Groups appeal dismissal of Southwest coal plant lawsuit

November 9, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmental groups are appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of their lawsuit aimed at shutting down a coal-fired power plant and adjacent mine near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

The coalition said Thursday attorneys filed with the 9th Circuit appeals court, continuing their challenge of the 2015 approval of a lease extension for the Navajo Mine and the Four Corners Power Plant.

A judge tossed the case in September, citing tribal sovereignty. The judge argued the mine is owned by a corporation created by the Navajo Nation, making it immune to legal challenges.

Opponents of the lease argued the U.S. Interior Department and other agencies did not consider clean-energy alternatives or possible effects on endangered species.

The plant provides electricity to customers throughout the Southwest.

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