“Navajo tribal members who believe their voices are needed in the fight against the proposed Desert Rock Power Plant their government supports claim a host of alternatives to burning coal exist on the Navajo Nation. The group, called Din? CARE, holds a viewpoint that is squarely opposite of Desert Rock supporters, such as project spokesman Frank Maisano, of the Washington, D.C., law firm Bracewell & Giuliani LLC.
“It’s a Navajo project and the Navajo are choosing to take part of their vast resources, which include coal, and advance the cause of their people,” Maisano said. “The plant will generate $50 million in revenue per year, bring thousands of construction jobs, 400 permanent jobs and a wealth of indirect benefits.” The massive project, however, is held up in the federal permitting process. Project developers hope to begin construction sometime this year near Burnham in San Juan County.
Din? CARE’s recent release of a report stating its views about the Desert Rock Power Plant project preceded by less than two weeks letters from Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr. and the Bracewell & Giuliani firm notifying the Environmental Protection Agency of the tribe’s intent to sue to force EPA’s release of its Prevention of Significant Deterioration (air) permit. Desert Rock organizers submitted its air permit application to the EPA in May 2004. A draft permit was issued in August 2006, followed by a series of public meetings and hearings. EPA officials are still evaluating and responding to concerns from comments received at those meetings.”