Column: Hearing looks at jobs and energy in Indian Country

"Which do you sacrifice, Big Green, with its billionaire clout, or the struggling Navajo, Hopi, and an indispensable coal-fired generator that keeps Arizona's central water supply flowing?

The Democrats face a test of character next Tuesday in a life-or-death congressional hearing on that question.

Two subcommittees of the House Natural Resources Committee have called an unusual joint hearing titled, "Protecting long-term tribal energy jobs and keeping Arizona water and power costs affordable: The current and future role of the Navajo Generating Station."

At issue: Environmental Protection Agency regulations are ready to shut down the Navajo Generating Station, which is the sole source of pumping power for the Central Arizona Project.

The CAP is America's largest irrigation system, 336 miles of canals feeding Colorado River water to a million agricultural acres, supplying municipal water for Phoenix and Tucson, while also providing flood and sediment control, plus recreation and conservation benefits.

The EPA is set to impose emission controls so expensive -- $1.4 billion -- that they will price the Navajo Generating Station out of existence."

Get the Story:
Ron Arnold: Democrats face an Environmental Protection Agency dilemma (The Washington Examiner 5/19)

Committee Notice:
Joint Subcommittee Oversight Hearing on "Protecting Long-Term Tribal Energy Jobs and Keeping Arizona Water and Power Costs Affordable: The Current and Future Role of the Navajo Generating Station" (May 24, 2011)

Related Stories:
House Natural Resources hearing for Navajo power plant (5/16)

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