Back in July we reported on the Environmental Protection Agency’s collusion with radical environmental activists in Arizona. The EPA and Sierra Club are actively working together to force the Navajo Generating Station to implement technology costing about $1 billion in the name of improving visibility in the Grand Canyon. However, the Department of Energy studied emissions from Navajo GS and the technology that the EPA insists on installing, and found that the technology would have no appreciable beneficial effects at all.
One thing is certain, though: The technology will cost a great deal of money, a cost which will be passed onto power consumers in Arizona in the form of higher electricity rates. It will also cost jobs, according to Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in an editorial:
Recently Salt River Project, the operator of the Navajo Generating Station, announced it would shut down about 33 percent of the plant in short order, with an agreement that will likely shut the entire plant by 2044.
By the time my 20-year-old son turns 50, NGS will be history.
Also history: the nearly 1,000 jobs that run its electrical and mining operations. Of 920 jobs, 33 percent will be terminated soon. A 2012 federal study showed that NGS has resulted in nearly $1.3 billion in coal royalty payments to the Navajo and Hopi economies since 1987.
The jobs that will be lost are good jobs. The average annual wages and benefits at the Kayenta coal mine is $117,000 per year, and more than 90 percent of the miners are Native American. More than 80 percent of all NGS jobs employ members of Navajo Nation.
Gosar is going to hold hearing in Arizona this week to get to the root of the Obama EPA and its war on coal.
The dismantling of NGS is due to the Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s unnatural fixation with destroying the coal industry in its declared war on coal. President Obama stated publicly that he will see to it that coal plants are taxed or regulated out of existence. The President is now also using the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to attack carbon fuels.
I will give the President credit here – he has kept his word to kill coal. Obama’s EPA claimed that NGS emissions needed further technology improvements (at a cost of $1 billion), even though Obama’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory concluded that there is no evidence that installing the new technology would lead to any perceptible improvement in visibility at the Grand Canyon or the other nearby parks, monuments and wilderness areas.
Cutting through the bureaucrat talk, what this means is that the EPA wanted $1 billion for “improvements” that actually would not change anything — except raise your utility rates by more than 66 percent. Now you see why SRP cut a deal.
The new Climate Action Plan will be directed to states under the Clean Air Act. What is happening at NGS is happening to our Eastern Arizona coal plants and many other important facilities across the country. The fact that nothing in this law actually authorizes his radical energy agenda makes little difference to an imperial presidency.
I am holding a congressional hearing Aug. 22 in Mesa where we will address the EPA’s misconduct. Joining me will be Arizona congressmen Matt Salmon, Trent Franks and David Schweikert. Please join us there and let us know how you feel about the EPA and its unlawful actions.