In case you missed it, this piece by Glenn Hamer ran in Sunday’s Republic.
There is fairly broad agreement on the desirability of reducing greenhouse gases. Things get more complicated when it comes to achieving that goal.
Any plan for reducing carbon emissions needs to acknowledge this is a global issue, should treat states fairly, and should not unduly burden job creators in a soft economy.
Unfortunately, the EPA took a step in the wrong direction when it proposed a rule aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Under the proposed rule, Arizona will be required to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 52 percent, the second highest reduction rate required by this rule. This is unfair and if allowed to go forward could dramatically impair our state’s competitiveness in terms of electricity costs and water rates.
Arizona is already doing quite a bit to reduce emissions, but the EPA isn’t giving us proper credit. For example, we have a broadly supported Environmental Portfolio Standard that has paved the way for Arizona to be one of the top solar producers in the country. Our energy efficiency standards are strong and have been recognized nationally. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been committed to reducing emissions from coal production.
According to the EPA, its proposed rule will cost at least $8 billion annually and will only slightly decrease carbon emissions worldwide. I don’t buy either claim. The costs are likely to be much higher, particularly for Arizona, and will increase the attractiveness of doing business in countries like China that are more carbon intensive.
The Arizona Chamber will do everything possible to protect Arizona’s economic interests while advancing constructive policies to improve our environment.