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Hopis asking feds to explore other options for power plant

(Ross D. Franklin | The Associated Press) This Sept. 4, 2011 file photo shows the main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station northeast of Grand Canyon National Park as seen from Lake Powell in Page, Ariz. A new study concludes visitors may be steering clear of some U.S. national parks or cutting their visits short because of pollution.

Kykotsmovi, Ariz. • Hopi tribal officials are calling on the federal government to explore other options for the Navajo Generating Station near Page.

Two companies that were negotiating to take over a coal-fired power plant on the Arizona-Utah line ended the effort last week, saying the challenges were too great.

The 2,250-megawatt plant could close at the end of 2019.

That would be a huge blow to the economies of the Navajo and Hopi tribes: The Hopis rely on coal revenue for about 85 percent of their budget and the Navajos 20 percent.

Hopi Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva says the U.S. government must either continue to buy power from the generating station or provide the tribe with support necessary to avoid an economic catastrophe. He’s asking the government to act without delay.

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