Opinion

Vernon Masayesva: Hopi Tribe maitains role in power plant





Vernon Masayesva, the founder of the Black Mesa Trust, on the role of the Hopi Tribe in a coal-fired power plant in Arizona:
One critical piece of the puzzle concerning the future operation of Navajo Generating Station, not mentioned in Aug. 4 editorial, is the role the Hopi Tribe has yet to play.

The future of NGS as a coal-fired plant depends on a guaranteed 25-year supply of coal at the rate of eight million tons per year. This cannot be done without Hopi Tribe agreeing to extend Peabody Western Coal Co. mining operation to 2044. Both Hopi and Navajo are joint and equal owners of coal, water and all other minerals under Black Mesa and Kayenta Mine. Both tribes have to agree to extend strip mining.

Unlike Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe operates under a constitution that prohibits the Hopi Tribal Council from making a unilateral decision regarding leasing of Hopi land and the minerals under the land. The chairman and legislature must secure consent from 12 independent villages before they even begin negotiations with Peabody.

Get the Story:
Vernon Masayesva: Hopi Tribe key to future of NGS (The Arizona Daily Sun 8/25)