Tell the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to support rural and tribal communities hit hard by the closure of coal plants and mines owned by Tucson Electric Power (TEP).
Tucson Electric Power has asked the ACC to allow it to increase rates and service fees by nearly $200 a year for the average residential customer. Tucson Electric Power is an owner of three coal-fired power plants that operated on or right next to the Navajo Nation for more than 50 years.
Two of those – Navajo Generating Station and San Juan Generating Station – have now closed down permanently, and the last one, Four Corners Power Plant, will shut down within the next 10 years. Yet, while other utilities have committed to providing assistance to help the Navajo Nation and communities like Farmington, where two of the plants are located, Tucson Electric Power has done nothing.
It has not set aside a single dime to help in the economic transition and it has not made any plans to site replacement clean energy projects near these communities. After profiting for a half-century from the sacrifices made by these communities so its customers could reap the benefits of cheap power and water, it’s time for Tucson Electric Power to give back.
Any approval for a rate increase MUST include funding to support coal-impacted communities as they try to rebuild economies that have been or will be devastated by the retirement of main economic drivers.
HOW TO PROVIDE YOUR COMMENTS TO THE COMMISSION
Use the talking points listed below for your comments, plus include any specific reasons you are concerned about this rate case. Tell your story about how coal plants and mines impacted and harmed you, your family and your community, and how the abrupt closure of plants and mines has added to the injury.
Public Comment Session by Telephone
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
@ 10 AM MST (9 AM Rez time)
Dial – 888-450-5996
Passcode to Speak – 457395#
If you have them written down, submit your comments to the Commission. Be sure to include the docket number at the top of your comments – Docket # E-01933A-22-0107
Go to https://efiling.azcc.gov/cases
Click on “Make A Public Comment in a Docket.”
Complete your information and click “Submit.”
- For more than a half-century, Tucson Electric Power has benefited from the operation of coal-burning power plants located on or near Navajo land. Its customers enjoyed inexpensive power. The company profited handsomely and its shareholders earned steady dividends. Its executives were paid generous bonuses. All of this was possible through the exploitation of our resources.
- Over the past half-century, these power plants – Navajo Generating Station, San Juan Generating Station, and Four Corners Power Plant – dumped millions of tons of harmful toxic chemicals from these plants and the coal mines into the air and land. The plants and mines that supplied them used enormous amounts of our water. There are serious public health impacts tied to this pollution and the depletion of our water, and our communities have borne the brunt of the impacts of this exploitation.
- The plants and mines provided good, family-supporting jobs for some who lived nearby, but mostly the lofty promises of prosperity and benefits that TEP and the other owners promised never materialized. There are still thousands of Navajo and Hopi homes that lack electricity and running water. TEP and the other owners allowed this exploitation to continue for 50 years.
- Navajo Generating Station closed almost three and a half years ago. San Juan Generating Station closed last year. The plants were shut down abruptly, giving surrounding communities only a few years to completely rebuild their economies. And so far, TEP has not provided any assistance to help them in this transition.
- Other utilities have stepped up to provide support. TEP must do the same thing. It should provide financial support and it should make binding commitments for new clean energy projects on tribal land. TEP has already begun providing support and making plans to help the non-Tribal community where it owns a share of a coal plant. Tribal communities deserve the same.
- The ACC cannot continue to ignore the deep economic impacts that coal plants closing down has on communities. It has to step up, like other states are doing, and provide the kind of support that is needed to ensure their economic futures.
Yá’át’ééh! My name is ___________________. I am Navajo or Diné from the community of ___________________________ here on the Navajo Nation.
As a coal-impacted community member, I am calling today to urge the Arizona Corporation Commission to support rural and tribal communities such as mine hit hard by the closure of coal plants and mines owned by Tucson Electric Power.
For nearly half a century, communities like mine have had to sacrifice our land, water, and health to provide cheap power and water to utility customers throughout Arizona. Although the plants and mines provided good, family-supporting jobs for some, there are still thousands of Navajo and Hopi homes that lack electricity and running water.
[Tell your personal story here] [Optional]
While coal plants are shutting down, they are occurring abruptly, giving surrounding communities only a few years to completely rebuild their economies.
Other utilities have stepped up to provide transition support for coal-impacted communities, yet Tucson Electric Power has not. Tucson Electric Power should provide financial support and make binding commitments for new clean energy projects on tribal land.
Although Tucson Electric Power has begun providing support and making plans to help non-Tribal communities near one of their coal plants, there has been no commitment to helping tribal communities.
Thank you for allowing me to speak, and I hope you take my comments into consideration. I urge the Arizona Corporation Commissioners to act now to ensure coal-impacted communities like mine receive the just and equitable transition support that is critical at this time. Ahéhee’!
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.