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A long standing issue for the Greater Flagstaff Chamber has been standing in opposition to new regulatory rules being imposed on the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The new rules require the power plant to cut back on the amount of fumes produced, citing a regional haze across the northern portion of the state. The problem with that citation, however, is that NGS has been shown not to create a regional haze and instead much of that pollution is drifting into Arizona from California and Las Vegas.

A study commissioned by the Salt River Project (SRP) and the Navajo Nation shows the power station, along with the Kayenta coal mine, will provide over $20 billion in economic benefit statewide over the next 30+ years. Over the same time period, $13 billion will be directly attributed to the Navajo Nation itself. The power station and the mine are attributable to over 1,000 jobs as well which might never be replaced should these regulations force a shutdown or a cutback in production.

In addition to the jobs lost, residents and businesses in Northern Arizona will see their utility rates increase as a result of these regulations. Citizens throughout Arizona depend as well on NGS as it is the main power provider to the Central Arizona Project (CAP) which delivers water from the Colorado River throughout the state. The increase in electricity rates will adversely affect the water rates from CAP.

In response to these regulations, the Greater Flagstaff Chamber has taken a leadership role in Northern Arizona to see that these rules are reversed. We have sent letters-to-the-editor calling on our federal representatives to use the power of Congress to halt the actions of the EPA. We have offered testimony to members of Arizona’s congressional delegation, as well as directly to the EPA during field hearings. In December we joined an amicus brief with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a case going before the United States Supreme Court that will consider the actions of the EPA which have circumvented Congressional authority.

Next Steps:

Continue to support NGS through advocacy to our federal officials and supporting U.S. Chamber amicus brief.

Legislative Watch:

No current federal legislation.

Additional Material:

Letter to the EPA in support of NGS

Letter to the Arizona Daily Sun

Statement supporting U.S. Chamber Amicus Brief

Arizona Coalition for Water, Energy & Jobs