Environmentalist opposition to coal mining isn’t limited to states like West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, citizens of the Navajo nation are affected by their war on coal too. According to Breitbart, the Navajo Nation not only celebrates the lifting of Obama’s rules on coal mining but the tribal leaders are hopeful the President and his Interior Secretary will see to it the Navajo Generating Station located on tribal land and powered by coal extracted from the Kayeta Mine (also located in Navajo territory) will be kept open.
Both facilities not only provide over 3000 jobs for Navajo tribal members, but they also provide almost $200 million in revenue in yearly income for employees and their families. The money from lease agreements, royalties and other payouts from money connected to the mine and plant goes to fund tribal schools, emergency services and infrastructure the tribe depends on.
However, none of the benefits of coal for Navajo tribal members matters to environmentalists. Bloomberg reports a number of environmentalist groups just filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s executive order in a Montana federal court. The green groups behind the suit state in their legal brief that the Administration’s decision to allow coal leasing on federal lands violates federal environmental laws and that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke discarded an environmental review of federal coal leasing that his predecessor began last year.
What the Navajo Tribe are experiencing at the hands of environmental policies is reminiscent of what happened to the Nunnavut people in Canada. National Post reported a controversy surrounding Greenpeace in Nunavut a couple of years ago resulting from the green group’s opposition to whale and seal hunting during the 1970’s. The Nunavut people not only blame Greenpeace for destroying one of the region’s only revenue sources, but also for driving once-proud hunters to welfare dependency and even suicide.
A people and their way of life were destroyed by the efforts of environmentalists who sought to save whales and seals and obliterating the lives of native Canadian Indians in the process. What happened to Nunavutans can happen to the Navajos and its obvious the environmentalist groups that filed the lawsuit and backed Obama’s controls on coal mining and coal-fired power plants support similar consequences: extreme poverty and people’s lives ruined.
If the environmentalist’s lawsuit is successful, people in the Navajo Nation and elsewhere will suffer because well-to-do environmentalist lawyers and their elitist activists oppose the usage and extraction of coal that allows Navajos to make money to live good lives while benefiting their communities. Like I have said before, it is a lot easier to oppose energy production when you have a lot of money and think you can tell other people how to live.