Navajo Nation panel backs lease change for coal power plant

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(Source: Navajo Nation) (Source: Navajo Nation)

A Navajo Nation Council committee has endorsed tribal legislation to extend the lease on a coal-fired power plant in northern Arizona so it can operate through 2019 and preserve jobs held by Native Americans.

Tribal officials say the Health, Education and Human Services Committee voted 2-1 for the legislation on the Navajo Generating Station during a special meeting Monday.

Two other committees will consider the legislation before it is considered by the full council.

The owners want to bow out, saying they can get cheaper power from natural gas sources.

[Related: Navajo Nation faces possible plant, mine closure]

The owners have asked the tribe to decide the proposed lease extension by July 1. Otherwise, the owners say the plant will have to close at the end of this year so it can be torn down by 2020.

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