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EAC to host field hearing for Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee

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EAC to host field hearing for Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee

By Submitted By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—Arizona House Representative Frank Pratt, chairman of the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee, has announced that a field hearing will be held in Graham County on Friday, September 12, 2014. House Speaker Andy Tobin has authorized the hearing to begin at 2 p.m. in the EAC Activities Center - Lee Little Theater.

The committee will be receiving testimony concerning the implementation of proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule 111(d). This proposed 1600-page regulation sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions at targeted industries and facilities. It requires individual states to develop a plan to achieve the targets set by the EPA. It has been alleged that full enactment of the limits may result in closure of electric generating facilities, job loss, and significant increases in electric rates. The majority of Graham County, including the San Carlos Apache lands, are served by the Apache Generating Station, which has been identified by the EPA as a targeted site.

Chairman Pratt commented, “We are pleased to bring this hearing to Graham County. Too often agencies make decisions based on what they hear in Phoenix. We are making sure that rural Arizona has a voice. This would not have happened without the assistance of officials and government in Graham County, most especially Eastern Arizona College.”

Scheduled witnesses include: Beth Hager, Director of Public Affairs for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality; John LeSueur, Utilities Division Director for the Arizona Corporation Commission; Phillip Bashaw, Director of Government Relations for the Grand Canyon Electric Co-oparative Association; and Graham County Electric Co-op board members Reuben McBride and Kirk Gray. The general public will be allowed to address the committee as time allows.

It is expected that several of the committee members will be present for the hearing in Thatcher. In addition to Chairman Pratt, other republican committee members are: Vice-Chair Karen Fann (Prescott), Ethan Orr (Tucson), TJ Shope (Coolidge), and Bob Thorpe (Flagstaff). Democrats serving on the committee are: Albert Hale (Window Rock), Jamescita (Cameron), and Macario Saldate IV (Tucson). LD-14 Representatives David Gowan and David Stevens will be joining the committee for this hearing in their district. In addition, State Senate Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee Chair Gail Griffin has been invited to sit with the committee for this hearing.

Graham County Supervisor Drew John has encouraged local residents to attend this hearing, stating, “Since Congress can’t pass a budget or control the EPA, it falls on ‘we the people’ (that’s us, by the way) to stand up for our way of life and attend this meeting.”