Winds of Change in the Four Corners?

North Wind blowing

The Four Corners region where Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico meet can be pretty windy. On a particularly breezy day between the Grand Canyon and Four Corners Monument I saw roadside vendors having a 'Wind Sale'. Unfortunately, no one was buying. The question of the day: 'Is the wind blowing away from dirty coal and toward renewable energy?' Or are we caught in a dust storm with no idea of which way is up?

Recent news about coal power and wind power in the Four Corners is interesting and a bit confusing. First off, Edison International is selling off its interest in the Four Corners coal-fired power plant due to California law mandating a move to renewable energy sources. Arizona Public Service, Inc., has announced it plans to shut down three units of the Four Corners power plant and then install emissions control equipment on the two remaining units. APS plans for the Four Corners Power Plant depend on whether APS or PNM in New Mexico purchase the Edison International shares.

Decommissioning three units at Four Corners Power Plant and upgrading the remaining two units will certainly improve air quality in the area and downwind. So, wouldn't now be a great time to diversify the Four Corners' economy and move toward renewable energy? Not according to Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr who vetoed Resolution #CS-42-10, which would have approved a wind energy project between the Navajo Nation, Sempra Generation (a wind power company) and International Piping Products, Inc. Alleged bribes were the reason for veto by President Shirley. A group of Navajo lawmakers have moved to override the veto and move the wind project forward, but their success is not assured.

Which way does the wind blow in the Four Corners? There's a lot of smoke in the air and I can't see much from here.

More Info: - Edison International To Sell Its Share Of Four Corners Plant - Four Corners Power Plant to emit less pollution - PNM is evaluating Four Corners Power Plant agreement - Wind project being considered

Sempra Generation