From the Open-Publishing Calendar
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Indybay Feature
Sat Jan 28 2006
Native Americans Protest Power Plant Construction In Medicine Lake Highlands
Medicine Lake Highlands Power Plant Protest
On January 27th, Native Americans and their supporters from across the country gathered at the Calpine energy company headquarters in San Jose to protest the company’s proposed plans to build power plants and drill for geothermal energy in the culturally important Medicine Lake Highlands, located in Northeastern California. The tribal members and supporters demand that Calpine immediately cease and desist from its proposed energy extraction plans as this would devastate the Native cultural and natural environmental landscape around Medicine Lake.

The Highlands comprises the largest shield volcano on this continent and is home to many rare birds and animals that live in the lava tubes, obsidian flows, old-growth forests and craters. The spring waters in this area are some of the clearest and cleanest in the country. This area, used since time immemorial for healing, ceremony and other cultural purposes by Native peoples, is sacred to the tribes of the Pit River, Modoc, Shasta, Karuk, Wintu and many others. Calpine has federal energy development leases that cover eight square miles, and if built a nine-story high power plant complex would annually produce tons of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas and other heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury. The sacred and natural area would be clearcut to make space to build toxic slump ponds, roads, pipelines, cooling towers, and the tallest building in northeastern California, which would be fully lit around the clock. This project threatens the underlying aquifer which is California’s largest spring system. Native peoples, homeowners, environmentalists and other concerned citizens have been opposing this project since it was first proposed. Ironically, the geothermal energy extracted from the area would be bought and sold as “green energy”
International Indian Treaty Council Statement | |
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Related Categories: Environment & Forest Defense

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