Calls plant “so important for power, jobs,” in first State of the District speech

(SIERRA VISTA) — Congresswoman Martha McSally said protecting the Apache Generating Station from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “overreach” will continue to be one of her priorities as she serves in Congress.

McSally, (R-CD2), discussed what she called the “major issues” during her first “State of the District” speech, hosted by the Sierra Vista Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Windemere Hotel in Sierra Vista Nov. 12. More than 80 people attended, including local Chamber of Commerce officials and local elected officials.

Among those “major issues” – keeping the EPA at bay on the Clean Power Plan(CPP) and the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rules.

McSally, who toured the Apache Generating Station only 53 days after being sworn in to office, called “affordable and available electric power part of what it means to have economic opportunity for everybody.”

“The Apache Generating Station is so important for our power, for jobs, in Cochise County,” McSally said.

“It’s important for the people in our communities to have affordable, reliable electricity. We don’t want to get to the point where we have brownouts, blackouts, and rates going up – we need it to be affordable and reliable,” McSally said.

“I went there (to the plant) and met with senior management and learned that (the CPP) is really just cost-prohibitive, not just here but for all of Arizona, quite frankly. And Apache would have been just one of the casualties,” McSally said.

McSally said she “pushed back hard” against the CPP with letters, phone calls, and meetings with key policymakers, and the result, with the help of other policymakers, has been a modified rule.

“We’ve at least got the EPA to adjust its rule for Arizona so it’s not as bad as it was initially, but it’s still something we need to be pushing back on and stop this overregulation,” McSally said.

“If that plan went into force the way it was originally proposed – which was a total overreach by the EPA – that could have caused the Apache Generating Station to shut down,” McSally said.

“This is just one example of where we’ve tried to push back on these federal agencies. Another is WOTUS.  There are others related to the Affordable Care Act, the 40-hour work week, the employer mandate, and many other things where we’ve been pushing back strongly on these things that hurt small business and communities.”

“Just know we’re holding the line on these issues… (and) it’s an honor to represent you,” McSally said.