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Navajo Nation meets with White House officials

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President and Speaker advocate continuing operation of Navajo Generating Station

WASHINGTON D.C. — Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Speaker LoRenzo Bates of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council met with top White House officials Nov. 14 to advocate and reaffirm their support for the continued operations of the Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine.

Recently, Begaye and Bates directed Navajo Transitional Energy Company 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 seven-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 and 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 Wednesday and Thursday 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.

Speaker 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.”

Staff Reports