Begaye and Bates meet with White House officials to advocate for NGS

The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station provides almost 1,000 jobs between the plant and the mine that supplies it, but the plant’s operators plan to shut it down in December 2019. (Photo by Amber Brown/Courtesy SRP)

The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station provides almost 1,000 jobs between the plant and the mine that supplies it, but the plant’s operators plan to shut it down in December 2019. (Photo by Amber Brown/Courtesy SRP)

WASHINGTON — Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates met with top White House officials Nov. 14 to advocate and reaffirm their support for the continued operations of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and Kayenta Mine.

Recently, Begaye and Bates directed Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) to explore options for the potential purchase of NGS and the continued operation of Kayenta Mine beyond 2019. NTEC is a for-profit entity wholly owned by the Navajo Nation. It owns the Navajo Mine and holds a 7 percent ownership interest in the Four Corners Power Plant in northwest New Mexico.

“We are confident that NTEC has the knowledge, expertise and resources to put forth a strategy to acquire NGS and continue operations at Kayenta Mine,” Begaye said. “Our top priority has always been to secure as many jobs as possible for our Navajo people, their families and to provide stable revenue for our Nation for years to come.”

NTEC CEO Clark Moseley joined the Nation’s leaders as they met with officials from the White House Intergovernmental Affairs Office, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the White House National Economic Council, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of the Interior and Congressional leadership in the Nation’s capital.

“NTEC is currently working to evaluate all possible avenues to ensure the continued operations of Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine past 2019,” Moseley said. “This is a very complex matter with numerous moving pieces and we are examining all potential strategies to meet the goals of the Navajo Nation. I’m very confident that we have a diligent path forward.”

Moseley added that the Navajo-owned enterprise could potentially provide advantages that outside companies cannot, including tax incentives.

Bates said the ongoing discussions involving NTEC require the current NGS owners to negotiate in good faith and to work cooperatively throughout the process.

“The benefits of NGS and Kayenta Mine extend well beyond the Navajo Nation,” Bates said. “The Hopi Tribe, the counties and the entire state of Arizona benefit from these operations and we need support and cooperation from every level of government to proceed on this path.”

Information provided by Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President

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