Navajo Lawmakers Put Off Vote On Coal Plant Lease

Apr 18, 2013

Navajo Nation lawmakers have put off voting on a lease extension for a coal-fired power plant until later this month.

The lawmakers took the action Wednesday after questioning water use at the Navajo Generating Station in Page, how to control pollution, the federal government's role in the plant and the formation of a negotiating team.

The agreement would extend the lease that expires in 2019 to 2044 and boost payments to the tribe from $3 million a year to $43 million a year.

Navajo President Ben Shelly had urged the lawmakers to approve the lease. He says further negotiations would be detrimental to workers at the power plant and coal miners.

Any changes to the agreement also would have to be approved by the owners of the power plant.