May 2, 2009
The New "White Man's Curse" - Unleashed
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley said in a statement the decision was further proof that the U.S. government isn’t “honest and truthful in its dealings with Native America.”
“I have people dying every day because of poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, gangs, and the U.S. Government is not there to adequately fund the direct service programs that cater to these needs,”
How fitting with the story I just posted about coal plants that I ran across this at Heliogenic Climate Change. This is not all that unexpected due to the current political climate but disheartening none the less. We posted on this before and now that it has come to fruition one can only be appalled at the absolute hypocrisy of these greennuts that now control our future. Their absolute lack of concern for the poorest of the poor is disgusting and ought to be opposed by anybody with an ounce of compassion.
These policies of starving the world of life enriching energy, in order to restrict the emissions of a natural life giving gas is beyond stupidity, it is dangerous and Orwellian.
FROM- New Mexico Independent
EPA pulls the plug on Desert Rock coal-fired power plant
ALBUQUERQUE — In a dramatic move yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew the air quality permit it issued last summer for the Desert Rock coal-fired power plant, which is slated to be built on the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners region just southwest of Farmington, New Mexico.
The action drew praise from critics of the plant and blistering commentary from its proponents.
Assistant New Mexico Attorney General Seth Cohen, who has been one of the primary litigators working on the state’s appeal of the original permit, said the decision by the new administration at the EPA marked “a huge victory.”
“The EPA was supposed to file their final brief today in opposition to our arguments, but had asked for an extension, so we were hopeful,” Cohen told NMI. “Today, in effect, they agreed with us that EPA had cut corners in issuing the permit last summer. It’s a huge victory for public health and the environment in New Mexico.”
But Jeff Holmstead, former head of the air program at EPA and now head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell & Giuliani, the law firm representing the plant’s developer, Sithe Global, said in a statement that he has “never seen anything like it.”
“I don’t think anyone ever imagined that the new team at EPA would seem to have such little regard for due process or basic notions of fairness,” Holmstead said. “Everyone understands that a new Administration has discretion to change rules and policies prospectively. But I’ve never seen any Administration try to change policies and rules retroactively.”More...
While a lot of attention has been paid in the last week to the EPA’s recent finding that carbon dioxide–the greenhouse gas that is belched from coal-burning power plants–poses a danger to human health and the environment, the decision to withdraw the Desert Rock permit yesterday rested on other issues put forward by the state of New Mexico.
The EPA found that the permitting process was issued prematurely, before complete analysis could be conducted of hazardous air emissions like mercury, or the impact of the facility on endangered species, or the impact on soil, vegetation, and visibility in the region. The permit also didn’t adequately examine particulate matter.
Also, in the review of “best available technologies,” developers of the project didn’t include a process called integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), the EPA said. Using IGCC technology–which turns the coal into gas before burning it–would make Desert Rock better able to control air pollution.
While many consider IGCC to be an experimental technology, it’s currently being used in at least two other coal-burning power plants, and the state argued in its appeal that it should have at least been studied as an option.
Yesterday’s decision effectively sends the entire permit back to the drawing board.
Holmstead argued that the permit was the most stringent of any such permit issued in the country. The application was submitted five years ago, he said, and dragged on for several years while the company and the Navajo Nation — a strong supporter of the project — tried to “address everybody’s concerns.”
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley said in a statement the decision was further proof that the U.S. government isn’t “honest and truthful in its dealings with Native America.” Shirley said that the EPA withdrawal of the permit will harm the Navajo people.
“I have people dying every day because of poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, gangs, and the U.S. Government is not there to adequately fund the direct service programs that cater to these needs,” he said.
Shirley concluded by saying that the message from the EPA is that it will hold projects “on Navajo land to standards that may well be impossible to meet — and that wouldn’t be applicable elsewhere.”
Cohen, however, said New Mexico respects the right of the Navajo Nation to develop its land, but it needs to be done in a way that protects air quality in New Mexico.
“There needs to be a substantial re-analysis, but we’ll work with the applicant to re-think the permit,” he said.
New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry made similar remarks in a statement issued by Gov. Bill Richardson’s office that noted concerns related to carbon dioxide and climate change.
“Air emissions from Desert Rock would have singlehandedly undone our state’s climate change initiatives,” Curry said. “We stand ready to assist EPA Region 9 and the Navajo Nation to make significant improvements to the design of this facility including technologies that will address greenhouse gas emissions.”