The Toll of Coal: Los Angeles Times Explores Effects on the Navajo Nation

The Los Angeles Times explores the toll of coal on the Navajo Nation.

The soot, shriveled crops and ailing livestock make coal a mixed blessing on the Navajo Nation, as residents told the Los Angeles Times in a recent story.

The Four Corners area is where one of the oldest coal-fired power plants in the U.S. resides, and nearby is also the San Juan Generating Station, the Los Angeles Times says in this in-depth look at what it’s like to live in the shadow of the smokestacks.

Activists on the reservation are asking for health authorities to do just that, according to the Times.

“They say there has never been a study that directly examines the health effects of Four Corners emissions,” the story says. “A 2010 study by the U.S. Geological Survey found that coal and wood burning inside homes on the reservation caused breathing difficulties, but the study never looked at the effects of Four Corners particulates, study officials acknowledge.”

Residents are hoping that that will change as carbon emissions bring added visibility to the plight of those who live near coal-burning plants. The supreme irony is that they are sending electricity not to grid-starved reservation residents, but to faraway cities such as Phoenix, the Times noted in its December 15 article.

Read the full In Navajo Country, Coal Gives Life—and Takes It, Some Say in the Los Angeles Times.

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