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Obama's EPA Overreaches with the Navajo Nation

I address the EPA's overreaching in its treatment of the Navajo Nation in my latest column at American Issues Project. Last year the EPA approved a clean air permit for the Desert Rock coal-powered power plant, but this year, the Obama administration's EPA reneged on the permit, which is bad news for those living in the Navajo Nation. Here's a portion:

The Environmental Protection Agency flexed its muscles last month when it reneged on an air quality permit approved last year by the Bush administration for the construction of the Desert Rock coal-fired power plant that was scheduled to be built on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. It was a dramatic move that further illustrated the boldness with which the Obama administration has been undoing the policies of the previous administration. And as with some of Obama's previous actions, this one will have a ripple effect throughout our economy as the EPA continues to undermine coal-powered energy production. Perhaps nowhere is that ripple effect on display more obviously than in the EPA's treatment of the Navajo Nation.

One of the reasons the EPA cited for the permit recall was that didn't consider integrated gasification-combined cycle (IGCC), which the EPA believes is a better technology for controlling greenhouse emissions. There are two noteworthy disadvantages with IGCC technology. First, IGCC is still experimental at this point, and with only about two IGCC plants in operation, there is limited data to provide the information needed to determine whether it is a good investment. The second is that the few IGCC plants that are in existence have shown that the technology is significantly more expensive to build and maintain.

What's particularly absurd is that the EPA denied the permit even though the technology the plant was going to use would have captured the vast majority of greenhouse gases. According to Steven Begay, executive director of Diné Power Authority of the Navajo Nation, Desert Rock was "a large-scale, coal-fired power plant that [would have offered] super-critical boiler technology with a series of emissions systems to capture 90 percent or more of some of the pollutants and set new standards as compared to old, existing coal-fired power plants."

Please read it all.


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Comments (6)

As far as coal is concerned... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

As far as coal is concerned, it all depends on who you talk to in the current administration, when you talk to them, and who their talking to. Wait until 2012 and both are campaigning in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. You won't find bigger coal supporters anywhere then. And as a bonus, they'll talk out of both sides of their mouths and out their asses at the same time.

Yet another example of the ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Yet another example of the US Gov't going back on its word, concerning the Indians.

At least this time it's not a paleface that's the one responsible for it. Hey look, another racial barrier broken. Yay!

Half-white man speak with f... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Half-white man speak with forked tongue. Cheat red man of natural and abundant energy source perpetrating poverty on reservation.

Yeah, I bet that went down real well with everyone involved on the other side of the table. Reneging on an already agreed upon energy plant that would have brought in more money than a casino and had the opportunity to provide real jobs and abundant affordable energy to a place where rampant povert is a way of life.

You can't alienate many people before they hold you accountable for your actions. He can kiss that voting block goodbye.

There are no rules except O... (Below threshold)
RScott:

There are no rules except Obama rules. Think of all the money we can save on trying to maintain those silly old hand-lettered documents in Washington.

I am constantly hearing abo... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

I am constantly hearing about polls taken for this and that, and being 65 years old, I have never met one person that has been polled. I have friends and family from FL to PA, from WA to CA and in-between, so it can't be a regional thing. How does one get polled? There is Neilson polls, Harris polls, Gallup polls...
What's up?
madalyn

As a Native Navajo Indigeni... (Below threshold)

As a Native Navajo Indigenious to the land in Northern/Eastern Arizona it was basically a big ugly battle. This is not the first time the US Gov't went back on it's word, the EPA tends to get involved and create greater conflict in matters involving our Nation. As a matter of fact in doing so, has made it a crime to practice our Native Religious beliefs as well as our ceremonies, songs and prayers because they are the "Enviornmental Protection Agency", we come to find that means much, much, much, more! One wonders only what we can expect from them as the imply such limitations and requirement of what is supposed to be Sovereign Nations, you would think that by now we could be a part of the everchanging world as we see fit, without being regulated by the Government. We see clearly, without big brother trying to blind and bind our way!




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