To the editor:
I write today to expose a serious issue detrimental to future economic prosperity in northern Arizona and to commend U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick for her recent comments regarding the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) highlighted last week by the Arizona Daily Sun.
Rep. Kirkpatrick specifically recognized the 1,000 jobs that NGS and the Kayenta Mine provide here in the First District, and how there would be no replacing them if they were lost. The economic importance of NGS extends beyond jobs as well.
A recent study commissioned by Salt River Project and the Navajo Nation found NGS and Kayenta Mine can be counted on for $13 billion in economic benefit to the Navajo Nation between now and 2044. Over the same time period, the statewide economic benefit is nearly $20 billion.
This takes into account the power NGS provides to the Central Arizona Project to pump Colorado River water -- Arizona's primary source of renewable water -- to 80 percent of the state's population and the infusion of payroll into our northern Arizona economies.
... EPA's current proposal for NGS would mandate the installation of very expensive emissions controls that the federal government's own study has said will not accomplish any perceptible improvement in visibility above the Grand Canyon.
Basically, EPA's proposal would not accomplish its stated goal, but could cost Arizona thousands of jobs, billions in economic activity, and higher water and electricity rates for most families and businesses throughout our state. We are hopeful that the EPA takes all of this into consideration before moving forward with their current plan to the detriment of northern Arizona and the state as a whole.
Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce