Trilateralism: Energy & Indian People: Chapter Three: The US Colonial Empire is as Close as the Nearest Reservation: The Pending Energy Wars: by Michael Garitty:
page 238: 1973, 3 events: President Richard Nixon released the details of Project Independence; David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski from the Trilateral Commission; and FBI & Federal troops occupied Wounded Knee...through the Trilateral Commission the Carter Energy Program has succeeded Project Independence. The goal is to make the trilateral world as free from dependence on the vast mineral resources of the Third World as is possible (and profitable). imperialism roosted in Northern Great Plains, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Rocky Mountain states Colorado, Utah, Arizona, & New Mexico. home to many Indian Peoples.
page 239 Wounded Knee was no isolated incident. Under Project Independence nuclear power output was to increase ten-fold between 1973 & 1985, coal production was to jump from 600 to 960 million tons per year; oil production from 10.9 to 14 million barrels per day; and natural gas production from 23 to 27 trillion cubic feet per year. Project Independence elaborated the policy that a national energy crisis necessitated the stripping of western coal on a crash basis and contained "a major leasing program for mineral rights to Federal lands involving 10 million acres per year by 1978. Roughly 1972-73 The plan provided government and corporate decision makers with a rationale for immediate development of the vast fossil fuels in the largely rural and sparsely populated West; but the actual pace of exploitation disappointed the planners. Today, eagerly awaiting the Energy Mobilization Board (EMB) - a pillar of Carter's Energy Program - the energy conglomerates are dusting off their long- dormant, massive oil-shale, and synthetic fuel projects.
page 240 The result of Project Independence mandate has been vast underground and surface coal and uranium mines; coal fired electrical generating plants; experimental coal gasification plants; oil, natural gas, water, and coal-slurry pipelines; the majority of these projects are found on Indian lands guaranteed sovereign by almost 400 treaties ... Energy development is taking place on Indian lands, as well as on federal holdings, because the mineral rights and labor come cheap; profits are high. Council of Energy Resources Tribes (CERT) a concoction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and puppet Tribal Councils about which 23 west members of Indian Nations control 33 % of the low sulphur strippable coal reserves. 80 % of the uranium, and 3-10% or the oil and gas reserves in US, as of 1974 36 % of the coal leases, and fewer than 1% of the uranium leases on Indian lands were producing. Resources waiting to be torn from the ground on reservation like Fort Berthold, Wind River, Fort Peck, and Fort Belnap. A reservation is not the same as an Indian Nation like the Great Lakota (Sioux) Nation, now composed of only seven reservations, mostly in S. Dakota. Like in third world countries, The FBI, the BIA, and other arms of the US government work together to beat a smooth path for the pillage of Indian resources. Following the OPEC oil embargo and the energy crisis of 1973, coal & uranium reserves in the US became dominated by a small number of firms. energy giants-Trilateral Commission began swallowing up smaller firms. Subcommittee Antitrust May 1979, Continental Oil, owns the second largest national producer, Consolidated Coal, with production of 47.9 million tons in 1977, Standard Oil of California owns a 20% interest in AMAX, the third largest producer; Occidental Petroleum owns Island Creek, the fourth largest produces; Ashland Oil and Hunt Petroleum own Arch Mineral, the seventh largest producer; Standard Oil of Ohio owns the 13th largest producer, Old Ben Coal; Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Mining, the 15th largest producer is owned by Gulf. The top four firms (in the Northern Great Plains) control over 1/2 of the market's production. Oil companies account for 38% of the coal production from the Northern Great P)lains..Worse, the same group of energy companies which dominate the coal markets also dominate the uranium market.
