When I first saw this late at night on Highway 98 in northern Arizona I felt a distinct Close Encounters vibe. However, as I got closer it finally revealed itself as . . . just an ordinary power generating station. When I drove past, I saw that it was, specifically, the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired plant built in the ’70s on land leased from the Navajo Nation. However, shale gas eventually made it uneconomic to operate, and last year it ceased operation. For now, though, the lights are still on.

January 27, 2020 — Coconino County, Arizona

We Recommend


Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.