The Navajo and Hopi have fought hard to hold on to coal.
Three generations have worked for the West's largest coal-fired power plant, the Navajo Generating Station. The tribes have relied heavily on its revenue. So when the Phoenix-based Salt River Project announced it was shutting down the plant at the end of the year, the tribe scrambled to find a buyer or — as a last resort — purchase the plant.
It finally came down to a vote late last month at a Navajo Nation Council Special Session meeting. The delegates deliberated for eight hours.