabody Coal's application to expand its mines on Black Mesa, use more water, and get a life of mine permit which would allow it to do what it wants indefinitely, eliminating the ability of the public to have a meaningful say. Deadline for comments is Sept 15. See contacts and details below.

Regionally, public comment is needed on the fate of the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin Nevada, which has been powered by Black Mesa coal delivered with Black Mesa groundwater. The current agreement between Black Mesa and Mohave is up for renewal after 2005, as is the coal supply agreement with the Hopi and Navajo tribes. Mohave is to close about that time. The question is whether it is closed permanently or only temporarily to install pollution controls mandated by the lawsuit from environmentalists and then resume with another contract for coal and water.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is involved in the decision as owners of Mohave include Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Tell the CPUC that (1) under no circumstances should Mohave be allowed operate using Black Mesa water, and (2) Mohave should be shut down permanently and replaced by a solar power plant.

Feel free to add other points such as that coal is unacceptable because of the impact of mining on the local people. A ruling could come soon.

Email put Mohave Generating Station in the subject line

or send postal mail to
Public Advisor
California Public Utilities Commission
320 West 4th Street, Suite 500
Los Angeles,
CA 90013
Ph: 1-866-849-8391 or 1-213-576-7055

For more info:

Andy Bessler
Sierra Club Environmental Justice Organizer
P.O. Box 38 Flagstaff,
AZ 86002
Phone: (928) 774-6103
Fax: (928) 774-6138

The Sierra Club's Environmental Justice Program supports the efforts of the Black Mesa Water Coalition and the Black Mesa Trust. They have asked for assistance from you in commenting on an important coal mining application submitted by Peabody Energy to the US Office of Surface Mining (OSM). Below is a message from the BMWC and BMT urging you to help Navajo and Hopi people ensure their drinking water is protected for the generations yet to come.

For decades, Peabody has been stripping the cultural foundation of Navajo and Hopi people by draining their groundwater, the N-Aquifer. Ancient springs that have fed terraced gardens and played critical roles in ceremonial cycles of both tribes are drying up on Black Mesa. It is time to stop wasting drinking water, polluting the air with coal-fired power plants and move into the 21st century with wind and solar power! Stop Peabody Pumping! Hope you can take a minute and send in a postcard to OSM and Secretary Gail Norton by September 15th.

Andy Bessler, Sierra Club's SW EJ Organizer

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