The Navajo Nation, the Hopi and other Native peoples in the Southwest are fighting plans to build three dams next to the Grand Canyon. These dams would drastically impact water flow and ecology in this jewel of the American park system. And to even consider building the dams would require unwelcome desecration of an area which has deep spiritual and cultural importance to indigenous people.
Naturally, it’s our old friends at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that are in charge of the permitting process. And that’s why it’s critical that you speak out NOW, before FERC’s next filing deadline at 5pm Eastern on August 3.
This “Big Canyon Pumped Storage Project” would pump billions of gallons of ancient groundwater to feed a massive hydroelectric power plant. The dam plan would affect water supply in a part of the country already in serious drought conditions. And it would destroy the natural beauty and ecological integrity of a remote and pristine canyon.
There’s a role for clean, safe, and reliable hydropower in our vision for a clean energy future. But it doesn’t involve storming onto indigenous people’s lands without permission, taking unique and rare river systems, and damming them to make (in essence) a big energy storage system for corporate profiteers. This is extractive, disaster capitalism at its worst, not a serious proposal for clean power generation.
The confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers holds deep meaning for Native peoples of the Grand Canyon region. The Hopi people believe they emerged from this place. For the Navajo people, the Little Colorado River drainage is their current home, and the confluence is a sacred place to share their prayers. At least 10 tribes have ancestral and current connections to the Little Colorado River.
FERC is allowing initial comments and new filers to join the case until August 3, 2020. After that, the FERC will have to asses whether there’s enough interest in the project to move forward, or stop the dam plan before surveying, geological assessment and other invasive exploration can begin.
Please take a minute to add a personal message to your comment on why this issue is important to you. And, if you like, you can follow the link on the page after you sign the petition to share with friends and send a copy of your comment or any supporting materials to FERC. We’ll deliver all the signatures we receive before the Aug 3 deadline. Sign now to make sure your comment is included in our delivery.