Quantcast
Connect with us

Native American groups join effort against coal mine that threatens sacred ancestral ground

Published

on

Members of several Native American tribes say a coal mine operating on a remote stretch of the Texas-Mexico border threatens sacred ancestral ground, and they are joining long-running attempts by environmentalists and local activists to shut the mine down.

Members of Texas’ Lipan Apaches, Pacuache Band of the Cohuiltecan Nation and Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe have teamed with the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma to draw attention to what they allege is the desecration of land being mined by Dos Republicas, owned by Mexican companies partnered in Texas with the Plano-based North American Coal Corporation and its subsidiary Camino Real Fuels.

ADVERTISEMENT

The protesters hope a planned march this Saturday from the Rio Grande to the coal mine will be part of a larger effort to stop mining which they say threatens ancestral burial grounds.

“This land is sacred and holds ancestral knowledge of the many Native Nations who have shared this living space over thousands of years,” the organizers state on an online petition on Change.org, which has more than 3,500 signatures. The groups allege the tribes were not consulted before permits were issued, and that provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act were not followed.

The tribes are joining a yearslong battle. In 2011, citizens and environmentalists from Eagle Pass and Maverick County tried to stop the Texas Railroad Commission from granting the company a permit to mine low-grade coal from about 6,300 acres of land in Maverick County.

Opponents claimed transporting the low-quality coal would release hazardous particles into the air, and that the discharge from the operations would run off into a creek that ends in the Rio Grande, a main water source.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the permit was awarded in 2013 and has survived several court challenges. The coal is shipped to Mexico for use there because its low quality makes it unusable in the United States.

The Native American effort is part of a two-pronged strategy that includes legal maneuvering by Maverick County and the city of Eagle Pass, which are filing petitions for review with the Texas Supreme Court in hopes of reversing the 3rd Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the Railroad Commission’s decision to approve the permit.

Dos Republicas spokesman Rudy Rodriguez said the company is fine with letting opponents of the mine speak but insisted the company has provided the impoverished patch of the Texas-Mexico border an economic boost. It has also followed all the state and federal regulations required, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We respect the free speech of everyone” involved, he said. “But we’ve moved over a million tons of coal by rail, and it’s in a remote area where people don’t really know what’s going on.”

Rodriguez added that since the company began its mining operations, it has hired 180 employees and doles out about $1.3 million in monthly salaries.

Tane Ward, an environmentalist who is helping spearhead the Native American effort, said support for the latest challenge is growing.

ADVERTISEMENT

“When we started meeting we started alerting more and more allies,” he said, adding that some of the protesters could come from as far away as the Dakotas. He said even though out-of-state Indian nations don’t have a claim to the land on the Texas-Mexico border, they are supporting the Texans as a symbol of solidarity with all Native Americans whose lands have been taken.

And he argues the coal companies might not have followed protocol.

“There wasn’t a proper consultation done,” he said. “They don’t have respect for the ancestors” of the land.

ADVERTISEMENT

By Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Expect exodus of high-ranking Trump officials because they ‘no longer have anything to gain’ by staying: columnist

Published

on

Writing for the conservative Bulwark, columnist and author Robert Tracinski said Donald Trump's Syria debacle is likely the turning point for even the most hardened of his most avid defenders in the White House who will likely start leaving.

As Tracinski began, "Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds is a moment that might be more important than it seems—one that is likely to have a far-reaching impact that goes well beyond what happens in Syria."

Continue Reading

Facebook

‘The world is on fire!’ Fox News pundit stunned after Trump decides to host G7 at his golf club

Published

on

Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt was stunned by the White House decision to host next year's G7 summit at a property owned by President Donald Trump.

White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced the international gathering would be held at Trump's struggling Doral golf course in Florida, and even the conservative Stirewalt couldn't believe the decision.

"The idea that this administration, dealing with what this administration is dealing with, right? A lot -- the unraveling in Syria, you’ve got the march to impeachment here at home, breaking news story every day. The world is on fire. Why?"

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Hosting the G-7 at Doral is still worth a million dollars to Trump — even if he donates all the profits: reporter

Published

on

President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said that holding the G7 summit at Trump's Doral resort would not be a profit for the president. Reports about it fly in the face of the White House claims, however.

The Miami Herald reported in July, when Trump floated the idea, that Doral is in a financial rut and the G7 meeting could help Trump climb out of it.

"Hosting foreign dignitaries has been a financial boon for Trump’s private Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago Club, providing some insight into what financial gains might be expected from hosting the G7 Summit at Trump Doral," said The Herald.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image