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Battle to Save a Dying Arizona Coal Plant Goes to Washington

  • Navajo, Hopi ask president to save a linchpin of their economy
  • Utilities say cheap natural gas makes closing a no-brainer
The Navajo generating station.

The Navajo generating station.

Photographer: Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo
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The view from the biggest coal plant in the U.S. West is spectacular: red rock buttes and wide desert vistas that change color with the movement of the sun. Set against this backdrop, the station’s towering smoke stacks seem to disrupt the serenity of the landscape, its three concrete pillars spewing a perpetual stream of heat and gas.

For the Navajo and Hopi tribes nearby, it’s a disruption they can live with.