National Affairs: ARIZONA: THRIVING OASIS Energy Fills the Open Spaces

The region is altogether valueless. After entering it, there is nothing to do but leave. —Report to Congress, 1858

HEADING eastward over the Arizona desert, high-flying transport pilots can pick up the urban glow of Phoenix from 70 miles out, as the city lies like a blue-white solitaire upon limitless black velvet. Though Phoenix expanded its limits from 17.1 square miles in 1950 to its present 110-square-mile area to make room for a tripled population (373,000), it remains no more than a brightly lit patch upon a landscape characterized by vastness.

Today Phoenix is...

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