Tribal Groups Ask CPUC for Mohave Money

By Published On: January 13, 2006

A coalition of tribal and environmental organizations asked the California Public Utilities Commission to funnel them any windfall gained by Southern California Edison from selling Mohave’s pollution credits. The coal-fired power plant’s sulfur oxide emission credits have been accruing since the plant was shut down at the end of last year (Circuit, Jan. 7, 2006). The money would help mitigate the economic impacts on the Hopi and Navajo tribes – which have supplied coal for the plant. Under what the groups call the “Just Transition” plan, Edison might provide up to $36 million a year to the two tribes assuming that they sell all their emission credits at today’s market price. The money, says the plan, would be used to: ? Mitigate the economic impact caused by closing Mohave. ? Provide funding to Navajo and Hopi communities so that they can become equity owners in generating and transmitting new sources of cleaner energy. ? Assist in reducing unemployment and stimulating transition to sustainable economic development on tribal lands. Edison will respond to the tribal request after studying it further, according to Gloria Quinn, utility spokesperson. The groups backing the plan include the Black Mesa Trust, To’ Nizhoni Ani, the Indigenous Environmental Network, the Black Mesa Water Coalition, the Sierra Club, and the Grand Canyon Trust. They want the CPUC to authorize the plan on an emergency basis at its February 16 meeting and on a final basis after any needed evidentiary hearings by summer. Edison proposed that standby costs while the plant is shut down – including money to keep tribal workers on the job at the coal mine and slurry pipeline – be included in its rates.

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