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In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, H. Sterling Burnett, managing editor of Environment & Climate News speaks with State Sen. Carlyle Begay. Begay, a state senator of Arizona, is also a member of the Navajo Nation. Begay joins Burnett to discuss the negative impacts of federal energy and environmental regulations.
Being a state senator from Arizona, Begay witnesses first hand the effects federal environmental regulations are having on western states in general and the Navajo nation in particular. The War on coal is literally undermining the Navajo nation’s sovereignty. Sixty percent of the revenues for the Navajo nation, where unemployment is 50 percent, comes from coal mining and electricity production, yet EPA regulations have already reduced mining by 30 percent and threatens to shutter 60 percent of its power plant units. In addition, Begay stresses that in the West, you can separate water issues from energy and the federal government’s control of water also harmfully impacts Arizona and the Navajo.