The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and representatives of Gov. Ducey’s office and the Arizona Commerce Authority are headed to Washington, D.C. this week for our annual fly-in. Here’s what we’ll be up to while we’re there:
Explaining why EPA’s new ozone regulations are such a threat to Arizona’s economy. We’ll be bringing with us an early copy of a new Chamber Foundation paper prepared in conjunction with the Prosper Foundation that examines why the EPA’s new ozone rule is so worrisome for Arizona’s economy. We’ll be sharing our findings with the Arizona congressional delegation.
As my friend Jay Timmons, the president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, and I wrote in March:
For many parts of Arizona and in states around the country, EPA’s new ozone rule is poised to severely curtail growth and investment. Of the 10 counties where EPA even measures ozone levels, its new regulation would penalize nine—making it impossible for businesses to grow and expand. Why is EPA doing this when just last year only two Arizona counties exceeded the existing federal standard and air quality is on a trajectory of continued improvement? Why is EPA changing the rules on states for the second time in less than a decade?
You’re not going to get an acceptable answer to that question from the administration. State Attorney General Mark Brnovich and four other states are suing the federal government over the rule, and Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain are attempting to advance legislation that would put the rule on ice permanently.
In addition to discussing this topic with Arizona’s congressional delegation, we’ll also be briefing staff members of the House Western Caucus on why it’s so important their home state attorneys general join the lawsuit and why their bosses should support the legislation to stop the rule’s implementation.
Coming together on Interstate 11. The Chamber is a strong supporter of the future Interstate 11, which will realize the promise of a true North American trade corridor from Canada to Mexico. Congress, thanks to leadership from members of the Arizona delegation like Sen. McCain, Rep. Martha McSally and Rep. Paul Gosar, the co-chair of the Congressional I-11 Caucus, has given priority designation to the highway.
I-11 will eventually link Phoenix and Las Vegas, the country’s two-largest metropolitan areas not connected by an interstate. Our friends at the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce are also strong supporters of the highway, and we’ll be joining them for a reception with the I-11 Caucus to discuss how we can continue to work together to eventually secure funding for the completion of this critical trade-facilitating infrastructure.
Checking in with the delegation. We’ll also be checking in with our congressional delegation so we can raise the importance of these and other issues and learn more about what is on the agenda of Arizona’s representatives and senators. Other issues we expect to be discussed are:
Watch this space and Twitter for updates from our trip.