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Environment & Energy Report

Navajo Energy Company Immune From Suit Over Coal Mine Permits

July 29, 2019, 6:03 PM

Environmental groups couldn’t convince the Ninth Circuit July 29 to revive their challenges to leases and permits that reauthorized coal mining activity at a 33,000-acre strip mine on Navajo lands.

The mine’s owner, the Navajo Transitional Energy Company, was a necessary party for the courtroom fight but enjoys sovereign immunity, Judge Michelle T. Friedland said for the court. The trial court was correct to dismiss the suit for an inability to join a required party, she said.

The Navajo Nation organized NTEC for the express purpose of purchasing the strip mine, which produces coal exclusively for a power plant that...

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