The mercury had hit 108°F and was still rising; the heat wave would end up shattering records across the Southwest, grounding planes in Phoenix and contributing to at least 12 deaths from heatstroke.
"But to what extent is the nation going to be able to make up $45 million?
"The paradox of coal mining and burning on the Navajo Nation isn't all that dissimilar to what other impoverished communities across the United States are struggling with: Communities acquiesce to harmful industries because they are desperate for money and jobs, then become reliant on those industries and eventually find it difficult, if not impossible, to break away and chart a new economic course, as reliance has turned into dependence.
IT WAS STILL SPRING WHEN THE WATER became scarce on Black Mesa this year, an early heat wave to blame.
The raging sun drove the sheep and cows to drink all day, tapping out the rain barrels.
Between 30 and 40 percent of the Navajos' annual budget (and as much as 80 percent of the Hopis' in some years) comes from the lease payments and other revenue generated by the NGS and the Kayenta Mine.