by Patrick O’Malley
Precinct Committeeman (LD12)
At the EPA Hearing on November 14, the EPA asked those who wished to speak to come up and take a seat at the front table two at a time for efficiency. So I’m making my comments and the guy sitting next to me is with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Is he supposed to be the balance to my conservative comments? No, we are both there trying to convince the EPA to leave Navajo Generating Station (NGS) alone. Or at least leave something in operation after they make their final ruling, because we both clearly see the damage changes at NGS will have on Arizona’s economy. It’s not just a federal authority out of control or state’s rights issue. This agency is messing with our everyday lives.
There were about 200 people at the hearing and about 100 of them made statements. It broke pretty cleanly into the Sierra Club wanting quick, drastic changes that will close NGS, and everybody else. Everybody else included legislators, union workers, Central Arizona Project, farmers, Indian Tribes, and average citizens. Rep. Warren Petersen and Joy Staveley from Canyoneers wanted the EPA completely out of our business and to back off completely from NGS. They have the right principles for the long term fight with the EPA, but I’m afraid it’s too late for principles to triumph on NGS.
The Technical Working Group (TWG) Negotiates a Surrender
In June of this year the Technical Working Group (TWG) got together and proposed a negotiated surrender as opposed to having the EPA force them into an unconditional surrender. TWG consists of Salt River Project and the Department of the Interior as major owners of NGS; Central Arizona Project (CAP) as the biggest customer of NGS; Gila River Indian Community as a major customer of CAP; the Navajo Nation because NGS is on their land, and they supply the coal to make it go; and two environmental groups, Environmental Defense Fund and Western Resource Advocates. The Sierra Club was originally part of TWG, but walked out when the plan wasn’t severe enough to satisfy them.
So why didn’t the State of Arizona get a seat at the TWG table? Technically because the EPA is dealing directly with the Navajo Nation and it’s not an Arizona issue, but it’s safe to assume the other members of TWG were afraid a State of Arizona representative couldn’t be trusted to surrender fast enough.
Thanks to Andy McKinney for the following post.
Nancy Pelosi is attacking the Navajo nation with a fury not seen for over a century. She and her Democrat Party allies have set their sights on the economic and social destruction of the Navajo nation.
Fify percent of the economically active people on the Navajo reservation are unemployed. The nation participates in three interconnected operations providing $100,000,000 for the Navajo people. These are the Kayenta coal mine, the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and the railroad that connects the two. Losing the NGS means the loss of this entire economy, not just for the Navajo people, but also for the people who benefit and depend on it for their own livelihoods.
Pelosi wants to close the generating station on utterly bogus environmental grounds.
She and her Democrat Party Pals want to crush the economic life out of the Navajos. For her, Navajos shouldn’t be allowed to have high paying railroad, mining, or power generating jobs. For her, food stamps and poverty are all the Navajo people can aspire to.
Fortunately, the Navajo coal miners are represented by the United Mine Workers of America UMWA). Perhaps the Democrat Party will not throw their allies in big labor under the bus in favor of their allies in the environmental wacko movement. Ninety-eight percent of the UMWA members at Kayenta are Navajo.
Save the Navajo. Stop the Democrat Party.
Patrick O’Malley is the newest member of the Gila Watch editorial team, and we are honored that he has joined us.
Patrick is an electrical engineer with 40 years experience, mostly with Motorola and Freescale Semiconductor, as a design and application engineer. He holds four patents. He chose to emphasize time over money and retired early to grow citrus, get a license to operate public drinking water systems, and study water and the environment. His previous political experience was limited to serving on the Board of a small irrigation district. The overwhelming conservative win in the 2010 elections followed by the disappointing lack of change in government policies convinced him it was time to stop complaining and get actively involved. Patrick is a Republican Precinct Committeeman in Legislative District 12, and serves as its Treasurer.
Congressman Gosar had this to say about his many visits throughout the district he represents on behalf of his constituents:
“Monday I traveled to Payson to meet with constituents in Gila County. I visited the Payson Education Center, Julia Randall Elementary School, Payson High School, and held a Coffee with the Congressman event and a Business Roundtable. I spoke to students about the Constitution and the importance of fulfilling their civic duties. I heard from teachers, principals, and administrators about the significance of the parent/teacher relationship and how the federal government threatens to undermine it. I also heard from business leaders and concerned citizens at the Coffee event and Business Roundtable about the budget, Obamacare, and immigration reform. As always, it was refreshing to hear from Arizonans who are engaged and demand common-sense solutions.”
And we appreciate a Congressman who spends time with his constituents, listens to them, and does his very best to represent their interests.
For more information about Rep. Paul Gosar, visit his website and sign up for his email updates.
by Patrick O’Malley
Precinct Committeeman LD12
On October 21 we talked about the EPA’s War on Coal and the power plants they are targeting in Arizona. The Sierra Club is bragging that they’ve closed down 150 coal power plants since 2010, and they want to make the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Page, AZ number 151. That’s the plant that supplies 90% of the electricity used to operate the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal.
Those of us outside of the Page area won’t be part of the economic disaster that will take place in the Navajo Nation if NGS is shut down. They are the ones who will lose good paying jobs at the power plant and the coal mine. But everyone in Arizona will be affected, because, long term, somebody will have to pay to replace a perfectly good power plant with decades of life left in it. And that will be all of us paying more for electricity and water.
There are two EPA issues coming up right away that affect coal fired power plants in Arizona. The first is carbon capture with a deadline for the public to comment by November 8. You can comment by email.
The issue of jobs in Arizona is critical, as Patrick O’Malley has explained in two articles: The War on Coal, and The War on Coal: Take Action. Mr. O’Malley also illustrates the devastating effect that the EPA’s actions will have on raising the cost of water and electricity to all Arizonans. Under the Obama Administration, the EPA has taken charge over our lives. We no longer have a well behaved Rottweiler under control in our household. The Rottweiler has taken control.
As you can see from this press release issued by Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, he’s helping us fight off the EPA’s belligerance. But he cannot do it alone! Patrick O’Malley has provided two sample emails that you can send to the EPA, copying him, so he can physically and publicly hand them to the EPA at the hearing on November 14. The carbon letter must be emailed by Nov. 8. The NOx letter must be emailed by Nov. 14. Please copy Patrick O’Malley on both of these emailed letters. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is Rep. Gosar’s Press Release:
by Patrick O’Malley
Central Arizona Project (CAP) provides Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties with 1.5 million acre feet of water every year. Navajo Generating Station (NGS) is the major source of electrical power to CAP, and electricity is CAP’s biggest operating expense. NGS continues to be one of the biggest problems facing CAP.
The EPA Wants $1.1 Billion in Pollution Controls
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants NGS to add additional pollution controls with a price tag of $1.1 billion. A letter of understanding by the Directors of the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Energy in January gave NGS more time to study the issue, but it’s not likely to change the answer. All three of those Directors at the EPA have since resigned, so it’s not up to them anymore.
Recently Rep. Matt Salmon sent a letter to the EPA asking them to take into account the economic impact on Arizona of additional pollution controls at NGS for negligible air quality improvement. The EPA has been known to take economic issues into account in the past. But will they do it for a coal fired power plant?
Navajo Tribal Council Wants 15 Times More in Lease Payments
Plus, there’s a new problem for NGS. The Navajo Generating Station is located on Navajo Nation land, and the coal it burns comes from a mine on Navajo land. Both the lease and the coal mining agreement are up for renegotiation.