Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates is calling for Arizonans to vote “no” on Proposition 127, citing possible economic strain and infringement of the tribe’s sovereignty.
If passed, the constitutional amendment would require electric utility companies to source 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Bates argues the deadline is not realistic for Navajo Nation, which is reliant on coal-based facilities for employment and government revenue.
If the amendment fails, electric utility companies would continue the current requirement of reaching 15 percent by 2025. “This is a much more realistic approach for the Navajo Nation and the entire state,” Bates said in a statement.
Bates also made note of the recently opened Kayenta Solar Facility that now powers an estimated 18,000 homes — an expansion that began in August is expected to double the amount of serviced homes.
The Navajo Nation Council passed a resolution in July formally opposing Proposition 127, marking concern for an increase in electric bills for low-income and fixed-income families.