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On Heels of NV Energy Announcing Plans to End Use of Coal, Moapa Paiutes to Host 'Coal to Clean Energy' Walk

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Moapa Band of Paiutes to Host ‘Coal to Clean Energy’ Earth Day Walk from Reid Gardner Coal Plant to Moapa Solar Project
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Contact: 
Refugio Mata, refugio.mata@sierraclub.org (805) 428-4075
Elspeth Cordua, elspeth.cordua@sierraclub.org (702) 659-2811

***Media Advisory for Saturday, April 20***

Southern Nevada clean energy supporters will join symbolic walk and rally calling for closing Reid Gardner and expanding renewable energy

MOAPA – Local activists, faith leaders, health advocates, environmentalists and leaders from other Tribes will join the Moapa Band of Paiutes in a 16-mile walk on Earth Day weekend. The walk will showcase the human face of Nevada’s energy transition - with the Moapa Paiutes leading the way.  

For decades, Moapa Paiute families have experienced high levels of asthma attacks, lung disease, heart disease and cancer they believe is related to the coal pollution coming from the Reid Gardner power plant. The plant is located immediately adjacent to their community on the Moapa River Reservation. 

A year ago, Moapa Paiutes walked 50 miles over three days from their reservation to Las Vegas to protest the Reid Gardner coal plant’s pollution and bring attention to the tribe’s efforts to develop solar energy. This year’s ‘Coal to Clean Energy’ walk will culminate at the site of the 350-megawatt solar project on the Moapa Paiute Reservation that is now slated to break ground later this summer. Allison Chin, national President of the Sierra Club, will join tribal leaders to celebrate the Moapa Paiutes’ accomplishments in their continued journey to move Southern Nevada beyond coal. NV Energy recently announced plans to close the plant entirely by 2017.

The ‘Coal to Clean Energy’ walk will take place in two waves that will converge on Saturday at 3 p.m. A group of Moapa Paiute residents will be leaving from their community at dawn to walk the full sixteen miles from Reid Gardner to the solar project site. In the afternoon, supporters will gather at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza (I-15 exit 75, Valley of Fire) to walk to the solar site, meeting the all-day walkers for a 3 p.m. rally. Walkers will be holding solar panel rally signs and form a symbolic ‘”human solar installation.”

WHAT: Moapa Paiutes Coal to Clean Energy Walk

WHO: Moapa Paiutes Chairman William Anderson, Sierra Club President Allison Chin, other Tribal leaders, Moapa community families affected by Reid Gardner pollution, representatives from members of Congress, and other clean energy supporters

WHEN: Saturday, April 20. Main rally will start 3:00 p.m. at future site of Moapa Solar installation; allow time to walk or drive to rally on dirt roads (see below)

WHERE: Full walk starts at 6:00 a.m. at the Moapa Community Tribal Council building, close to Reid Gardner coal plant.  Second group will start at 1:30 p.m. from Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza, Exit 75 on I-15. Both groups will converge at future site of Moapa Solar Project for main rally and speakers at 3:00 pm. The solar project site is accessible from the Travel Plaza via local dirt road. The Moapa Tribal Police will offer shuttle via SUV to people who are unable to walk and to reporters who require vehicle access.

VISUALS: Pow-wow singer, Victory Song, Paiute Round Dance, speakers addressing supporters, rally signs, and bright yellow "Beyond Coal" T-shirts. “Human solar installation” both at early morning starting point (with Reid Gardner coal plant in background) and at afternoon main rally.

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