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The Associated Press November 4, 2011, 4:48PM ET

Navajo leader weighs in on NM emissions debate

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly is weighing in on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision calling for more pollution controls at a coal-fired power plant that serves customers throughout the Southwest.

Shelly says in a letter to the EPA that he supports the state of New Mexico and Public Service Company of New Mexico in their efforts to appeal the agency's decision.

New Mexico contends the agency infringed on its ability to adopt its own plan for curbing haze-causing pollution at the San Juan Generating Station.

Shelly describes the EPA's mandate as "enormously burdensome." He accuses the agency of ignoring the culture, geography and economics of the Four Corners region.

Shelly points to filings that show portions of the work force at the power plant and the coal mine that feeds it are tribal members.

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