Even after a deal was brokered with the EPA to keep it running through 2044, the owners of the Navajo Generating Station, the 7th largest carbon polluter in the U.S., have decided to shut it down.
The station, which is located near Page, Arizona, pumps out 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, but that’s not the reason it’s being closed down. At the core of the issue is money: cheap natural gas has made it so the NGS is just not viable anymore.
Even though there are clear negative effects on the health of the Navajo who live near it, the Navajo and Hopi tribes are bothered by the loss of revenue from the plant’s closure. The tribes are hoping that President Trump, an advocate for coal, will step in and intervene.
But even if the president did want to help, it would only delay the inevitable. No amount of money or deregulation can save coal at this point. It’s dying at the hands of the free market, and that’s okay.
While the plant is closing down, the infrastructure exists in the reservation for new electrical generation plants. The area is prime real estate for solar and wind power in particular. My hope is that the NGS will be replaced by cleaner power generation.
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