The inside story of corruption and fraud in the U.S. Department of the Interior during the over-zealous reign of Interior Secretary James Watt. The book by a former Interior Department official was praised by The Washington Post: "This is a tart account of scandal in high places and of successful citizens opposition to federal policies that ignore their wishes. [It is] the story of citizen resistance to the department's attempted leasing of coal deposits in the Chaco region of northwestern New Mexico. Among the actors in this contemporary morality play were traditional Navajos, who battled to save their land from the insults of strip-mining; the Government Accounting Office, which charged the department with leasing publicly-owned coal for a fraction of its real value [and] James Watt, the man every conservationist loved to hate."
New Mexico's Chaco region, in the energy-rich Four Corners Area, is the home of more than 22,000 traditional Navajo Indians adamantly opposed to strip mining their land. The Chaco is also the center of a now-vanished prehistoric civilization whose spectacular masterplanned cities and engineered roads were only recently discovered.
It is here that the U.S. public owns more than 30 billion tons of coal under a semi-desert landscape that the National Academy of Sciences warns it may become a "national sacrifice area" through indiscriminate strip mining.
|Publisher:||Rhombus Publishing Company|
About the Author
A journalist with more than 50 years experience in local, regional, national and international news reporting and editing, Jeff Radford is a former Associated Press World Service editor and writer. His reports have been published in leading newspapers and magazines throughout the world.
He was recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to Venezuela in 1964, and an Inter-American Press Association fellowship to Brazil in 1971. He served as an international observer for South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997. In 1982, Radford founded a semi-monthly community newspaper in Corrales, New Mexico. His series of articles on toxic chemical emissions from microchip factories won a Society of Professional Journalists' award for best investigative environmental writing in 2011.
His 1984 book,The Chaco Coal Scandal, was praised by the Washington Post as “a tart account of scandal in high places and of successful citizen opposition to federal policies that ignore their wishes.” Radford is currently working on a book about America's troubled efforts to dispose of nuclear waste lethal for tens of thousands of years. He has closely followed related issues since 1973 when he reported on cutting-edge research from the UN Environment Program headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a degree in journalism and a master's degree in Latin American studies.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: How the Public Thwarted James Watt
Chapter 2: Plain Facts in the "Incredibly Complex" San Juan Basin
Chapter 3: Strip Mining Navajo Lands
Chapter 4: Profiteering on the Public Lands
Chapter 5: But the Public Expresses its "Public Interest"
Chapter 6: A Planned Disaster
Chapter 7: Watt's Giveaway
Chapter 8: Changing the Regulations and Hiding from the Public
Chapter 9: Land Grab for a Power Plant
Chapter 10: Gateway Mine: Destruction to Make a Point
Chapter 11: Democracy at Work
Chapter 12: Crackdown at Interior
Chapter 13: The Coal Program Rolls On
Chapter 14: Battles Still Ahead