Members of the Moapa Band of Paiutes are leading the way on a 16-mile march this Earth Day weekend, their goal to “showcase the human face of Nevada’s energy transition” from coal to solar power, as the Sierra Club put it.
Asthma, lung disease, heart disease and cancer have plagued the community for decades, ills they attribute to pollution from the coal-powered Reid Gardner energy plant.
This follows the 50-mile walk that took three days last year, when they marched from the Moapa River Reservation to Last Vegas to protest the use of coal-powered energy. (Related: Moapa Paiute March 50 Miles in Anti-Coal Protest)
This year they celebrate a victory on that front, drawing attention to the tribe’s solar-energy plans with a walk celebrating Nevada Energy’s recent announcement that the Reid Gardner coal plant will close by 2017. (Related: Moapa Paiutes Find Solar Solution Amid Coal Ash Plague)
Two groups are marching, and they are slated to converge at 1:30 p.m. at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza to walk together to the solar site and meet the earlier walkers for a 3 p.m. rally at the site of the new solar development being built by the Moapa Paiute. (Related: Maopa Solar Farm Enters $1.6 Billion Deal to Power Los Angeles Homes)
The Sierra Club’s national president is joining the tribal leaders “to celebrate the Moapa Paiutes’ accomplishments in their continued journey to move Southern Nevada beyond coal,” the statement said. The rally will be marked by a pow wow victory song, Paiute Round Dance, speakers and “Beyond Coal” t-shirts.