U.S. Rep. McSally Votes to Protect Rural Residents and Jobs
Resolutions Overturning EPA Carbon Rules Pass House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today voted to stand up for rural Arizona residents and overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) harmful carbon rules on new and existing power plants. The EPA’s rules, which were modified in August after Rep. McSally’s extensive advocacy efforts, continue to threaten operations at the Apache Generating Station near Willcox and put rural consumers at risk.
“The EPA’s rigid overreach has the potential to greatly harm families throughout Cochise County-especially those who can least afford it-through blackouts, higher rates, and the loss of good-paying jobs,” said Rep. McSally. “Today’s votes rightfully check that overreach. When you live in remote and often hard to reach areas, like many Southern Arizonans do, access to affordable and reliable energy is a necessity. I will continue to fight for the priorities of our rural residents and to give our energy producers the flexibility they need.”
“We want to thank Congresswoman McSally for co-sponsoring H.J. Res. 71 and H.J. Res. 72, two resolutions of disapproval related to the EPA's rules on existing and new power plants. Congresswoman McSally has taken a lead role in working to protect Arizona’s rural electric cooperatives and the Apache Generating Station from overreaching regulations that threaten the livelihood and wellbeing of rural people,” said Patrick Ledger, CEO of Arizona’s G&T Cooperatives.
“In many of the areas we serve, more than a third of those who will be impacted by this rule live at or below the federal poverty level, and simply can’t afford the price tag attached to this rule. We need fair and sensible regulation that provides a reasonable transition to new energy sources and does not undermine our ability to provide safe, reliable and affordable electric power for more than 400,000 rural people who rely on us,” Ledger said.
“Arizona’s rural communities are made up of residents, small businesses, industry, agriculture, hospitals, schools and many other entities, all of which are still struggling to recover from the recession. They have invested hundreds of millions of their hard earned dollars in facilities that may have to be retired and replaced unnecessarily because of this rule. The cruel irony is that some of the hardest-hit economies in the nation could be paying some of the highest electric rates because of this ill-conceived rule,” Ledger said.
The House today passed two resolutions previously passed in the Senate to overturn the EPA’s carbon rules on existing and new power plants. Rep. McSally is a cosponsor of both House companion resolutions. The resolutions passed today now go to the President’s desk.
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.
The EPA originally sought to mandate on Arizona a 52% reduction in emissions by 2030, which was the second most stringent requirement for any state in the county. In August, that goal was reduced to 34% in the final rule. The EPA also extended its interim compliance goal by two years.