Coal Industry On Navajo Nation Could End With Plant Closure

Jan 24, 2020

The closure of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation sooner than expected will be a major blow to a region where coal has been a mainstay of the economy for decades.

FILE - This April, 2006, file photo shows the Four Corners Power Plant in Waterflow, N.M., near the San Juan River in northwestern New Mexico. The closure of the coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation sooner than expected will be a major blow to a region where coal has been a mainstay of the economy for decades.Arizona Public Service Co. now plans to shutter the Four Corners Power Plant in 2031 when its coal contract expires rather than wait until 2038.
Credit (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

Arizona Public Service Company operates the Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington, New Mexico.

The utility announced this week it will close the plant in 2031 — several years earlier than expected.

Regional officials say they're more focused now on promoting tourism and recreation, and ensuring the area has internet and other infrastructure to draw businesses.

Another coal plant just miles away is set to close in 2022.