Hopi Chairman clarifies position on proposed use of SO2 credits

Hopi Tribal Chairman Ben Nuvamsa has clarified his position on what should be done with the value of the SO2 credits that will accrue to Southern California Edison as a result of the closure of the Mohave Generating Station.

According to the Black Mesa Trust's most recent press release, Black Mesa Trust proposes "that the value of SCE's 56-percent share of the credits be divided four ways, with shares going to the Hopi, the Navajo, the Colorado Plateau Clean Energy Initiative, and a legal defense fund. The share for Hopi would go to the proposed Charitable Trust Fund, a permanent community trust fund for Hopi and Navajo communities on Black Mesa; Elder Care, a proposal to build a rest home on Hopi for the people at whose expense Californians were able to enjoy relatively cheap electricity since 1970; and Black Mesa Trust to support its efforts to safeguard the lands and waters of Black Mesa while carrying messages of water to the world."

The article states, "The Black Mesa Trust proposal has the endorsement of Hopi Tribal Chairman Ben Nuvamsa."

A statement of clarification from the Chairman's office says Chairman Nuvamsa is still evaluating the best application of any proceeds from the sale of SCE's SO2 credits.  The Chairman does believe that instead of distributing the proceeds to the "rate payers" in California (SCE's customers), the money should come back to the Hopi-Navajo region, back to the owners of the resource, the people who provided this valuable resource in the first place but who have been so severely undercompensated over the last several decades.

"I appreciate conceptually with what Black Mesa Trust is advocating, though I am not yet ready to make any endorsements of any of the many proposals regarding the proceeds of the SO2 credits.  I support the concept of returning the value to the people of Hopi and Navajo, not to California 'rate payers,'" Chairman Nuvamsa said.

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