"The End of Coal Will Haunt the Navajo"

"The fossil fuel has been an environmental threat and economic necessity for Native American tribes in Arizona. What happens when it's gone?"

"Percy Deal, 67, lives in the same small, three-bedroom stone house he grew up in, situated in the remote Navajo village of Cactus Valley, Ariz. Like many homes in this part of the country, Deal’s lacks running water, so once a month, he drives his pickup truck 17 miles to a public pump, where he fills three 55-gallon drums to bring back home. On the living room wall, his father’s ceremonial feathers and sweat-stained cowboy hat hang over the couch next to a framed poem his father wrote, titled Endless. The second stanza reads: “Your heart and your roots tell a perpetual story of the love and harmony you and Mother Earth share.” His family has been on this land for 500 years.

Sixty miles north of Cactus Valley lies the Kayenta Mine, a 44,000-acre open pit whose sole customer is the Navajo Generating Station, 100 miles northwest in the town called Page. NGS is the country’s eighth-largest climate polluter, pumping out 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and hundreds of pounds of mercury and arsenic into the atmosphere each year. It’s also one of the area’s largest employers: Together with the mine, it’s responsible for 3,000 jobs, more than a third of them full-time."

Ian Frisch reports for Bloomberg October 13, 2017.

Source: Bloomberg, 10/13/2017