SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The president of the Navajo Nation is in New Mexico Wednesday speaking out on the closure of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in Farmington.
The plant is slated to be shut down by 2022. However, President Jonathan Nez says a lack of protections for workers will negatively impact Navajo families, which make up 60% of the workforce in the region.
He spoke directly to members of the PRC asking them to do more to soften the economic blow by ensuing workers find new jobs in renewable energy.
“As we have said time and time again, the tribal communities have yet to be invited to the American Dream, and yet we are the people who are indigenous to these lands — and with this kind of assistance, it’s not a hand out, it’a boost up for the nation,” said President Nez.
Legislation to replace the plant still has to be written. However, environmentalists say if it’s done right, it could help the state and the Navajo Nation reinvest in clean energy.