The Hopi Nation’s Tribal Council is telling the Sierra Club and other environmental groups they’re not welcome on the reservation anymore and for good reason:

Tina May, a council spokeswoman, said council members meeting in Kykotsmovi unanimously adopted a resolution declaring that the conservation groups are unwelcome on Hopi lands because they have damaged the tribe’s economy by pushing for closure of a coal-fired power plant near Page.

The resolution says environmentalists have “spread misinformation” about Hopi water and energy resources, attempting to “instill unfounded fears into the hearts and minds of Hopi public.””

While the Hopis won’t arrest environmentalists for entering the reservation, the point was quite clear: Radical environmentalists are going to bankrupt their tribe. And it’s been an ongoing process according to Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic: “In 2005, environmentalists succeeded in closing the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nev. The Hopis claim that shutdown cost the tribe more than $6.5 million per year, and closure of Navajo Generating Station would wipe out another $11 million.”

Without the coal plant and the coal mines providing for hundreds of families, “The tribe would essentially be penniless,” said tribal council member Scott Canty. Whether or not the plant creates the smoggy skies the environmental groups say it does, this is an issue of prioritization. While it does raise a “polluter pays” issue, is it acceptable to forcefully bankrupt a community by spreading misinformation and completely shutting down coal plants and coal mines?

This isn’t just about the Hopi; this will occur all over the country to small towns relying on the coal, gas and oil industries to fuel their economy if the government implements cap and trade. And the Hopi, like most Americans, aren’t anti-environment yet by the account of one Hopi council member, the environmentalist extremists have “done so much to damage our tribal reputation and to violate our civil rights. As tribal members, we are all environmentalists because we’re supposed to take care of Mother Earth.”

We should take care of the environment but not at the expense of fundamental economic well-being. In fact, it’s economic growth that allows us to improve and protect the environment while providing affordable electricity to power our homes.