Black Mesa Mine the Black Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Lands are reclaimed to a condition that typically is 20 times more productive for grazing than native range. These results, which are nationally recognized, are important to local American Indian families who make their livelihood raising cattle, sheep and goats (Peabody Western Coal Company 2007:1).

Of course, the company is ignoring the damage to the water supply when it makes these claims and does not account for this damage against the benefits. The intent of the company is clear in a settlement proposal it made to keep Black Mesa in operation while giving the federal government control over the aquifer and dismissing all claims against Peabody for injury to the groundwater (Helms 2007:1).

A call to action by a group called Honor the Earth makes the implicatiosn for the sacred land clear:

If the plan to allow Peabody to restart its Black Mesa Mine goes ahead, the cultural implications will be dramatic. The Hopi and Navajo's ability to grow traditional foods and herbal medicines, as well as access ceremonial sites and perform rituals, will all be affected (Honor the Earth 2007:1).

The group further charges that the issue is being raised at a time when the Hopi are in the most important phase of their ceremonial calendar and so are not in a position to protest as they would at other times.

The issue can be seen as seeking a balance between the needs of the more developed areas and the needs of the Native Americans, but it is also an issue of protecting the environment rather than using it up too quickly. It is also an economic issue because the only reason the Peabody company uses the slurry method at this facility is because it gets the water for virtually nothing. A different method of transport could and would be used if the water were protected, and critics point out how shortsighted it is not to protect the water and to frame the issue as providing the necessary power to the region while simultaneously destroying a water supply that is even more vital.

References

Anderson, Frederick R., Jeffrey D. Baxter, Bruce a. Bishop, David Brookshire, F. Lee Brown, Albert M. Church, Mark O. Evans, Allen V. Kneese, Jerrold E. Levy, Alfred L. Parker, William D. Schulze, Walter O. Spofford, and Michael Williams

1981 the Southwest under Stress: National Resource Development Issues in a Regional Setting. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Benedek, Emily.

1999 the Wind Won't Know Me: A History of the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

Black Mesa

2007 Sacred Land Film Project. Electronic Document. http://www.sacredland.org/endangered_sites_pages/black_mesa.html, Accessed July 7, 2007.

Center for Biological Diversity

2007 Groups Challenge Environmental Analysis of Controversial Black Mesa Mine: Feds Failed to Consider Harmful Impacts to Sacred Springs. Electronic Document. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/press/black-mesa-02-06-2007.html, Accessed July 7, 2007.

Federal Register Environmental Documents

2007 Black Mesa and Kayenta Mines, Life-of-Mine Plans and Water Supply Project, Coconino, Navajo, and Mohave Counties, AZ, and Clark County, NV. Electronic document. http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-IMPACT/2004/December/Day-01/i26439.htm, Accessed July 7, 2007.

Helms, Kathy

2007 Off the hook: Proposed settlement releases Peabody from penalty for damages to resources. Electronic Document. http://www.blackmesais.org/off_the_hook.htm, Accessed July 7, 2007.

Homans, Charlie

2001 Draining the Upper World: The Black Mesa Mine and the Navajo Aquifer. Electronic document. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cssn/cssa/fal01/homans-draining-the-upper-world.html#_ftn7, Accessed July 7, 2006.

Peabody Western Coal Company

2007 Peabody. Electronic Document. http://www.peabodyenergy.com/Operations/CoalOperations-Southwest.asp, Accessed July 7, 2007.

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Anderson, Frederick R., Jeffrey D. Baxter, Bruce a. Bishop, David Brookshire, F. Lee Brown, Albert M. Church, Mark O. Evans, Allen V. Kneese, Jerrold E. Levy, Alfred L. Parker, William D. Schulze, Walter O. Spofford, and Michael Williams

1981 the Southwest under Stress: National Resource Development Issues in a Regional Setting. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Benedek, Emily.

1999 the Wind Won't Know Me: A History of the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

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