Battle Continues Over Navajo Nation Power Plant

May 9, 2013

The owners of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation are objecting to changes made by the tribe in approving a lease extension.

Under legislation signed by tribal President Ben Shelly last month, the lease for the Navajo Generating Station near Page would expire in 2044. The agreement also boosts yearly payments to the tribe to $43 million.

The plant's operator, Salt River Project, told tribal officials this week that amendments dealing with water rights and having the federal government sign on as a lessee are unacceptable.

SRP says that if the tribe insists on the changes, it's unlikely the two sides will reach a resolution to keep the plant running beyond 2019.

A spokesman for Shelly said Thursday that tribal officials will meet to determine the next step.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.