Energy - Header
Tim Peterson

Energy - Preventing Uranium Contamination

Energy - Preventing Uranium Contamination
Blake McCord

Preventing Uranium Contamination

We safeguard the Colorado Plateau’s iconic landscapes from destructive uranium mining and milling.

In partnership with a broad coalition, we won a 20-year ban on new uranium mines within the Grand Canyon watershed. We continue to advocate for the closure and timely clean-up of existing uranium mines, and we work to ensure that the White Mesa uranium mill complies with the laws and regulations designed to protect public and environmental health. 

Zombie Mines - Sign Our Petition

Protect the Grand Canyon from new uranium mines

Energy - Protection Utah

  • The use of our federal public lands – such as these – for oil shale and tar sands mining threatens to destroy the Colorado Plateau’s iconic landscapes.

    Tim Peterson
  • Strip mining for tar sands requires removal (and destruction) of the land surface – a practice often analogized to mountain top removal for coal. 

    Taylor McKinnon
  • Over 810,000 acres of federal land in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming are available for oil shale and tar sands mining, threatening to irreparably degrade land, water, and air.

    Robin Silver
  • For decades, industry has failed to make oil shale and tar sands mining economically viable.  These unconventional fuels are the bottom of the barrel – the worst oil in the West’s best places. 

    Robin Silver
  • Oil shale and tar sands development near the Green River, along with oil and gas development in the Uinta Basin, threaten water quality and quantity throughout the Colorado River Basin. 

    Taylor McKinnon
  • The Trust’s Energy Program works to keep landscapes like this free of oil shale and tar sands, keeping these dirty fuels in the ground where they belong. 

    Ray Bloxham

Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Trust is working to curb greenhouse gas emissions on the Colorado Plateau by opposing oil shale and tar sand mining, preventing methane waste from oil and gas development, and reducing emissions from coal fired power plants. Our climate work recognizes that the plateau’s off-the-charts contributions to climate change via large-scale carbon-intensive energy production stand in stark contrast to the plateau’s well-known extreme susceptibility to climate change. 

Energy - Slideshow

  • Photovoltaic installation on the Navajo Nation with Shonto Energy and Colby College volunteers, Spring 2014.

    Andrew Mount
  • Assembling photovoltaic panels with Shonto Energy and Colby College volunteers, Spring 2014.

    Andrew Mount
  • An off-grid solar system installation at the home of Paula Curtis near Leupp, Arizona on the Navajo Nation.

    Amanda Voisard
  • 80KW solar photovoltaic system being installed at Leupp High School, Leupp, Arizona.

    Daniel Snyder
  • A happy crowd stands in front of a 40KW solar system installed at St. Michael's Indian School.

    Daniel Snyder

Promoting Climate Solutions

An agreement in 2005 between the Trust and owners of a coal-fired power plant provided $5 million in renewable energy grants for homes, schools, and community buildings located on the Navajo, Hopi, Hualapai, and Zuni reservations. More than 200 solar, wind, and energy efficiency projects received funding for materials, while supporting partners covered labor and other costs.

Energy Blog


More than 275,000 pounds of radioactive materials imported from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency headed to Utah's White Mesa Mill.

Read More

Developer's attempt to dam a canyon near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers halted.

Read More

White Mesa Ute community leaders testify in Washington D.C. about how Utah's White Mesa uranium mill, near Bears Ears, affects their lives.

Read More

Energy - Our Role

Our Role

We protect the Colorado Plateau from destructive impacts of energy development. We oppose the extraction and use of the Plateau’s high carbon fuels – oil shale, tar sands, and coal. We work to prevent uranium mining and milling from harming the Plateau’s air, water, and land. We advocate for the Plateau’s transition towards wind and solar energy sources.

Our Solutions Title

Our Solutions

Energy - Our Solutions

Oppose Uranium

We oppose uranium contamination and ensure that operating companies comply with federal environmental laws. We are litigating to force the White Mesa uranium mill – the only operating uranium mill in the United States – to comply with the Clean Air Act. We defend Grand Canyon against new uranium mines and push for the closure of existing mines on the South Rim.


Oppose Dirty Energy

The Colorado Plateau is ground zero in the battle to keep dirty energy in the ground. Strip mining oil shale and tar sand deposits threatens to decimate northeastern Utah, and takes the country in the wrong direction. We are leading efforts to prevent the Plateau’s federal public land, air, and water resources from being destroyed by oil shale and tar sand mining.

Support Renewables

Renewable energy is a critically important part of replacing carbon intensive fuels and diversifying regional economies. We help to develop renewable energy policies and projects to reduce harmful emissions and to assist communities in their transition away from coal. We fund solar, wind and energy efficiency projects in collaboration with partners and volunteers.

Home - Call to action - Become a Member

Help safeguard the Grand Canyon.
Copyright © 2024 Grand Canyon Trust