Success: Largest Coal Plant in the Western United States Will Be Shut Down

Target: Salt River Project Deputy Manager, Mark Hummel

Goal: Applaud utility company’s decision to shut down coal plant when its lease expires in several years.

The Navajo Generating Station, a massive coal plant in Arizona near the Utah border, will no longer be the single largest producer of carbon emissions in the United States after its doors close at the end of 2019. The utility company, Salt River Project, has decided to allow its lease to expire. This progressive decision is thanks in part to public outcry and pressure from the community, such as from petitions like this one on ForceChange. According to the owners, they will transition to less expensive and somewhat cleaner options such as natural gas to serve the nearly one million customers currently using energy generated by the plant.

This is a major success in the fight against dirty coal in the U.S. In fact, coal has been on the decline for years thanks to the rise of cleaner and increasingly more affordable options. This coal plant in particular had been a target for many legislators and environmental groups due to the smog it produces, which obscures views of the Grand Canyon and causes adverse health effects. Pollution from coal plants, such as the Navajo Generating Station, fills the air with toxins like sulfur dioxide and various heavy metals, which can lead to respiratory and heart conditions. When this plant finally ceases operations, Southwestern residents will all be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Natural gas, of course, is still a nonrenewable fossil fuel, though some have called it a “blue bridge to a green future,” due to its relatively clean burning process. Moreover, with the continued expansion and increased affordability of renewables, it is possible that similar economic pressures will ultimately phase out even natural gas, and keep companies like Salt River Project moving in an environmentally-friendly direction.

This serves as an important reminder of the positive impact that communities, legislators, and the voice of the people can have in influencing energy providers to make planet-wise transitions — with consideration for their employees, and the people who depend on their services. Sign this petition to thank Salt River Project for its decision to close this pollution-spewing plant.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Hummel,

I am writing to praise your company’s decision to allow the lease on the Navajo Generating Station to expire at the end of 2019. This is a move which is consistent with environmental needs and with consumer’s desire for affordable energy, since natural gas is a cheaper and cleaner alternative to coal. Coal is an unsustainable, inefficient and toxic energy source which contributes negatively to the health of local communities and poisons entire ecosystems with heavy metal contamination.

The benefits of this plant’s closure will be cleaner skies and a better quality of life for Arizonans and nearby Utahns. Thank you for setting an example within your industry and showing that coal is the way of the past, and that there are better options moving forward.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: J Brew

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2 Comments

  1. This is great news! Though I hope they will consider renewable energy sources instead of natural gas.

  2. Thank you for considering our environment!

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