page 243 Production is shifting from underground to stripmining & relocating from Appalachia to the Great Plains & Rocky Mountains. In stripmining, output per day is 100% greater than in underground mining, average recovery 60% higher, and operating costs 30% lower. The total strippable reserves of the 8 state region is estimated at 86,281,000,000 tons, or 63% of all the strippable reserves in the US as national sacrifice areas to the greed of the corporate elite. Before Carters energy speech, coal production in the region was expected to increase sevenfold in a 25 year period. The Bureau of Mines and the Office of Coal Research have been allocating grants to US energy giants to improve techniques first developed in Germany in the 1940's for gasification & liquefaction of coal (since this means lower transportation costs for the industry, the railroads, particularly Burlington Northern, frown on this form of government welfare for the energy companies.) The western US is the perfect place to develop this new technology: more than 90% of US low sulphur coal reserves are found there (over half in the massive Fort Union Coal Formation of Wyoming lying very close to the surface.
page 245 The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 and the Omnibus Tribal Leasing Act of 1938 authorized the federal government through the secretary of the interior and the BIA to: lease public and Indian lands and mineral rights to private corporations. By 1973, the Federal Government had leased 680,854 acres of public and 258,754 acres of Indian land, containing over 20 billions tons of coal to the corporations. 70% of the land leased was going to 50 multinational oil companies - Shell, Sun, ARCO, Gulf, Exxon, Mobil The energy produced is delivered to cities many hundreds of miles away while land blight, increased water scarcity, and water and air pollution have become standard features of the landscape of the energy rich resource areas. During the development state, jobs are most often awarded to skilled employees who leave at the end of the construction phase. The transient workers who swell town like Gillette, Wyoming, & Colstrip, Montana, five,, or twenty times per boom size, live in mobile homes or house trails and generally buy their food, clothing, and entertainment in larger cities. Housing sewers, roads, lighting systems, schools, teachers, police, fire services, and the like are grossly inadequate. The corporations responsible for the energy development assume none of the social and physical infrastructure costs; rather they are borne by residents through bond liquidation and local property taxes. Local residents are never involved in the planning phases of pending energy development, and they are misinformed of the human, social, fiscal, and environmental costs inherent in the development. The North Central Power Study, reviewed below, provides a good illustration of how corporations weigh "costs" and "benefits" to the detriment of people and environment.
page 246 The North Central Power Study and Water Use (NCPS) preceded "the essence of Project Independence": The study investigated the "feasibility of constructing large mine-mouth [plants located right next to the underground source of fuel] thermal plants located in the substantial coalfields just east of the Rocky Mountains and by the use of extra-high-voltage transmission lines deliver economical power to major load centers. The conclusion of the report was that, yes, it could and should be done on a massive scale, glossing over any detrimental environmental effects. To run the mammoth plants would take more water than is available in the semi-arid environment of the Northern Great Plains. In 1976 the study became inoperative because the maximum potential industrial development by the year 2000 would disturb 188,000 acres of land, about 131,000 acres for mining, and the rest for facilities sites, pipelines, and transportation routes. It would disrupt agricultural production, plant and wildlife, and ground water supply. 2035 is the last year service contract for industry would terminate. By then there won't be a drop of water anywhere near the Northern Great Plains fit to drink. The fact that most of the water under study is Indian water guaranteed by treaty was not mentioned.
page 247 In all the energy exploiting corporations plan to tear up more than 250,000 acres of fragile Plains soil in the next 30 years with enormous machines called draglines (space age steam shovels) This report sees an end to the Indian Peoples "special relationship with land", and a "shift from an agricultural to mining\light industry\trade service economy The effects of the report on the Native Americans would "contribute to bringing Indians into the mainstream of American life. Although it is euphemistically referred to as "disappearance or loss of tribal cultural heritage. . The farmers content that the high-voltage lines will shrivel crops, prevent seeds from germinating, cause spontaneous abortions in livestock, stop cows from giving milk, cause headaches, exhaustion, skin irritation, nosebleeds in humans, and scarce off wildlife. Anything metal become electrified and shocks are common. The farmers say they know when the line is in operation just by looking to see if their horses and cows are roaming free in the pastures or huddled as far away from the lines as they can get. The right of way for one of these giants is wider than a football field is long, and they will ultimately criss-cross the nation unless stopped. These machines are as tall as 16 story buildings, weigh 27 million pounds, and can move 220 cubic yards (325 ton) of "overburden" (i.e., wildlife habitat, cropland, or home,) in a single pass; they can scoop up a full load every minute. Draglines are electric and use enough electricity to fully power a city the size of Rapid City, South Dakota. On the average, these machines will have to rip down through 100 to 150 feet of "overburden" just to uncover the coal seams of the Great Plains"
page 248 The Energy Mobilization Board: July 15, 1979: Carter proposed EMB to cut through the red tape, the delays and the endless roadblocks to completing key energy projects. EPA Carter wanted the US to be producing 2.5 billion barrels of synthetic oil a day from coal by 1990. A million barrels per day production for one year would require to move about a billions tons of earth a year, about the same amount dug up to build the Panama Canal.
