U.S. Rep. McSally Responds to Scaled-back EPA Rule
TUCSON – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today commented on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) scaled-back emissions reduction goal and compliance timeline for the state of Arizona in its new energy rules.
The EPA originally sought to mandate a 52% reduction in emissions by 2030, which was the second most stringent requirement for any state in the county. That goal was reduced to 34% in the final rule. In addition, after Rep. McSally consistently advocated for increased flexibility to meet these mandates, the EPA also announced it was extending its interim compliance goal by two years.
“EPA’s proposed mandate on Arizona, which was the second most extreme in the country, would have devastated our rural communities and many low-income families who can least afford it,” said Rep. McSally. “Since that proposal was made, I’ve met with our local energy providers, community stakeholders, and rural families to get their input and have persistently advocated for a better solution from the EPA. I’m glad to see that they have listened and taken into account our requests in the final rule, but we still have work to do. As this rule is implemented, we need to make sure that the needs of rural Arizonans are met, and I will continue to work to make sure that they have access to the affordable, reliable energy they need.”
In May, Rep. McSally called on the EPA to modify its proposed rule to give Arizona needed flexibility in meeting the new mandates. In June, she voted in support of House passed legislation that she also cosponsored to protect Arizona residents from electricity shortages and rate spikes as a result of the new mandates. She also toured and met with officials at the Apache Generating Station near Willcox during her first months in office.
“Congresswoman McSally has been advocating for rural electric cooperative members since the day she took office,” said Patrick Ledger, CEO of Arizona Electric Power Cooperatives. “She has made it a priority to understand how important Apache Generating Station is to electric cooperatives in her district and across Arizona, and how devastating the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan would have been to rural communities. She was out front in helping to draw the attention of the EPA and the Administration to these very serious impacts, and we are encouraged that the EPA’s final version of the plan does appear to provide a more reasonable path forward. Electric cooperative members are still at risk of rate increase and decreased reliability as we develop the best, least cost, plan to comply with this sweeping regulation. But Arizona Electric Power Cooperative is better positioned than we were, and thanks in part to Congresswoman McSally’s advocacy, we will continue to provide our rural cooperatives with affordable and reliable electricity into the future.”
“Our members thank Congresswoman McSally for her efforts to advocate consistently for the needs of rural Arizonans and help bring about increased flexibility and more realistic goals in the EPA’s final rule,” said Jack Blair, Chief Member Services Officer for the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative. “We look forward to continue working with her office as the rule is implemented to ensure we can continue to meet the energy needs of Southern Arizonans.”