Thursday, February 23, 2012

ASU report: Navajo Generating Station worth billions to economy

Salt River Project (SRP) reports that "Arizona stands to lose approximately $18 billion in gross state product between 2017 and 2044 - including up to 3,400 jobs each year - unless agreements can be reached to keep the Navajo Generating Station [right, credit SRP] in northern Arizona operating beyond 2019, according to a study prepared for SRP and the Navajo Nation by the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University."

SRP also said the plant's lease and various rights of way with the Navajo Nation are set to expire around 2019 and the NGS owners are currently negotiating extensions. SRP warned that the EPA "is considering additional technology that could cost more than $1.1 billion and would be difficult for the owners of NGS to commit to without certainty that the plant will operate beyond the year 2019." A similar situation led to the closure of the NV Mojave Generating Station power plant in Laughlin, NV a few years ago.

The ASU report, Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine: An Economic Impact Study, concluded that "the closure of NGS - combined with the potential impact on nearby Kayenta Mine, the plant's coal supplier - could result in an annual loss of nearly 3,400 jobs and more than $602 million in adjusted state tax revenues for a period measured from 2017 to 2044."

The Sierra Club and other groups have filed a legal appeal challenging the Peabody Coal mining permit. It was revealed recently by Time magazine that the Sierra Club took more than $25 million from the natural gas industry to help fund a national "war on coal" that would create a larger market share for natural gas in power generation if coal plants were shut down.

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