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Published On: Thu, Feb 23rd, 2012

The $20 billion hit on Navajo Generating Station

Weekly Edition | February 23, 2012 | By: Editor

Phoenix, AZ –Today Congressman Jeff Flake of the Arizona 6th district, said on the Barry Young show (550 KFYI) Arizona would see a spike in water and power cost if the Navajo Generating Station closes. Mr. Flake also said the Navajo people would loose jobs and the Navajo Nation could get hit hard to a already weak economy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed some rule changes, therefore these changes effect the Navajo Generating Station. These proposed emission rule changes is to create less haze for national parks, which would force the plant to install new emissions controls that could cost more than $1.1 billion.

Navajo President Ben Shelly echoed the same concerned, a leader of one of the biggest Tribes in the United States, who applauded a study that shows Arizona’s economy could take a $20 billion hit and lose more than 100,000 jobs if Navajo Generating Station were to close, according to a university study conducted by L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carney School of Business at Arizona State University

“I’m happy this study was released. We have known for a long time Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta Mine had larger economic impacts than just locally. Now we have evidence to prove what we thought,” said the Navajo President.

The study outlined an economic impact study entitled “Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine: An Economic Impact” that examined the economic contributions the 2,250 mega-watt Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine made to the state.

According to the study, It shows that both operations cumulatively account for 112,720 job years during 2011-2044. This equates to almost $20.5 billion in real (gross state product), approximately $11.2 billion in real disposable income, and just under $680 million in adjusted state tax revenues,” according to the study.

Whats at stake? Jobs, Jobs, Jobs-

Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine employs nearly 540 people, who supplies coal to the plant, employs about 440 people. The mine and the generating station are both located on the Navajo Nation.

Salt River Project said installing such technology could force the plant to close, leaving nearly 1,000 people, mostly Navajo, out of work.

The Navajo Nation would also loose millions of dollars in leasing and royalty fees. The Navajo Nation receives about $25 million a year from the power plant and the mine in royalties and lease fees.

“This is just more than a job for these people, it’s a form of self sufficiency. For a long time, we have talked about becoming a self sufficient tribal nation, these people who work at the power plant and the mine are living examples of self sufficiency,” said President Shelly.

Jeff Flake, presently serving his sixth term in Congress, represents the Sixth Congressional District of Arizona. This district includes parts of Mesa and Chandler and all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and Apache Junction. Jeff serves on the House Committee on Appropriations.


Displaying 3 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Ron Taylor says:

    Wasitchues with drunken behavior in public offices should be deported.

  2. Who is benefiting from the closure. This is a terrible thing to do in our distressed economy. Lets do what we can to preserve these jobs.

  3. Len Necefer says:

    The cost of emission compliance is less than a shut down for the companies.

    directly from the NREL report:
    “The basic costs of installing SCRs at Navajo
    GS would likely be less than the basic costs of
    shutting it down and replacing it with power from
    unused capacity elsewhere in the West.”

    “The cost burden of additional retrofits would
    probably fall more heavily on CAP water users
    than it would on customers of any of the five
    utilities that own shares of Navajo GS. Replacing
    the plant would likely result in an even greater
    impact disparity”

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The $20 billion hit on Navajo Generating Station