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PRESIDENT BEGAYE STATEMENT ON MEETING AT INTERIOR DEPARTMENT REGARDING NAVAJO GENERATING STATION

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Secretary Zinke stopped by an Interior meeting today with Navajo Leadership and expressed his support of keeping the NGS plant open.

Washington D.C.- The Department of Interior convened a meeting with Navajo
Generating Station (NGS) owners, stakeholders and government officials in order to determine the fate of NGS, address coal prices and seek ways to keep the power plant open.

President Russell Begaye said in a statement:

“The primary goals of the Navajo Nation are to renew our lease and explore all ways to keep the Navajo Generating Station open until 2029. To shut down prematurely will create a devastating impact for Navajo, as over 40% of our entire budget and infrastructure is tied to revenues generating from both NGS as well as the Kayenta mine.

“Should NGS close, we are asking the Department of Interior to guaranteed access to transmission lines for development purposes. We are exploring options to develop solar, wind and other renewables of which we will need access to the transmission lines on our land in order to export it. Additionally we would like to assume the rights to water and minerals on our land. Currently, we have no rights to minerals beneath our soil. As we seek economic independence, we would like rights to the Uranium, coal and other minerals beneath our soil.

“Lastly, we are imploring both the owners of NGS which include Salt River Project as well as the Federal Government to employ our highly skilled people within their operations. Due to the rural area that NGS is located in, it is unlikely for our people to find replacement jobs that match their skill set.”

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