page 249 Indian Nations & Energy Resources: For hundreds of years the Northern Great Plains \Rocky Mountain area was considered a worthless part of the Great American desert. That is precisely why most of the remaining indigenous peoples of this country were relocated there. Today the new Mexico Indian Environmental Education Project estimates that the Navajos, Hopi, Pueblos, and other western Nations own 100 % of all the coal in Arizona, 40% in New Mexico, 6% in Utah, and 1% in Colorado. Department of Energy (DOE) states Indians hold title to 25% to 50% of all uranium in the country. 1/3 of all low sulfur strippable coal, and 2% of all domestic oil and natural gas. The developing of the west and its natural resources is a sordid story of conquest, broken treaties, corruption, and murder on such a vast scale that it can only be characterized as genocide. In the last century the Indian's land was given to the railroads, exploited for coal & goal.
***Editors note: In November 1980 Congress voted final approval for a massive $19. billion synthetic fuel program & $1 billion for solar energy & conservation programs.
From 1850 - 1870 early robber barons (Jay Gould, Jim Hill) were given vast tracts of land grants (6,400 to 12,800 acres per mile of track laid) totaling an incredible 155 million acres they received millions in government subsidies and bonds, money lined pockets of Congressmen from whence it came as the railroad brought people west & coal, oil & timber east to burgeoning industry.
page 250: Broken Treaties & Genocide: In 1830 the Removal Act was passed by Congress giving legal sanction to the wars of genocide being fought at that time. The Act gave President Jackson the "right" to remove every Indian east of the Mississippi to west of the Mississippi. thousands died or were murdered during this forced march. By the turn of the century, the Indian population had plummeted from 12 million North American Indians at the time of Columbus, to only 235,000. In 1887 the Dawes Allotment Act was passed, removing what land the Indians owned in common by members of the Nation was parceled out among individual owners with the condition that they accept government control over their liver and give up the traditional ways. Each male head of family was to receive 160 acres, each child or dependent family member was allotted 80 acres.
