Powers Principal Paul Moorehead was quoted in a Law360 article analyzing the impending closure of a power plant vital to the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe in Arizona and how the Trump administration could prevent the closure and mitigate the economic effects on those tribes.  

The article, titled “Navajo Power Plant Poses Test for Trump’s Pro-Coal Stance,” examines how the Trump administration could work to prevent the Navajo Generating Station from closing and why saving the facility could be beneficial. The 2,250-megawatt power plant is slated to close at the end of 2019 because it is no longer economically viable, according to the article.

Since the February announcement regarding the scheduled closure, the U.S. Department of the Interior has met with the Navajo and Hopi tribes and other stakeholders with hopes of finding a way to keep the Page, Arizona, power plant operating longer.

The Navajo Nation pressed the DOI and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in mid-April requesting assistance to keep the Navajo Generating Station open until 2029, explaining that more than 40 percent of the tribe’s budget and its infrastructure are linked to revenues from the plant and the Kayenta mine.

In the article, Paul examines just what the DOI can do to stave off job losses and a plunge in revenues that could have a negative impact on the tribes, considering the station faces some of the same economic issues as other coal-related projects across the country.

Paul is a principal in the Indian Tribal Government Group at Powers. His practice is dedicated exclusively to federal Indian law and policy. He focuses on initiatives, policies and programs that affect Indian tribal governments and Native American people. This includes appropriations, commercial transactions, energy and natural resources development, trust reform, environmental protection, gaming, healthcare and telemedicine, housing and infrastructure development, tribal self-governance, taxation, and Indian land and water rights settlements.

For more information about the Law360 article, contact Powers Principal Paul Moorehead at 202-872-6745 or Paul.Moorehead@PowersLaw.com.

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