Monday, February 27, 2017

The Largest Coal Mine in the Western U.S. is closing Decades Ahead of Schedule

The Navajo Generating Station is the seventh largest source of climate pollution in the country. When it closes in 2019, it will be because of economics—not regulation.

Despite Trump's promises to "bring back coal," it's unlikely that policy can make much of a difference. The market forces working against coal are huge primariy becasue of  the development of renewables. Wind and solar power are also so cheap now that it makes economic sense to continue to build new renewable power.

The Navajo Generating Station, 12 miles from the Grand Canyon near Page, Arizona, is the seventh largest individual source of climate pollution in the country, pumping out more than 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. It's also a major source of air pollution for people living nearby; by some estimates, shutting it down will also save more than $127 million a year in health costs.

Coal also mines use a significant amount of clean water that would otherwise be used as drinking water. That 31,000 acre-feet of water is Navajo water, and for almost 50 years now, Navajos have not been able to use it.

The Navajo Nation and the Hopi tribe knew that the end was coming and are now forced to talk about a cleaner industry—for example, solar and wind . . . The transmission lines are already there.

Source: Co.Exist, by Adele Peters. Read complete article

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