Saving the coal-fired power plant will provide the coal royalties for the Hopi Tribe.
The aging Navajo Generating Station that directly supports hundreds of jobs is reportedly looking to President Trump to keep running through 2019.
The Washington Times reported:
“An aging power plant in remote Arizona could offer the Trump administration a unique opportunity: the chance to back up its rhetoric about saving the U.S. coal industry with concrete action.
The federal government could be the last, best hope to save the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired facility on Navajo Nation land near the Arizona-Utah border that is key to providing water for much of the region, directly supports hundreds of jobs and is the sole customer for a nearby Peabody Energy coal mine.
The Bureau of Reclamation, which owns a 24 percent stake in the project, is desperately seeking a path forward as other owners of the facility head for the exits. Those other owners — four Western utility companies — argue that the generating station is no longer economically viable and, as structured, would run at a $100 million annual loss each year after 2019.
The Navajo Nation is negotiating with the bureau and other owners to keep the plant running through 2019, when its lease expires, and then begin decommissioning. If an agreement can’t be reached, the Navajo Generating Station could shut down this year.
Even if the plant survives and closes in 2019, the consequences will be devastating and far-reaching. The mine that feeds the plant sits on Hopi Tribe land, and the tribe depends on coal royalties for about 85 percent of its annual budget.
“That’s our lifeline. I don’t sleep very well at night. We’ve got to do something,” Hopi Chairman Herman G. Honanie told The Washington Times last week.”
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