Navajo Nation members are turning hopeful eyes toward President Donald Trump, waiting — with anticipation — to see how his new administration might open up coal opportunities that have been stopped for years under Barack Obama.
According to Breitbart, roughly 20 percent of the Navajo Nation’s annual general fund revenues come from lease agreement,s royalties and other payments tied to the Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta Mine in Arizona. But production at these plants have been impeded in recent times because of regulatory costs put in place by Obama.
And that means the Navajo Nation’s schools, parks emergency services and infrastructure have suffered seriously financial dings.
But now — all that could change. Trump’s White House has vowed an easier time for coal industry workers.
As Breitbart reported:
“[The Navajo Nation is hoping Trump] and the Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will help resolve this crisis by working to keep the plant open for 10 years so that alternative income streams can be developed ahead of its closure.
“‘The president made a pledge to the coal industry to do whatever he can to help those workers,’ a senior white house official told reporters on Monday ahead of Trump’s executive order on Tuesday to roll back much of the ‘climate change’ policies put in place by Obama.
“Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, is counting on the Trump administration’s resolve. …
“Begaye traveled to Washington earlier this month to meet with federal officials and lawmakers, and he wrote in a recent oped in The Hill that he is ‘optimistic’ about the future. He wrote:
“‘We are … optimistic about working with the Trump Administration on this issue given the president’s unwavering support for coal jobs and mine workers. President Trump ran on a pledge to ‘bring back coal’ and provide economic opportunities for workers who have been left behind by coal’s declining fortunes.
“‘President Trump has an excellent opportunity to deliver on this promise by using the bully pulpit to help our people keep this plant open long enough to find new, high paying jobs.'”
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