Navajo leaders look for way to keep mine, power plant open

Power Plant (Stock Image)

PHOENIX (AP) – Navajo Nation political leaders are planning to ask the federal government for subsidies to keep a mine and generating station in northern Arizona open.

The Arizona Republic reports that the current owners of the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station say it is not currently profitable and voted recently to run it until the end of 2019 and then give up ownership.

Closing the power plant would lead to the closure of the Kayenta Mine. Losing both operations would hurt the economies of the Navajo and Hopi tribes, whose members depend on the facilities for jobs, government revenues and free coal to heat homes.

Navajo leaders are considering a plan to have the federal government subsidize the price of cold sold from the mine to the power plant so the plant can be as cost-effective as natural gas.