The Navajo Generating Station, a 2250 megawatt coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Page, Arizona, is scheduled to shut down in 2019.
The smokestacks of the Navajo Generation Station rise 775 feet from the sere landscape of the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona, just three miles away from the serpentine, stagnant blue wound in sandstone known as Lake Powell. Red-rock cliffs and the dark hump of Navajo Mountain loom in the background.
Since construction began in 1969, the coal plant and its associated mine on Black Mesa have provided millions of dollars to the Navajo and Hopi tribes and hundreds of jobs to local communities, as well as electricity to keep the lights on and air conditioners humming in the metastasizing cities of Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Yet they also stand as symbols of the exploitation of Native Americans, of the destruction of the land and the sullying of the air, all to provide cheap power to the Southwest.