Culture, economics drive many to fight for power plant’s future

By Emery Cowan | Arizona Daily Sun

Victor Mannie has worked for Navajo Generating Station’s operator, Salt River Project, for 36 years. Working at the power plant was his first job out of high school and now Mannie is traveling to chapters across the Navajo Nation to inform tribal members about the likelihood that the plant will close in the next several years.

Though a black eye on the landscape to some, the Navajo Generating Station is seen by many others in the Page area as an irreplaceable asset for what it has given to the city, two Native American tribes and the broader region.

Related: With coal plant’s shaky future, many in Page look toward tourism

In 2015, the Navajo Nation received $41.6 million in royalties, scholarships, lease payments, taxes, utility payments and community contributions from the power plant, according to figures from Salt River Project, which manages the plant.

For Coconino County, property taxes and voluntary contributions paid by the plant’s owners made up 5 percent of its property tax collections last year.


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