When three 775-foot-tall smoke stacks at the Navajo Generating Station came tumbling down in December, sending plumes of dust into the sky and thundering reverberations off the mesas of the Arizona high desert, it marked the end of an era.

The federal government was instrumental in engineering the rise of the 2,250-megawatt coal plant 45 years ago, one of the country’s largest prior to its closure in 2019.

Now, President Biden faces questions about how to replace it, marking an early test of his promises to weave environmental and social justice into his climate agenda.

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