As I first reported back on April 4, Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain proposed Senate Bill 2109, the “Navajo – Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012,” this past February, which would give Arizona corporations total control over the state’s waters. Mining interests were a key player in the bill’s development. More importantly, though, the bill would require the residents of the Navajo and Hopi communities to relinquish all rights to ground and subterranean water, including the right to sue for damages resulting from possible water contamination.
It’s one of the most egregious pieces of legislation to come before the U.S. Senate. Kyl and McCain obviously think the Navajo and Hopi people will just roll over and let this become law. I started a petition shortly after learning about this on Change.org to demand the bill be removed from consideration. It’s garnered close to 10,000 signatures, but I’d like to see it reach and surpass that goal. Please forward this on to interested parties and invite them to take action. Regardless of whose livelihood is at stake, mining companies have a poor history of community welfare. This situation could happen anywhere in the nation. It already has in some locations, such as Oklahoma’s Tar Creek area, which I know a lot about. I lived and worked in that area for nearly 4 months in early 2005. Trust me when I tell you that mining companies have no problems wreaking havoc on the environment and leaving surrounding communities to deal with the adverse health effects. Thank you all who have supported this petition.