At what cost was this bonus?

The March 6 issue of the Navajo Hopi Observer features a proud picture of Chairman Wayne Taylor Jr. accepting a $1.7 million bonus check. The caption reads: “Hopi earns bonus for coal generation performance.

My question is—what did our Chairman and Deanna Etnire, leader of the Hopi Energy Team, do to “earn” the money?

I do know that they worked hard to keep Mohave Generation Station (MGS) open by promising more coal at a very cheap price.

This is what they said to regulators of MGS:

“Hopi Tribe could present testimony…that could result in an even…lower coal cost” and “[t]he Hopi Tribe has no interest in negotiating itself into a position that leaves MGS an uneconomic provider of electricity…”

In other words our government wants to keep selling our coal at dirt-cheap prices at less than $1 per ton and less than one penny per gallon of water! This is not my idea of “earning.” It is throwing away a valuable resource. The $1.7 million is for increased coal production: that means mining of more coal and pumping of more N-aquifer water to transport that coal.

Here all this time I thought all of us are working to reduce and ultimately stop use of N-aquifer water completely!

Now I am skeptical. It seems to me that our Chairman and Council is not sincere in saving water, only in making more easy money at our expense using our resources.

Some of us are now beginning to wonder if all the hoopla about this bonus check is an indication that Peabody and energy companies are trying to influence the outcome of the election for Chairman.

Valjean Joshevema Jr.

Polacca, AZ

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