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KNAU and Arizona News

Navajo Leaders Meet with White House Officials to Prevent NGS Closure

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Ryan Heinsius
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The Navajo Nation is continuing to pursue the purchase of the Navajo Generating Station ahead of its planned closure next year. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, tribal leaders met with White House officials this week in an effort to save the coal-fired plant.

President Russell Begaye and Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates sat down with representatives from the Trump administration as well as the departments of Energy and Interior, among others. They’re attempting to work out the complex deal in the limited time left before the current owners of NGS begin decommissioning.

The tribally owned Navajo Transitional Energy Company is exploring options to buy the plant after two investment firms pulled out of the deal. Navajo officials say the tribe could offer tax incentives that private buyers aren’t able to promise.

The closures of both NGS and the nearby Kayenta Mine, which supplies it threaten Navajo and Hopi government revenue.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and other officials have advocated for keeping NGS open. It remains the only power plant in the U.S. co-owned by the federal government.

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