Tuesday, January 08, 2013

U.S. evaluates pollution, jobs at Navajo coal plant

A federal working group will address concerns about air pollution and jobs at the largest coal-fired power plant in the western United States, the Navajo Generating Station on an Indian reservation near the Grand Canyon, three U.S. agencies said on Friday. A joint statement from the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the agencies would work together to find ways to produce "clean, affordable and reliable power" while "minimizing negative impacts on those who currently obtain significant benefits from (the Navajo station), including tribal nations." The 2,250-megawatt 1970s-era coal plant is located on the Navajo Indian reservation just 15 miles from the Grand Canyon. The Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation owns 24 percent of the plant and is the largest single owner. Navajo supplies electricity to customers in Arizona, California, and Nevada. The Bureau of Reclamation's share of the power is used to move water to tribal, agricultural, and municipal water customers in central Arizona. Proposed EPA rules to reduce regional haze in the West would require expensive new control equipment that could make the plant uneconomical to run. Shutting the plant would cost more than 1,000 jobs at the plant and the coal mine that supplies it, according to U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican. A majority of the workers are Native Americans...more

The feds own 24 percent of the plant and so all of a sudden they're concerned about shutting it down.  Can't wait to see what the final price tag will be.

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