Local chapter houses meet to discuss impacts of NGS closure
TWIN ARROWS, Ariz. — On Oct. 25, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer attended the Navajo Generating Station Impact Chapters Town Hall update and coordination meeting at the Twin Arrows Casino Resort in Twin Arrows, Arizona.
In attendance were chapter officials and community members from the impacted 12 chapters, and members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, Rickie Nez, Paul Begay, Vince James, Pernell Halona, Jimmy Yellowhair, Jamie Henio, Thomas Walker, Jr. and Otto Tso.
The meeting’s intent was to collect feedback from impacted chapters in regards to asset retainments, future plans of development, funding resources, decommissioning concerns, reviewing of assets needed for chapters, planning the usage of buildings and addressing the relocation of families that left the Navajo Nation for jobs.
During his address, Nez cited the “Navajo Háyoołkááł (Sunrise) Proclamation,” which states that the Nez-Lizer Administration will pursue and prioritize renewable energy development for the long-term benefit of the Navajo people. The Háyoołkááł Work Group focuses on energy initiatives and other issues, including the 500 megawatts of transmission line capacity, which is part of several NGS assets that will be transferred to the Nation upon the closure of the power plant.
Nez also thanked the Council members for supporting approximately $664,000 in the FY2020 Comprehensive Budget to establish the new Energy Office under the Division of Natural Resources to serve as the “clearinghouse” for energy development and future initiatives.
Other presentations included an introduction of the “Navajo Thaw Implantation” plan, which addresses infrastructure, community, and economic development of nine Navajo Chapter areas in the area commonly known as the Former Bennett Freeze Area.
In August 2019, Nez, Lizer and Acting Director of the Navajo Veterans Administration James D. Zwierlein met with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, to continue the development of housing manufacturing facilities on the Navajo Nation. They visited the site of the first potential housing manufacturing facility in the community of Tuba City, Arizona.
Nez and Lizer expressed their appreciation to the cabinet members, JT Willlie, Division of Economic Development Director, Dr. Pearl Yellowman, Division of Community Development Director, Lomardo Aseret, Division of General Services Director, Dr. Rudy Shebala, Division of Natural Resources Director, and Robert Black, Jr., Navajo Hopi Land Commission Executive Director for coordinating the town hall and responding to questions, recommendations and concerns provided by local leaders and community members.
Information provided by the Office of the President and Vice President