The Hopi and Navajo tribes have won a considerable award out of a former coal-fired power plant in Laughlin, Nevada: Pollution credits worth perhaps $10 million.
California’s utility regulatory body redirected funds from Southern California Edison to local tribes.
The money comes from tradable credits the utility is getting for the acid rain it is longer producing at the shuttered energy plant – or caps on sulfur dioxide.
It will be used to establish a revolving loan fund – one where loans are taken out repeatedly and paid back repeatedly – for renewable energy projects that benefit the tribes.
This is a major victory for Wahleah Johns, of the Black Mesa Water Coalition, who has been seeking such a decision for seven or eight years, she said.
“I hope it would help to build solar plants on our reservation because we are blessed with good solar,” she said.
Mohave Generating Station was a coal-fired power plant fed with coal from Navajo and Hopi lands from 1971 to 2005, when owners closed it rather than retrofit it to comply with Clean Air Act requirements.