page 251 Under this scheme millions of acres were left over to be grabbed up be the Government and white settlers. In all 188 reservations were divided up. 38 million acres were taken outright by the Government while 22 million acres were declared surplus and opened for settlement. Worse yet, Indian owners were forced to sell and additional 23 million acres between 1887 and 1934 because of inability to pay taxes and mortgage payments and the need to pay off debts and support their families. By 1934 when the Act ended, Indian people had lost almost 2/3 of their land: 90 million acres. But when BIA examined the remaining Indian lands, 14 million acres were found to be critically eroded, 17 million acres severely eroded, and 25 million acres slightly eroded. Not a single acre of the remain 56 million acres were judged to be uneroded! Genocide is not a thing of the past, hundreds of Indian activists have been murdered in recent years. Hundreds of Indian women are sterilized against their wishes, public health clinics & doctors target full-blooded Indian women. From colonial times through the present, Indian children have been forcibly separated from their families and shipped off to boarding schools and foster homes to be raised as whites. The gift of the smallpox-laden blanket Over all 25% of Native women of childbearing age have been sterilized although the total population numbers less than 1 million, in Cheyenne tribe 80% in Puerto Rico @ 1968 1/3
page 252: Leasing Act of the Omnibus Tribal Leasing Act, sanction pillage of the mineral resources the Dawes Act had neglected. Navajo Tribal Council headed by Peter MacDonald, leased oil, natural gas, and helium to energy companies with enormous profits and filled the pockets of a few official tribal leaders at the expense of the tribe. from 1884 until the 1934, Indians were not allowed to own land communally, or to govern their affairs in any way. With the formation of the Navaho Tribal Councils, the governing body could sign over vast tracts of Indian land to companies is testament to the Tribal Reorganization Act of 1934. democracy to the reservation through the tribal structure. Set up under FDR and administered by Commissioner of Indian Affairs Joan Collier. The BIA proclaimed itself trustee of Indian affairs. In 1976 Navajo received $12.8 million in coal royalties, while taxes paid by corporations to Arizona totaled $18.5 million, the state also receives 10.5 million a year in taxes from Navajo coal-fired power plant, while the Navajos get 2.5 million for the coal used, rent, and right of way, they get nothing for the water used to cool the plant, those rights were signed away earlier with the Salt River Project. Navajos get 1/4 less revenue than the state. - smokestacks hopelessly pollute the formerly pristine environment of the reservation. Utah International Inc. pays Navajos same royalty 15 cents per ton same as 22 years ago when treaty signed.
page 253 1924 Citizenship Act By treaty Native Indians are members of a sovereign nation existing within the borders of the US. In reality it is quite different, the reservations are domestic colonies. elected tribal governments are colonial governments under the thumb of the BIA, overseen by the Secretary of the Interior, who can decisions on any aspect of Indian life. The BIA evolved from the arm of the War Department in the late 1700's to an arm of the 1849 Interior Department today. House Committed on Interior & Insular Affairs approve the BIA's budget & expenditures of individual tribal funds from the Treasury. The BIA's original purpose was extinction of the race. Indian water rights guaranteed 1908 Winters Doctrine as much water necessary to irrigate their lands
page 254: Indian People Pay the Price of Energy Development: 1963 start operation of Four Corners coal-fired plant, in 1973 alone plant spewed 383 tons of fly ash, 1,032 tons of sulphur dioxide, and undetermined amount of nitrogen oxide each day Pollution control equipment notwithstanding, the 5 generating plants in the area emit 40 tons of particles a year. 100 times the emissions allowable in Los Angeles County, creating a lethal haze that was the only human-made thing visible on earth to the returning Apollo 15 astronauts. Arizona Public Service President William P. Reilly admitted there was a pollution problem in the area; but that development provided an opportunity for a minority to play a role in or free enterprise system. There are also 5 abandoned uranium processing mills with radioactivity trailing piles totaling 240 acres of over 10 million tons (tailings, sandy remains after uranium ore has been milled out.) Federal governments estimates 85% of the radioactivity of the uranium extracted remains in the trailings. While the 5 mines were producing in the 1950 & 60s the corporations encouraged the Navajo miners to use the trailings to build houses, schools, and other public buildings.
page 255: Uranium: North American Indian 5th largest uranium owning nation in the world. Since 1948, 53,835 tons of uranium, 10% of the world's total. In 1976, 25% of US uranium 308 yellowcake was produced from Indian lands. As of 1978, 1,185,000 acres of Indian land were under lease for uranium exploration & development. Most of US uranium is located in the Wyoming Basin & the Colorado Plateau, which contains New Mexico's Grants Mineral Belt, the largest uranium producing area in the world. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) estimates that New Mexico has 30% of uranium reserves in the country. followed by Wyoming 15%, Colorado 11%, Utah, 14%, Texas 10%, South Dakota, California, Arizona, Nevada, & Washington have 11% scattered among them. The fastest growing area for uranium exploration and mining is Washington, Spokane reservation. Over half of Grant's Mineral Belt is on Indian Land.
