Arizona House urges EPA to listen to public

On Tuesday, a bipartisan majority of the Arizona House of Representatives filed a letter with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld. The document urges the agency to conduct broad public hearings throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area and rural areas during the EPA’s public comment period for its proposed regional haze rule for the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Page, Ariz.

Twenty-one Republicans and Sixteen Democrat Members of the Arizona House of Representatives signed the letter signaling a strong, bi-partisan opposition to the proposed rule. The sweeping nature of the EPA’s proposed rule, the legislators argue, would have significant adverse impacts on Arizona families, tribes, businesses, agricultural interests and other key industries in the state through increased energy and water rates. There also is enormous risk to the Arizona’s economy as thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost economic activity will impact the state every year. Public hearings are needed throughout the entire state to ensure a transparent process that reflects broad stakeholder engagement and input on the rule.

“The Navajo Generating Station provides affordable energy and water to Arizona. It’s disconcerting that its operation might be undermined—or worse, shut down altogether,” said House Speaker Andy Tobin. “If implemented, EPA’s rule would drive up water rates, jeopardize jobs, and severely damage Arizona’s economy.”

The EPA’s proposed rule rejects the detailed Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) proposal submitted by NGS’s operator, Salt River Project, and would instead impose the installation of additional technology controls that could cost as much as $1.1 billion. Incredibly, the rule would yield no perceptible visibility improvement at the Grand Canyon, according to the government’s own study. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concluded “the body of research to date…is inconclusive as to whether [installing additional controls] would lead to any perceptible improvement in visibility.”

NGS provides energy to the Central Arizona Project (CAP), which makes renewable, affordable water available to 80 percent of Arizona’s residents—45 percent in Phoenix alone. If NGS shuts down, or has to install these costly controls, it would result in a potential doubling or tripling of water rates throughout the state. Likewise, 3,400 skilled jobs and an estimated $20 billion in economic activity over the next three decades could be in jeopardy if NGS is forced to shut down due to the rule.

“The EPA must convene multiple public hearings in geographically diverse areas of the state so the agency can begin to understand firsthand how its proposed rule will harm the livelihood of Arizona families, businesses, and communities,” said House Minority Leader Chad Campbell. “All of us have a stake in this debate, and my colleagues from both sides of the aisle urge EPA to expand its study of the issue and ensure Arizonans’ voices are heard.”

Signers of the letter include:

Republicans
Andy Tobin, Speaker of the House
David Gowan, Majority Leader
Rick Gray, Majority Whip
J.D. Mesnard, Speaker Pro Tempore
Brenda Barton, LD 6
Paul Boyer, LD 20
Heather Carter, LD 15
Doug Coleman, LD 16
Jeff Dial, LD 18
Karen Fann, LD 1
Doris Goodale, LD 5
Debbie Lesko, LD 21
David Livingston, LD 22
Kate Brophy McGee, LD 28
Justin Pierce, LD 25
Ethan Orr, LD 9
T.J. Shope, LD 8
Steve Smith, LD 11
Bob Robson, LD 18
Bob Thorpe, LD 6
Kelly Townsend, LD 16

Democrats
Chad Campbell, Minority Leader
Bruce Wheeler, Minority Whip
Albert “Ahbihay” Hale, LD 7
Lela Alston, LD 24
Mark Cardenas, LD 19
Andrea Dalessandro, LD 2
Juan Carlos Escamilla, LD 4
Rosanna Gabaldon, LD 2
Lydia Hernandez, LD 29
Jonathan Larkin, LD 30
Stefanie Mach, LD 10
Juan Mendez, LD 26
Martin Quezada, LD 29
Andrew Sherwood, LD 26
Victoria Steele, LD 9
Macario Saldate, IV, LD 3

3 Comments

  1. Right on Leo. I think we should tell the EPA to politely shove it. Get the Sheriffs together and they have the authority to kick them out of town. Just a thought.

  2. This is hugely important to the economy of AZ, but more importantly to the future of US. The Obamao agenda is to be closing power generating stations nationwide. They know that whoever controls the power supply controls the subjects. When he declares martial law, he only has to defend & fortify the few remaining generating stations in order to maintain control.

    He and his team are using the EPA to close electrical generating stations, to close energy (coal) producing mines, to forbid domestic exploration and production of petroleum & natural gas, to forbid nuclear energy, to drive up the cost of all forms of transportation, and to make US energy-dependent on his muslim brotherhood cabal in the middle east – drawing from a spigot that can be shut down at any moment. A passive, intimidated Congress sits & watches.

    This is Control, not clean air.

    God bless America.

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