Editorial: Navajos need good jobs, not just spin
"The Navajo Nation Pre-Apprentice Training Project seems like a fantastic idea on the surface. Providing free skilled job training in an area with extremely high unemployment levels sounds like a great way to get those levels down.

If only it were that simple.

The program is being run by the Diné Power Authority, a name that will sound familiar to anyone that has followed the controversial planned Desert Rock Power Plant. The power authority is the governmental entity set up by the Navajo Nation to run Desert Rock along with the private company Sithe Global.

You don't have to be a cynic to see the spinoff of this program; it involves more than job training.

It cannot help but include a certain political influence with it, good or bad depending on your opinion of the Desert Rock project itself.

The Navajo government is training workers for a power plant that, even in a best-case-scenario, won't exist by the time it finishes its training.

President Joe Shirley is trying to win over his people's hearts and minds to his pet project. That's perfectly fine, but he shouldn't play games with people's careers.

Whether you're an opponent or proponent for its construction, you must recognize the list of challenges facing Desert Rock. On a national level, many politicians are rejecting fossil fuel-based power in favor of renewable energy. Between regulatory hurdles, lawsuits by environmentalists and significant local opposition, it's not unthinkable to presume that the power plant may never materialize. But that doesn't have to be a hindrance to those being trained today."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Desert Rock training plan had better be versatile (The Farmington Daily Times 7/29)

Related Stories:
Program helps Navajo workers enter energy field (7/28)
Column: Navajo activist returns to fight power plant (5/14)
Letter: Taking away a Navajo Nation opportunity (5/6)
EPA alters stance on Navajo power plant permit (4/28)
Navajo Nation insulted by state stance on power plant (04/03)
Editorial: Abandon Navajo power plant project (2/13)
Letter: Just say no to Navajo Nation power plant (1/26)
Navajo activists keep up fight against power plant (11/3)