Tuesday, March 9, 2021

San Juan Solar Project

The Four Corners region of the Southwest is seeing the remarkable shift to investment in renewable energy. The Four Corners Solar Center is an approximate 1,400 MW solar photovoltaic and battery storage facility proposed by Photosol Development US, LLC (Photosol). The San Juan Solar Project is part of this historic energy transition.

To view the location of this historic project click here.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sixty Day Pause 

President Biden and his administration have put in place a 60-day pause on new oiled gas leasing and permitting.  They have frozen the nearly finished BLM-BIA resource management plan amendment (RMPA) and environmental impact statement (EIS) work for the Greater Chaco-Farmington area. These are all excellent steps forward. More needs to be done. The Greater Chaco Landscape needs the permanent protection of a bill that passes both houses of Congress and is signed by President Biden. The All-Pueblo Council of Governors, the Pueblo of Acoma, and other Pueblos and Tribes have called for the protection of Greater Chaco for years. Now is the time to create this important and necessary protection for all future generations.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Deb Haaland's Nomination to Interior 

The nomination of Deb Haaland to be Interior Secretary is not just a historic but a redemptive act.  For the first time in our history, a Native American will hold a Cabinet-level post.  As secretary of the interior, Haaland will play a key role at a crucial moment in our nation’s relationship with its more than 450 million acres of public lands, and will have a chance to reverse our exploitive history toward our country’s first people.  Haaland will also serve as a powerful counterweight to President Donald Trump’s original choice as Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, who resigned amid ethics controversies and whose signature move was the massive reduction of Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah, the only national monument to grow out of the thinking, planning and advocacy of Native Americans.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Shiprock Solar Project

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted unanimously to replace the San Juan Generating Station power with 100% renewable energy when the coal-fired power plant is retired in 2022. This decision will modernize power generation, improve public health, and stabilize the local economy.  We will document this historic transition over the next two years to educate and create an historic record for future generations.  To better understand the importance of this historic transition click here for the video.

be strong, Be safe, Carlan

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

 Chaco-Area Sacred Sites Drilling Plan Expedited

A proposal that would increase oil and gas drilling in the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico is one of a long list of energy projects that are being “expedited” by the U.S. Department of Interior during the COVID-19 pandemic, under the direction of the Trump Administration. The information was revealed in a letter dated July 15 from the DOI Deputy Secretary Katharine MacGregor and obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The BLM ultimately granted a 120-day extension, which will run out September 25, but the agency has refused to halt the process until after the pandemic. Instead, it has held a series of webinars for public engagement, including several held at the end of August. 

The BLM Deputy Director William Perry Pendley argued in April that online information sessions would actually increase public participation. But for many of the communities directly impacted by the proposal, accessing broadband to participate in the webinars presents its own challenges. 

Sixty percent of Navajo Nation residents currently lack access to broadband, according to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Tribes, Congress, and the public have repeatedly demanded the Bureau of Land Management keep its promises to protect the culture, communities, and climate of the Greater Chaco Landscape.  The BLM is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to drill more than 3,000 new fracking wells, and refuses to include Tribal-led efforts to protect sacred sites during the planning process.

be strong, be safe, Carlan


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Remembering Molly

Covid-19 has impacted all of us around the world.  Here in the Southwest the Navajo Nation has experience Covid at it's worst.  Many community members, families, and close sisters and brothers have experienced it first hand.  The losses have been devastating.  Molly was one of them.  She journeyed onto the next life this summer.  

Molly lived in Burnham, NM on the Navajo Nation.  She was a powerful voice with Lucy Willie standing strong and tall against the proposed Desert Rock coal power plant.  The two women were rocks.  Not willing to move or budge until things were set straight.

Working with both of these incredible Navajo women for many years was both an honor and life long experience.  Their words were spoken with truth and integrity.  Molly always listened carefully long before she spoke.  Lucy and Molly are together again.  I know that in my heart.  That thought alone brings a warm smile filled with love and respect to my face.  Thank you my sisters for everything you have done for your families, community, and Mother Earth.  Safe journey.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Public Health and the Greater Chaco Landscape
Families living in rural areas south-west of Counselor, New Mexico, are sharing stories about sickly bull snakes and near-death rattlers above ground during the snowy, winter months this past winter and spring.

The people have a theory for what is happening: underground vibrations from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, forced the snakes from their dens and on to the surface.  Over the years, community members of the Navajo Nation have noticed other changes. Vegetation has died off and the climate has became drier. People living in homes with dirt floors have felt vibrations from the ground late at night, from 2 to 4am.

The Navajo and Puebloan lands of north-western New Mexico where Counselor is located are no stranger to drilling. The first oil well in the area was reportedly drilled in 1911 with natural gas following soon after.

Today, the US Bureau of Land Management is considering a plan, known as the Mancos-Gallup Amendment, which could lease land in the region for some 3,000 new wells – many of which would be for fracking oil and gas. The plan would expand drilling into some of northern New Mexico’s last available public lands, threatening the desecration of sacred Native artifacts near Chaco Canyon while bringing in a swath of new public health risks to a place that’s already reeling from one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the world.

Under the Trump administration, the amount of US lands up for lease to oil and gas companies has soared – 461 milion acres across the country, as of earlier this year. To New Mexico environmentalists and indigenous activists, the new plan is just another instance of the administration’s energy dominance agenda threatening some of the country’s most pristine lands.

Chaco park and other parts of the canyon are protected from drilling through a congressional funding bill. But there are some 250 outlying sites spread throughout north-west New Mexico, said Michelle Turner, an archaeologist studying the region. Many of those sites are connected by ancient roads, she said, which are gradually being erased by drilling-related development.

Covid-19 is making health concerns more prescient. The Navajo Nation and surrounding areas have some of the highest per-capita infection rates in the world. Community members are concerned that air pollution in the region will exacerbate the death toll, pointing to a recent Harvard study showing that people living in areas with higher pollution have a significantly higher death rate.

be strong, be safe, Carlan