Communities Unite Around A ‘Just Transition’ Away from Dirty Energy with Historic Training Camp
Shout out to our Board members Jihan Gearon of Black Mesa Water Coalition and Gopal Dayaneni of Movement Generation who are on the ground right now at Our Power Action Camp, along with CSS National Training Program Director, Christine Cordero.
Unique Demo Today in Scottsdale: Navajo Community Members to Pump CAP Canal Water with Solar PowerEvent to press Navajo Generating Station owners for transition from polluting coal industry on Navajo Reservation that has powered CAP pumps
WHEN: promptly at 9am Tuesday, June 18
WHERE: Scottsdale’s Fashion Square
• Navajo community members using a solar-powered generator to pump CAP canal water into trucks and barrels that Navajo Nation residents use to haul water on the reservation.
• Colorful rally by dozens of Navajo tribal members and supporters with handmade signs and banners. Event slogan: Energy Without Injustice – Power Without Pollution
More than 50 Navajo Nation community members and supporters will park water trucks that families use on the reservation alongside the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal in Scottsdale today at 9am and use a solar-powered generator to pump water from the canal to the vehicles.
Tribal members are staging the demonstration to send a message to the owners of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) coal-fired power plant near Page, Arizona that Navajo families want a transition away from a polluting coal industry on Navajo land that has powered CAP pumps for decades at the expense of residents’ land, health, water, and culture.
Major NGS owners include Salt River Project (SRP)(plant operator) and the U.S. government’s Department of Interior. Today SRP provides Arizonans less than 1 percent solar power.
The “Energy Without Injustice – Power Without Pollution” action demonstrates solar power as a solution. There is enough old mine land on Black Mesa to generate thousands of megawatts of solar energy, providing thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars for the regional economy.
Aging Navajo Generating Station (NGS) is among the most polluting coal-fired power plants in America and after decades of coal industry on Navajo Nation, many Navajo families have not benefitted; thousands still lack electricity and running water to their homes and haul water in trucks every week for cooking, cleaning, and drinking.
Images and video will be available after the event athttp://www.facebook.com/blackmesawc and twitter@blackmesawc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communities Unite Around A ‘Just Transition’ Away from Dirty Energy with Historic Training Camp Groundbreaking Our Power Campaign Will Create Healthy Future for Communities Impacted by Climate Change
Central Arizona~This week, Navajo community members of the Black Mesa Water Coalition will host a skills sharing and strategy camp for communities impacted by coal and other dirty energy. This camp marks the first of many convergences of indigenous peoples, communities of color, and working-class white communities building a powerful movement to take on climate change while fostering a new economy. The groups are uniting in a new national campaign launching this week called the Our Power Campaign: Communities United for a Just Transition.
Through the Our Power Campaign, communities are organizing to transition off of dirty energy to foster clean community power, zero waste, food sovereignty, public transit, housing for all, and restoration of ecosystems and watersheds.
“We can create quality jobs by retooling the infrastructure in our regions,” said Bill Gallegos, Executive Director of Communities for a Better Environment and Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) Steering Committee member. “We need to divest from dirty energy and the ‘greed economy’ and invest in a transition to local living economies and community resilience. This camp is about learning the skills and forging the strategies we need to bring this transition home.”
“We can have power without pollution and energy without injustice,” said Jihan Gearon, Executive Director of Black Mesa Water Coalition and CJA Steering Committee member. “Navajo people and Navajo lands have been moving central Arizona’s water and providing much of central Arizona and Southern California’s energy for 50 years. Renewable energy provides a new way forward to bring economic and health benefits to the Navajo people while cutting greenhouse gas emissions at the source.”
The backdrop for the camp is one of the communities creating a ‘just transition’. Navajo Generating Station, which is run by the Salt River Project and Peabody Coal’s Kayenta Mine, has depleted the Navajo Aquifer, severely impacted the land base, and adversely affected community health. Generating electricity from coal also pumps greenhouse gases into the atmosphere contributing to climate change which the Navajo Nation is already suffering the effects of.
The Black Mesa Water Coalition is proposing Navajo-owned utility scale solar projects and fostering local, sustainable land-based economies. According to their studies, there is enough old mine lands and good sun on the Navajo Nation to generate over 6,000 megawatts of solar power in the years to come. That would be thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars into the regional economy each year, billions of dollars during construction.
At the groundbreaking training camp, communities along coal’s chain of destruction from the Southwest, Appalachia, the Midwest, and beyond will come together to learn from and exchange with the Black Mesa community. Activities include:
- June 14- sharing stories of struggles and victories in communities impacted by dirty energy
- June 15- workshops on topics such as direct action and land-based resilience
- June 16-17- sessions for communities to strategize together to win shifts away from dirty energy towards local living economies
“This is a historic opportunity to unite working-class communities and communities of color across the nation who bear the brunt of the climate and economic crisis,” said Ife Kilimanjaro, Co-Director of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council in Detroit and CJA Steering Committee member. “Together, we are building a movement that is demonstrating and winning a shift away from dirty energy through investment in the root cause solutions we all need.”
For more information on the upcoming camp and the new Our Power Campaign visit
www.ourpowercampaign.org and www.blackmesawatercoalition.org .
CSS is excited to announce the launch of the national Our Power Campaign: Communities United for A Just Transition! We are launching this campaign as a leadership body member of the Climate Justice Alliance - a new collaborative of over 35 community-based and movement support organizations rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and working-class white communities throughout the US.
Together through the Our Power Campaign, we are creating transition pathways out of dirty energy, towards solutions that create meaningful work and livelihoods in the US. Communities are already beginning to implement real solutions to climate change that chart a path towards more democratic, ecologically rooted economies. Through the Our Power Campaign we are winning clean community power, zero waste, food sovereignty, public transit, housing for all, and restoration of ecosystems and watersheds, especially in regions disproportionately impacted by the deepening the economic and ecological crises.
The Our Power Campaign is being rolled out in three “Hot Spot” communities -- Black Mesa, Arizona; Richmond, California; and Detroit, Michigan -- and will expand to a dozen Hot Spots across the country by the end of 2014. The Hot Spots are frontline communities that are home to key grassroots groups poised to take on dirty energy interests while leading real models of grassroots solutions.
Read the full overview of the Our Power Campaign, hear about the hot spots, and learn more about the Climate Justice Alliance by visiting the Our Power Campaign online atourpowercampaign.org!
OUR POWER CAMP IN BLACK MESA, ARIZONA
The Our Power Campaign launch will continue through the Our Power Camp!
From June 14-18, in one of the campaign hot spots, Navajo community members of the Black Mesa Water Coalition will host the first Our Power Camp in Arizona - a skills sharing and strategy camp for communities impacted by coal and other dirty energy. This camp marks the first of many Our Power Camps. People from all over the country, including a majority from communities along coal’s chain of destruction in the Southwest, Appalachia, the midwest, and beyond, will come together at the Our Power Camp to learn from and exchange with the Black Mesa community. Attendees will share stories of struggles and victories in communities impacted by dirty energy, host and participate in workshops on topics such as direct action and land-based resilience, and will hold collective strategy sessions.
Stay tuned on Our Power Campaign’s facebook and twitter for live updates from the camp!
www.ourpowercampaign.org | firstname.lastname@example.org