Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

West's Largest Coal-Fired Power Plant Confirms Shutdown Plan, Miners Fight to Save Jobs

Energy
Navajo Generating Station. Wolfgang Moroder / Wikimedia Commons

Coal miners and supporters, many of them members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes, rallied in Phoenix Tuesday to protest the impending shutdown of the West's largest coal-fired power plant.

While Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke expressed his continued support for keeping the Navajo Generating Station open in a brief statement Tuesday, owners of the plant say they still are planning to take it offline in 2019 due to price pressures from natural gas.


The future of the plant, which provides more than 800 jobs to primarily Navajo and Hopi workers as well as tribal royalties, has proved a flash point for national and regional energy policy and raised larger questions on how Native communities will handle ties to fossil fuel industries as the economy changes. "I understand, we understand, you understand the challenges," Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates said in a speech at the rally. "There's your jobs, the revenue, the economy, the water, but it goes beyond that. If NGS does shut down ... those jobs are going to be very hard to replace."

As reported by the Arizona Republic:

"The plant is owned by SRP, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Public Service Co., NV Energy and Tucson Electric Power.

So far there are no publicly identified potential buyers for the coal plant. SRP officials say that without a buyer, they are beginning the shutdown, which will force Kayenta Mine to close as well.

'It's closing,' SRP President David Rousseau said. 'Absent a unicorn energy company dropping in ... '

Some of the speakers Tuesday said that President Donald Trump and Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke could help prevent the coal plant's closure.

But so far, the government has presented no plan to do so.

'We haven't gotten any indication the government is going to fund that kind of infrastructure investment,' SRP's Rousseau said.

For a deeper dive:

Protest: Arizona Republic, AP, Greenwire, KJZZ. Zinke: Washington Examiner

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less
Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less

"Emissions from pyrotechnic displays are composed of numerous organic compounds as well as metals," a new study reports. Nodar Chernishev / EyeEm / Getty Images

Fireworks have taken a lot of heat recently. In South Dakota, fire experts have said President Trump's plan to hold a fireworks show is dangerous and public health experts have criticized the lack of plans to enforce mask wearing or social distancing. Now, a new study shows that shooting off fireworks at home may expose you and your family to dangerous levels of lead, copper and other toxins.

Read More Show Less
Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons. Curtis Palmer / CC by 2.0

By Ashutosh Pandey

Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons (Mt), or 7.3 kilogram per person, a UN report showed on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A women walks with COVID-19 care kits distributed by Boston's Office of Neighborhood Services in Boston, Massachusetts on May 28, 2020. The pandemic has led to a rise in single-use plastic items, but reusable bags and cloth masks can be two ways to reduce waste. JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP via Getty Images

This month is Plastic Free July, the 31 days every year when millions of people pledge to give up single-use plastics.

Read More Show Less