Move to Save Jobs & Protect Our Power Grid

Move to Save Jobs & Protect Our Power Grid

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Mark Finchem (R-11) has been requested to appear in Washington, D.C. to testify on the adverse effects that closing the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) would have on Arizona. The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing titled, “The Benefits of the Navajo Generating Station to Local Economies.”

For over a year, Representative Finchem, along with Senators Steve Smith (LD-11), Judy Burges (LD-24) and Sonny Borelli (LD-5), has worked diligently to find solutions that will stop the premature decommissioning of NGS and the over 800 jobs directly associated with it.

“When we learned last year that Salt River Project sought to shutter the plant 26 years before it was originally scheduled for decommissioning, and that early shutdown would cause a $1 Billion negative economic impact to the state budget, we reached out to the Arizona congressional delegation,” said Representative Finchem. “NGS was built and commissioned by Congress to supply affordable electricity to the Central Arizona Project, which supplies water to central and southern Arizona, as well as baseload power stability to the western states power grid.”

The hearing, set to commence at 7:00 am Arizona time on Thursday, April 12th, will be livestreamed via the official congressional website: https://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/archives/list.aspx?Subcommittee=5062. The video will also be played on the congressional YouTube page.

Senator Smith has helped Representative Finchem on the Senate side of the Legislature with moving HB 2003 through the hearing and passage process. HB 2003 exempts coal from the transaction privilege tax, which the Hopi Tribe of Arizona calls “an unjust tax” on their natural resource because coal is a raw material not a finished product. “Repeal of the TPT tax on coal would serve to level the playing field for all means of electric generation in Arizona and save over 800 jobs related to the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe,” says Senator Smith.

NGS is a 2250 Megawatt, coal-powered electric generation station that was built to replace plans that would have built more hydro-electric generation dams along the Colorado River, and at the time was endorsed by the Sierra Club as a better solution for supplying the needed electricity for the western power grid and CAP. Baseload power keeps the grid functioning while wind and solar power are unavailable.

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