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Coalition urging Obama to halt EPA rules for Arizona power plant

PHOENIX -- A proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency for an Arizona power plant is a bad one, a coalition said.

The EPA is calling for new equipment at the Navajo Generating Station Power plant near Page, Ariz., that would limit emissions that may cause haze in the Grand Canyon.

Members of the Arizona Coalition for Water, Energy and Jobs said the equipment would cost over $1 billion and would raise electric and water rates.

Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin wants the EPA to back off.

"I'm asking the President of the United States to help get the EPA off of Arizona's back," he said.

The coalition said more than 3,400 jobs are dependent on the plant and could be lost if the EPA ever decided to shut it down. Tobin said the EPA's rule would hurt Arizona at a time when the state's economy is recovering.

"When you start talking about that effort ending up on the back of Arizona taxpayers, we cannot afford this again," he said.

Tobin directed more of his comments toward President Barack Obama.

"Mr. President, this one's on you. We need your help. You know that this science does not match up. You know that we need to review this. Let's find a better way."

The coalition said there is no proof that emissions from the power plant are causing haze in the Grand Canyon. Members said it could be caused by vehicle emissions from Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The coalition said that the EPA's rule, if enacted, could cost Arizona $20 billion in lost economic activity over the next 30 years.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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