To the editor:
Many interests support SB2109, Senator Jon Kyl's new "comprehensive legislative solution" to decades of confusion and lawsuits over Southwest water.
If you're the Navajo Generating Station, Peabody Energy or Central Arizona Project, it's great. If you're the federal government, it's great because pending Colorado River Basin water lawsuits are negated. And it's great if you are one of the many "non-Indian communities in California, Nevada and Arizona" who will enjoy "immeasurable benefits."
But if you are the Hopi, the benefits of SB2109 are a paper promise -- no actual funds -- by the feds to try to eventually allocate funds to build a small section of pipeline to carry Hopi water across Hopi land in exchange for the surrender of all aboriginal water rights forever, surrender of right to dispute future federal water decisions and even surrender of any right to sue if the United States never allocates the funds to build the very pipeline promised in the bill.
An extra "public benefit" is exemption of future western water-projects from having to file environmental impact studies.
SB2109 constitutes either purposeful abrogation of our nation's Trust responsibility to protect tribal peoples or is an act of slow-motion extermination -- perhaps both.
Please tell Senators Kyl and McCain, Representative Gosar, and the city of Flagstaff (a bill participant) that cultural imperialism is an unacceptable way to address regional water concerns in the 21st century.
Say "No" to SB2109!