EPA regulations a looming blow to Arizona economy

Higher electricity rates under new EPA regulations would have negative impact on Arizona's ability to attract and create new jobs, experts tell a group of state lawmakers.

Ross D. Franklin/AP/File
The main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station is seen from Lake Powell in Page, Ariz. The federal government is proposing new limits for pollution from the coal-fired power plant to reduce haze in places like the Grand Canyon. But the plant's owners say it could come with a price tag of more than $1 billion.

Last month we mentioned a story regarding the Navajo Generating Station that stated that EPA regulations that would require adding new emissions controls to the plant would cost $1.1 billion and would only marginally reduce the plants portion of haze in the area.

It was reported yesterday that Arizona’s economy could soon be feeling the effects of higher electricity rates under regulations recently announced by the EPA, a group of state lawmakers were told on Monday.

According to the White Mountain Independent, “In a rare joint committee hearing chaired by Senator Gail Griffin (R-Hereford), members of the Senate Government and Environment Committee and the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Representative Frank Pratt (R-Casa Grande) heard testimony from state air quality regulators, utility officials, a hospital executive, union representative, and the Director of the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, all of whom agreed that new regulations announced by the EPA could have a significant, negative impact on Arizona’s economy and its ability to attract and create new jobs.”

“This is a non-partisan issue that has alarmed Republicans and Democrats alike,” Senator Griffin said. “Regardless of how one feels about the EPA, there is nothing logical about requiring Arizona residents to pay a billion dollars for regulations that make virtually no improvement in visibility and have nothing to do with public health.”

This is just further evidence that the EPA continues to ignore the damage that its new regulations are causing to the U.S. economy and to states that depend on coal for jobs and affordable electricity.

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