By Kendra Pinto / Twin Pines Community Member, and Javier Benavidez / Senior Policy Advocate, New Energy Economy
New Mexico and the Navajo Nation are sacred places in which to grow up. From an early age we develop a special reverence for Mother Nature and Father Sky, particularly because we are raised in the shadows of magnificent landscapes like Shiprock and the Sandias, also known as Turtle Mountain. From early on, New Mexicans develop a deep-down affinity for this land’s average of 350 radiant days of sunshine and the winds that sweep our vast open plains and mesas.
On the flipside, New Mexico also has a long and painful history of environmental injustice. The devastating impacts of extractive industries have been borne by our families over many generations – from those in Silver City who developed black lung from their work in the mines, to loved ones in Church Rock overcome by cancer from toxic uranium spills, to children struggling to breathe in the Four Corners where air quality is among the worst in the nation. The people of Sandoval County are fighting to protect their groundwater from fracking contamination and, in Carlsbad, residents live under the constant threat of radiation from WIPP. Just last summer, an oilfield operated by WPX Energy exploded near our homes in Nageezi, forcing 55 of our neighbors to evacuate and traumatizing our entire community.
We have been told for too long that we must sacrifice our health and that of our lands in order to serve the economy.Read more