page 256 Jackpile mine operated by Anaconda 9ARCO0 on Laguana Pueblo land in New Mexico. open 1950's, it has become the largest open pit mine in the US 5 miles in length, Rio Paguate used to run through valley, now through mill, in 25 years no action to reclaim has been made. The reason, reclamation of radioactive soil is impossible. The mine has produced 80 million tons of uranium 308, devastating 2,800 acres of Pueblo. Mill has left 75 acres (13 million tons) of trailing to the mercy of the desert wind and rain: Labor force for Pueblo is 970, 447 work in mines or mill. The fact five of every seven workers are employed in uranium production may help explain why more than 100 Laguna babies born in recent years suffer from some form of birth defect. The Sacrifice of Indian Miners: Red Rock, home of traditional Navajo Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) 1945, Trinity Test Site in New Mexico confirmed the viability of the atomic bomb. In 1948 the AEC authorized purchase of uranium to stockpile for nuclear weapons, and provided cash incentives for corporations to find as much uranium as they could. Red Rock, no taxes, regulations, or laws regarding mining activities. very cheap labor, ignorant of radioactivity . In the 1960's AEC discontinued its price supports & incentive program. At once the price of uranium dropped to $6.00 a pound. with no more assured profits, the corporations closed their mines, left millions of tons of radioactive tailings, threw hundreds of miners out of work, and left for higher profits in other countries. The General Accounting Office (GAO), says cost of clean up $21 million. Navajos received less than $1 million in total royalty payments..What happened to the miners? Miners were paid $1.60 an hour. had 100 times the level of radioactivity allowed today. In 1965, 2 Navajo miners had died of lung cancer (carcinoma) by 1970, 3, 1974 1,873 more have radiation induced lung cancer a disease unknown among the Navajos before Kerr-McGee
page 258 Ker- McGee representative Bill Phillips told Washington reporter, "I couldn't tell you what happened at some small mines on an Indian Reservation we have uranium interests all over the world." In 1975 3,400 underground miners and 900 stripminers were employed by the uranium industry. Business week November 1, 1977 "Manpower Gap in the Uranium Mines" tells how the Labor Department pays Kerr-McGee to train Navajo miners: By 1990 the uranium industry will need 18,400 underground miners and 4,000 above- ground Kerr-McGee estimated costs $80,000 per miner in training, salary and benefits, as well as the costs for trainees who quit. ...create ample labor force.. Kerr McGee training program Church Rock mine on the Navajo Reservation The $42 million program financed Labor Department expected to turn out 100 Navajo miners annually. Labor Department hopes to alleviate the tribe's chronic unemployment, estimated at 40%
page 259 In 1973 study 3,400 uranium miners, 780 Indian, over a twenty year period, was found that group could expect 600 to 1,100 lung cancer deaths, premature death of one out of six, The primary goal of the energy-exploiting corporations is profit maximization. Through government subsidies, paid for by the taxpayers, even the financial costs of uranium exploration and development are socialized (we have see how the human and environmental costs are socialized), while the profits are monopolized. The Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Recent Catastrophes: Melt down Three Mile Island, brink of nuclear disaster, public lied to about real levels of radioactivity then and now & their long-term health dangers. DOE Grand Junction office administers the National Uranium Resource Evaluation Program (NURE). On site contractor for the program is Bendix Field Engineering Corp with occasional help from USGS, College & University Laboratories. The purpose of NURE is to evaluate all uranium potentials in the country. Funding was $33 million in 1977, $55 million in 1978, and $78 million in 1979. In addition to NURE there is the information and aid provided by the US Geological Survey; NASA's Landsat and other mineral exploration satellites; the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Energy research sections, and guaranteed free liability insurance, subsidies for research and development work, low-cost fuel enrichment for reactors, price guarantees and other direct subsidies. See "Wee Almost Lost Detroit" by John G. Fuller (Reader's Digest Press, 1975) for a look at what happened at Windscale, England in 1957 and at the Fermi I reactor near Detroit Michigan in 1966. Rivals of Three Mile Island: TVA's Brown's Ferry, Alabama 