Kayenta Coal Mine To Close, Layoffs Are Set To Begin

The Navajo Generating Station and the nearby Kayenta mine are scheduled to shut down at the end of 2019. (Photo by Bill Morrow/Creative Commons)

Kayenta Coal Mine layoffs are set to begin August 12, 2019 and will last 14 days.

Navajo County officials reported that a direct revenue loss of $1.6 Million annually in sales tax will occur in for Navajo County as a result of the closing.

In March, Peabody, America’s top coal company, said it would cease operations at the Kayenta mine on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in anticipation of the Navajo Generating Station’s (NGS) scheduled closure. All coal burned at NGS comes from the Kayenta mine.

According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA):

The March announcement represented an ominous sign for NGS, a 2,250-megawatt coal plant outside Page, Ariz. Peabody has been a driving force for keeping the plant open, spearheading efforts to find a buyer and coordinating rallies in Washington and Phoenix to generate public support for the economically distressed facility.

The Navajo Generating Station emerged as a test of the Trump administration’s promise to aid the coal industry after four utilities with an ownership stake in the plant announced its retirement in 2017.

A buyer interested in acquiring the facility backed out last year. And with Democrats now in control of the House, the prospects for congressional intervention have all but disappeared.

 

2 Comments

  1. There is an electric rail line between the coal mine and the power station. It is entirely isolated from any other rail system in the US. That line will also likely shut down. I think it was only used for coal transport, 3 trips a day. There are no passenger stations along the line and no passenger service. If there had been, it might have made a nice way for distant children to get to and from school. Oh well, end of an era.

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