Economic Information

Unemployment on the Navajo Nation is unacceptably high at 40%. Many of those fortunate enough to hold jobs owe their employment in one way or another to Lake Powell.  For example, there were 938 Native Americans employed at the the Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Coal Mine in 2000.  These high paying jobs are critical to the Navajo Nation and virtually impossible to replace.

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Including wages, royalties, and county taxes, the Navajo Project contributes more than $100 million per year to the Northern Arizona economy, the vast majority of which directly benefits Native Americans. These economic figures are conservative and do not include economic multipliers nor do they include the huge economic input resulting from the recreational activities associated with Lake Powell which is estimated at more than $400 million dollars each year.  This industry also employs a large number of Native Americans.

In comparison, the economic opportunity due to river running the Grand Canyon at Lee's Ferry supports just a handful of Native Americans. A drained Lake Powell would clearly wreak economic havoc in an area already greatly impoverished.

Read More - The Place No One Knew Well Enough!

The Navajo Power Project Fact Sheet

prepared 5/5/2000

Economic Losses due to shutting down NGS, if Lake Powell were drained

                                                                         Native American                Non-Native             Total Employment

Navajo Generating Station full-time jobs                    303                           231                           534

Kayenta Mine full-time jobs                                           380                             40                           420

Navajo Generating Station seasonal jobs                    255                            45                            300

Total Lost Jobs (NGS-Related)                       938                          316                        1,254

Annual Lost Revenues associated with closing the Navajo Project

Navajo Generating Station payroll                                              $479,600,000

Kayenta Mine payroll                                                                       $33,200,000

Mine royalties and fees paid to Navajo Nation                          $25,400,000

Coconino County taxes paid by NGS                                            $11,100,000                 (approximately $8.3 million to schools)

Sales Taxes (primary coal and bulk chemicals)                           $9,800,000

Navajo Tribal Utility Authority Revenue                                         $1,400,000

Materials and supplies purchased in Coconino County             $20,000,000

Increase in fuel and operating costs to utility customers -     $98,200,000

Fuel and operating costs for replacement combined cycle natural gas plants projected to be 24% higher than Navajo Project costs.

Total - Annual Lost Revenues  $246,720,000

(does not include economic multipliers)

One Time Costs (Decomissing Costs) of Closing the Navajo Project

Replacement of NGS's generating capacity with new
combined cycle natural gas plants (2,250 net megawatt @ $550,000 a megawatt) -      $1,500,000,000

Estimated cost to decommission plant and mine -                                                           $137,000,000

Kayenta Mine and Joint Facilities net book value -                                                             $85,800,000

Navajo Generating Station net book value -                                                                    $736,000,000                                                                      

Estimated lost value of homes for Page, LeChee, Kaibeto, Shonto,
Kayenta, and Black Mesa -                                                                                              $172,100,000

Total Decomissioning costs - $2,370,900,000

Interesting Fact:  The Navajo Power Project generates enough electricty to serve 3,000,000 people!

Calculation Assumptions:  NGS's production of 1,377,000,000 kilowatt hours per month at 85% capacity is distributed to residents of Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, where the average two and one half person household uses approximately 115O kWh per month.  The actual NGS power is delivered to a mix of commercial and residential customers.