1975, Duane Arnold reactor Cedar Rapids, Iowa in June 1978. United Nuclear mine in Churchrock August 31, 1979 reported over 100 million gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste and 1100 tons of equally radioactive solid waste spilled into the dry river bed of Rio Ruerco River (a tributary of the Little Colorado which flows to the Colorado) when a trailing dam broke open on July 16, 1979. Coursing 80 miles into Arizona before being absorbed by the dry river bed. Hundreds of Navajo families live and graze their livestock near the river. United Nuclear officials knew of cracks in the dam months before the 6,000 foot dam suffered a twenty foot breach, the local papers reported that the normally dry river was overflowing its banks on the day before the spill. The governor of New Mexico decided not to declare the site a disaster
page 261 American Indian Movement (AIM) and Women of All Red Nations (WARN) AIM was born out of dark violence of police brutality and the voiceless despair of injustice in the courts of Minneapolis, said Bill Means of the International Indian Treaty Council. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operation with Respect to Intelligence Activities headed by Senator Frank Church did not include one word about the FBI's policy of terror against AIM, although the infamous Counter Intelligence Program (COINTEL-PRO) was rightly discussed in relation to the Black Panthers & New Left groups. Wounded Knee, 562 arrests, 185 grand jury indictments, only 11 felony convictions were successful. Eighth Circuit where trials took place is 78.2 % conviction rate, the wounded knee conviction rate was 7.7%
page 262: Governmental violence has always followed AIM activity. In 1972 takeover of Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington. In winter of 1973, several hundred Oglala Lakota and AIM supporters from around the country came to Wounded Knee, South Dakota. US responded to their act with armored personnel carriers, helicopters, automatic rifles, and other Vietnam-era weapons. for 71 days no federal police of BIA officials had any authority at Wounded Knee, despite countless gun battles, negotiating sessions, blockage of all food, fuel, and medical supplies. General Custer - Indian Nations - Big Horn Mountains - true account, gold Black Hills of South Dakota, broken treaties, decimation of Great Sioux Reservation, and genocide against the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. Missouri River west to the Powder River hunting grounds into the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains and from the Canadian border south into Nebraska. Part of this land, the western half of South Dakota and part of North Dakota formed the Great Sioux Nation. The 1868 Treaty was to last forever. "for as long as the grass shall grow." forever - 6 years then General George Custer confirmed that large amounts of gold were to be found in the Black Hills. In 1876 US broke treaty & took most of lands in Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota, leaving only a small portion of South Dakota. The sacred Black Hills were annexed for gold mining. In 1886 the "Great Sioux Nation" was reduced to seven small reservations. In winter 1875-76 the Secretary of the Interior declared that any Sioux found off the reservation area would be considered hostile, the army was sent to enforce this. That summer the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho gathered for the sun dance at the Big Horn Mts. It was this camp, said to be the largest gathering of native peoples ever to have taken place in the hemisphere that Custer stumbled upon. Sitting Bull, a Hunkpapa Lakota, and Crazy Horse, and Aglala, led the attack on Custer. White man virtually exterminated the buffalo upon which the Lakota had depended for subsistence. Then came Ghost Dance prophesied return of slaughtered warriors and buffalo and told of coming purification when whites would disappear from earth. Government agents & military saw this as an uprising. Sitting Bull was killed by BIA police, so all Indians in 1890 tried to join Red Cloud's Oglala at Pine Ridge. They were intercepted by Seventy Cavalry at Wounded Knee about 18 miles from Pine Ridge Agency. On December 29, 1890, after disarming the Indians, the Calvary murdered all 300 Lakota men, women, and children. The white press celled it the last "battle" of the "Indian Wars." The US policy of genocide has been so successful that at the time of World War II Hitler is said to have modeled his "final solution" around the colonial Indian policies of the US government as well as those of the British in India. 1951 its uranium in the black hills