To the editor:
Media coverage of the heated debate surrounding the unexpectedly early closure of the Navajo Generating Station has focused, understandably, on the most direct impacts of the potential decommissioning: loss of jobs, revenue, and economic opportunity in tribal communities and throughout the state at large.
Closure of the Navajo Generating Station would be a devastating blow to tribal communities, killing thousands of jobs and cutting off a vital cornerstone of the revenue that feeds their annual budgets.
The reported loss of $18 billion from Arizona’s gross state product and $600 to $700 million in tax revenue is also eye-catching.
The Navajo Generating Station has also played an important role in maintaining the landscape and Colorado River. Its output reduced the need for hydroelectric dams on the river, and has helped keep the rapids on the Colorado vibrant.
As owners of Canyoneers, the oldest Colorado River rafting company in the Grand Canyon, the rapids in the beautiful Colorado River have helped my family to make a good living. I’m thankful that the Navajo Generating Station has enabled thousands of others to do the same.
I hope, as I continue to watch the debate play out in the community and on the pages of the newspaper, that everyone takes a moment to recognize what this power plant means to thousands of people like me.
And I hope they’ll decide that the Navajo Generating Station needs to stay open for many years to come.
Joy Staveley, Canyoneers owner