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Navajo Nation’s new energy policy could see shift from coal

Navajo Generating Station (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation will consider rescinding its current energy policy and shifting expected revenues from coal production to renewable energy sources.

“The time has come for the Navajo Nation to begin the movement from coal source revenues to more sustainable and renewable energy sources,” according to a bill proposing the changes.

The current energy policy, which took effect in October 2013, sets the standard for the exploration, development, sustainable management and use of energy resources on tribal lands, including coal mining and renewable energy development.

If the proposal is enacted, the Navajo Nation Department of Justice would draft a new energy policy.

The bill also calls for creating a task force to provide recommendations for replacing tribal revenues due to the closure of the Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine in Arizona. The coal-fired power plant near Page, Ariz., is scheduled to cease operations in December.

Task force members also would provide recommendations for helping displaced coal mine and power plant workers with job training, placement services and priority hiring for reclamation and decommissioning work at the coal mine and power plant.

The group would examine the mining and power plant sites for reclamation and re-purposing suggestions.