The Navajo Nation Council has approved legislation that will allow a coal-fired power plant in northern Arizona to continue operating through December 2019.
The 18-4 vote late Monday means at least 700 jobs at the Navajo Generating Station near Page and the mine that supplies the coal won't be immediately lost if the plant owners agree to all the lease terms.
The current lease for the 1970s-era plant expires in two years but its owners said they would shut it down by the end of 2017 without an extension. That's because it will take about two years to tear down the massive plant.
The owners announced in February they would close the plant because cheaper power generated by burning natural gas is readily available.