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Public Statements

Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FLAKE. I thank the gentleman from Oklahoma, the gentleman from Arizona, and the gentleman from North Dakota for cosponsoring this amendment.

As the gentleman mentioned, what we are talking about here is regional haze. This is not a health issue. It is a visibility issue.

As for the implementation plans being considered by the Federal Government, let me just take the Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona. What is being considered is likely an SCR fix, selective catalytic reduction, which would cost $1.1 billion. That would cause the owners of the Navajo Generating Station to simply shut it down. They can't produce economically with these kinds of burdens.

The benefits of that, we are told by the EPA, are that there would be no perceptible improvements in visibility--none. Manmade sources make up, at best, 5 percent of all regional haze in Arizona. This is 5 percent at best. So you require a fix costing $1.1 billion. For what? For no perceptible improvement in visibility at the Grand Canyon.

Why are we doing this?

The costs to Arizona are immense: 85 percent of the power generated--or used--by the Central Arizona Project to pump water for farmland and whatever else comes from the Navajo Generating Station. If you shut down that station, farmers will have to go back to groundwater where they can. What does that do? That depletes our underground resources, causing environmental havoc. This is madness what is going on.

What this amendment seeks to do is to force the EPA to actually follow the law. The law requires that the EPA set the standard, and then the State offers a State Implementation Plan, or a SIP. The problem is that the EPA is ignoring what the State submits and then entering into negotiations with third-party groups--environmental groups or others--and ignoring the State.

We can't allow this to happen anymore. That's why this is a good amendment. I urge its adoption.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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