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Coalition urging Obama to halt EPA rules for Arizona power plant

PHOENIX — A proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency for an Arizona power plant is a bad one, a coalition said.

The EPA is calling for new equipment at the Navajo Generating Station Power plant near Page, Ariz., that would limit emissions that may cause haze in the Grand Canyon.

Members of the Arizona Coalition for Water, Energy and Jobs said the equipment would cost over $1 billion and would raise electric and water rates.

Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin wants the EPA to back off.

“I’m asking the President of the United States to help get the EPA off of Arizona’s back,” he said.

The coalition said more than 3,400 jobs are dependent on the plant and could be lost if the EPA ever decided to shut it down. Tobin said the EPA’s rule would hurt Arizona at a time when the state’s economy is recovering.

“When you start talking about that effort ending up on the back of Arizona taxpayers, we cannot afford this again,” he said.

Tobin directed more of his comments toward President Barack Obama.

“Mr. President, this one’s on you. We need your help. You know that this science does not match up. You know that we need to review this. Let’s find a better way.”

The coalition said there is no proof that emissions from the power plant are causing haze in the Grand Canyon. Members said it could be caused by vehicle emissions from Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The coalition said that the EPA’s rule, if enacted, could cost Arizona $20 billion in lost economic activity over the next 30 years.