House Engrossed

 

 

 

 

State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fourth Legislature

First Regular Session

2019

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 2001

 

 

 

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

 

Expressing support for the continuation of the Navajo generating station.

 

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE).

 


Whereas, the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), located on tribal trust lands leased from the Navajo Nation, has historically provided reliable and cost‑effective electricity to customers in Arizona, California and Nevada by operating a 2,250 megawatt power station burning low sulfur bituminous coal from the Peabody Western Coal Company's Kayenta Mine, both of which employ hundreds of workers and contribute millions of dollars to the economy on an annual basis; and

Whereas, the NGS is a significant source of employment and revenue for members of the Navajo Nation and, through the Kayenta coal mine that supplies coal for the NGS, for members of the Hopi Tribe as well.  Coal mining operations also contribute $92 million each year in wages, benefits, royalties, business transactions and scholarships; and

Whereas, in February 2017, the remaining owners of the NGS announced that they would not operate the NGS after the current lease ends December 22, 2019; and

Whereas, in June 2017, the Navajo Nation Council approved an extension lease between the Navajo Nation and Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service Company, Tucson Electric Power and NV Energy, which allows NGS operations through December 2019 and decommissioning of the NGS and remediation of the NGS site thereafter; and

Whereas, given the negative consequences to this state, the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe and local governments of the cessation of the NGS and Kayenta mining operations, the Navajo Nation began an extensive search for a potential new owner for the NGS.  The Naabik'yti' Committee of the Navajo Nation Council also issued an official resolution that passed overwhelmingly on December 27, 2018, supporting the ongoing effort to find a new owner for the NGS; and

Whereas, all people have a right to self-determination and a right to work to their collective good with the blessings bestowed on them by the grace of God; and

Whereas, the Legislature has a longstanding history of collaboration and cooperation on matters that promote the enhanced quality of life of the citizens of the State of Arizona and the United States; and

Whereas, there remains a question of law regarding the authority of operators to decommission the NGS before the congressionally mandated decommissioning date of December 22, 2044; and

Whereas, the shut down of the NGS would have a devastating effect on the local economy, including lost tax revenue to the Arizona budget and both a direct and indirect economic impact of billions of dollars, as reported by the 2012 Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business.

Therefore

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, the Senate concurring:

That the Members of the Legislature fervently support the continuation of the Navajo Generating Station and the efforts by all parties in negotiating an acquisition and extension deal and recognize the Navajo Nation's right to self-determination.