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Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I would like to support and thank my colleagues, Congressmen Jeff Flake and Rick Berg, and support this amendment.

I represent the areas where two of the Arizona plants threatened by the EPA's heavy-handed regulations are located, the Coronado Generating Station in St. Johns and the Cholla plant near Joseph City. The third plant, the Apache Generating Station, near Wilcox, is just 100 miles away and serves a good portion of my constituents in the southern part of my district. These are bedrock to our local communities. They provide high-paying jobs where unemployment is already over 10 percent.

Over the August recess, the Environmental Protection Agency held public hearings in Phoenix, Holbrook, and Benson on their Federal plan. Each of the hearings in rural Arizona had over 300 people present. That is an incredible turnout in these relatively small towns. That is how important this issue is to my constituents.

The EPA refused to hold a hearing in St. Johns, despite being a community directly impacted by the regulations, so I hosted a meeting to facilitate the submission of public comments. On a night where the local high school had their first football game and the county fair was taking place, we still had over 100 people show up.

Listen, everybody wants clean air and good-paying jobs. The fact of the matter is the EPA is acting well beyond its authority and under public law in my State and many others across the country.

Vote ``yes'' for our amendment.

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Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Today, I am pleased to put forth an amendment to protect the residents of Arizona from the EPA's attacks on the Navajo Generating Station, which is located near Page, Arizona. The uncertainty surrounding proposed EPA regulations and their effects on the Navajo Generating Station were some of the first issues brought to my attention when I was sworn into Congress.

The overreaching regulations would effectively shut down this critical and unique plant. A closure would dramatically increase the cost of water and power for my constituents, and it would eliminate thousands of tribal and nontribal jobs--all for no discernible improvement in visibility. Again, according to the Federal Government, itself, no discernible improvement in visibility.

You see, this plant is unique because it is owned by six entities, including the Federal Government. It was part of a plan created by visionaries so that we could provide power to move water from the Colorado River, through the largest aqueduct system ever constructed in the United States, to the people of Arizona. You can see it across here. In fact, the CAP delivers water to up to 80 percent of my State's population. This includes 45 percent of Phoenix's water, which is the fifth largest city in the United States, and 80 percent of the water to the 32nd largest city in the United States, which is Tucson.

The Arizona we know today would, without a doubt, not exist if it were not for this plant. The Navajo Generating Station and the associated coal mine directly employ over 1,000 Arizonans, who are mostly Native Americans. Additionally, according to an Arizona State University study, the plant will indirectly account for more than $20 billion in gross State product and will indirectly provide for 3,000 jobs annually over the next 40 years.

I also want to point out a complicated but important part of this issue. The Federal Government is actually working against itself with these regulations. Revenues from the sale of excess power generated by the plant are used to repay the Federal Government's debt for the construction of the CAP project. They are also used to help pay for the costs of congressionally authorized Indian water rights settlements between the Federal Government, tribes, and entities within Arizona. So, without these revenues, the Federal Government will be undermining its own legal agreements with Native Americans and the people of Arizona.

Let's put an end to this insanity. Vote for my amendment, and stop the EPA from issuing far-reaching regulations that threaten jobs, Arizona's water supply, affordable electricity, and tribal rights established with Congress.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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