U.S. Rep. McSally Supports Bill to Protect Rural Energy Consumers
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Martha McSally today voted in support of legislation to protect Arizona residents from electricity shortages and rate spikes as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new energy rule. Implementation of the proposed rule would result in the complete shutdown of the Apache Generating Station near Willcox, Arizona, eliminating 245 high-wage jobs in the Second District and exposing 350,000 rural residents to dangerous energy reliability issues.
“In addition to eliminating hundreds of jobs in the Second District, the proposed EPA rule would cause serious energy reliability issues for thousands of rural Arizona residents,” said Rep. McSally. “Imposing this one-size-fits-all mandate is a step backward for the families and residents it would hurt. I’ve called on the Administration to work with our state and local officials to produce a better solution for Arizona, and will continue to work toward that goal. In addition, today’s legislation would offer needed flexibility for our state to meet new requirements while protecting ratepayers from devastating job losses and energy interruptions.”
“I applaud Congresswoman McSally’s leadership in co-sponsoring the Ratepayer Protection Act,” said Patrick Ledger, CEO of Arizona Electric Power Cooperatives. “Clarifying the EPA’s legal authority before forcing the irrevocable closure of rural Arizona’s main power source is not common sense, nor socially responsible. The EPA’s proposed rule will have a devastating economic impact on hundreds of thousands of rural Arizonans, many of which are below the poverty level and cannot afford dramatically increased electricity rates. This Act will allow Arizona’s Governor to protect our community from those impacts"
The Ratepayer Protection Act, H.R. 2042, of which Rep. McSally is a cosponsor, would extend the EPA compliance dates for the new rule, including dates for submission of state plans, to allow for a timely judicial review. H.R. 2042 also protects states from having to implement rules that would have a significant adverse effect on ratepayers or the reliability of a state’s electricity system. The bill passed with bipartisan support 247 to 180.
The EPA’s proposed rule, referred to by the agency as the Clean Power Plan, requires Arizona to cut carbon emissions by 52% over the next 15 years, the second most stringent requirement in the country. On May 22, Rep. McSally sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calling for increased flexibility for Arizona officials to meet the mandate’s requirements that would avoid harmful energy interruptions and rate spikes for consumers.