Environment: Defeat for Kaiparowits

Set in a wilderness of wind-carved rock, southern Utah's desolate Kaiparowits* Plateau is one of the most unspoiled places in the U.S. Now it seems likely to stay that way. For nearly 14 years a consortium of Western power companies has been seeking—over objections by environmentalists—to build a huge coal-fired plant on the plateau. Last week its campaign failed when two of the firms—Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric—informed Interior Secretary Thomas Kleppe that they were dropping, for the time being, their plans to build the plant.

It was an expensive defeat for the companies, which have sunk...

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