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Federal Officials Discuss Future of Navajo Generating Station

Daniel Schwen
Creative Commons

Officials with the U.S. Interior Department hosted a meeting Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future, if any, of the Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona.

Owners of the coal-fired power plant – which faces stiff competition from cheap natural gas – plan to close it by the end of 2019. That’s when its current lease agreement with the Navajo Nation expires. But the power plant and associated Kayenta coal mine employ about 800 people, many of them Navajo or Hopi, and pay significant royalties to both tribes. Navajo President Russell Begaye, Speaker LoRenzo Bates, Hopi Tribal Chairman Herman Honanie and other stakeholders met with Acting Deputy Interior Secretary James Cason to discuss options. Cason suggested they try to find possible new owners. The group will meet again in April.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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