EPA plan for Arizona coal plants under fire

Arizona Republicans are blasting a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plan to impose costly pollution controls on coal-fired power plants, with some legislators comparing it to the sort of tyrannical micromanaging that caused the Founding Fathers to revolt against England.

The EPA has ruled that three Arizona plants must upgrade with nitrogen-oxide-clearing equipment that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. This winter, the agency proposed the same for a fourth plant — the West’s largest coal burner, near Page — at a cost of at least $500million. About a quarter of the Navajo Generating Station’s power is used to pump Central Arizona Project water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson, holding down water rates.

The controls are meant to clear haze in federal parks and wilderness areas, including the Grand Canyon. State leaders say the benefit would be negligible and not worth the costs borne by one state alone. They insist the EPA overstepped its authority in rejecting a cheaper plan proposed by the state.

“It’s going to cost a billion dollars more than the state plan, which means some power plants may go out of business, leaving some parts of the state without electricity,” Attorney General Tom Horne said.

Cochise County lacks the physical connections to buy power from elsewhere on the grid, he said.

Read more at AZCentral.com. By Brandon Loomis, The Republic.

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