AZ CAP and TAX Dams Uphill Battle

by Gayle Plato

With all of the health care scare and town halls going code blue, The American Clean Energy and Security Act, HR 2454, otherwise known as the Cap and Trade legislation, is ready and able, moving closer to Senate approval status. Volumes could be written about how it will impact Arizona. This legislation affects every single Arizonan who uses water, eats food, and relies on power. This legislation has nothing to do with green energy and everything with greenbacks. Cap and Trade will face a serious uphill battle with Arizonans- literally.

CAP has another key meaning here, The Central Arizona Project. The CAP took 20 years and $4 billion to complete, and uses coal to work. Coal creates the electric power used to move the millions of gallons of water around Arizona and the West. The CAP will be hammered by Cap and Trade legislation as coal-burning plants, specifically the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) is the only energy producer supplying the CAP power for the pumps. Water does use gravity to travel but in Central Arizona, much of the water must travel uphill and that requires electricity from the Native American power plants. Nearly a quarter of all the power generated by the NGS goes to the CAP. Imagine the slam to the economy the Navajo and Hopi Nations will face, the costs for the state, and the reality of the Cap and Trade mandates?

“The CAP is the largest single source of renewable water supplies in the State of Arizona and the largest single end-user of power in the State. The CAP uses about 2.8 million megawatt hours of energy to pump about 1.6 million acre-feet of water each year from the Colorado River…Today, CAP’s energy costs are about $50 per acre-foot of water delivered. A $200 per acre-foot increase in CAP energy rates would represent a 400% increase to our water users.”
Is the state of Arizona ready for the federal designs on energy? Susan Bitter Smith can reassure us at CAP’s website, taxes won’t be raised.  But let’s face it; CAP’s own site states that costs will skyrocket.  What about the reality that the federal plan directs more than a scrub of the emissions? The Cap and Tax scam fuels a scrubbing of the entire power generation process.
We just completed the CAP in the 90s; are we really prepared to switch all power sourcing over to–what? Hundreds of solar panels lining the highway from Kayenta to Page? Maybe we could put up millions of dollars of wind turbines all over Monument Valley? The plan for hydro-electricity failed at the onset of the CAP because no one wanted to see dams built in the Grand Canyon.  The Navajo Generating Station was created to accommodate the CAP, creating jobs and fueling an entire community of support and infrastructure.  Greening the nation sounds great as a campaign slogan or over a hummus pita in a Flagstaff coffee and organic hemp shop. When you’re in college and thinking about joining the Obama volunteer forces, consider how it’s going to feel on the unemployment line after your year of service, because Cap and Trade will eviscerate the economy one curly cue toxic light bulb at a time. Walk in beauty natives, as the costs to the community will be insurmountable. Never mind the Navajo, the Diné, the People; Yá’át’ééh a bini. To my Navajo friends: Át’aa la’ hóníí’ ‘o’oots’id (loosely-I feel burned)!

But don’t get confused about what Cap and Trade really is. This is not about greening the environment. Carbon credits including the regulation of emissions, is the creation of a truly green currency. The trade of a new currency, that is a carbon emission credit, is the real story and every publication seems to drop that lede. There will be huge profits for the scam artist carbon credit brokers. One metric ton of greenhouse gas equals a carbon credit. The traders of these, on the international scene, follow the greenhouse gassy Kyoto agreement plans dropped down from on high at the United Nations: this is one pile of steaming crap for trade. The best part- a tree must be planted in turn for the credit. Think of the movie Bugsy recalling how Benjamin Siegel sold shares of The Flamingo over and over, ending up in a dire situation with a few bullets in his head. When the trade of credits and subsequent trees being planted cannot be tracked, outright fraud will prevail. But, what a great money maker it will be for the few years is flies.

Coal burns but people shouldn’t be burned as the new greening of the world leaves many cooked. Whether water, food, or people needing to move around the country, power matters. If the POTUS administration REALLY wants to help the environment, get off of the incredibly useless solar and inefficient wind power ideas. Get the country drilling. Drill baby drill– for what we have most of- Natural Gas. Help the natural gas drilling happen and stop blocking it. Listen to a leader who knows a thing or two about energy:

“In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase…We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.

In Alaska, we are progressing on the largest private-sector energy project in history. Our 3,000-mile natural gas pipeline will transport hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of our clean natural gas to hungry markets across America. We can safely drill for U.S. oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats.Westerners literally sit on mountains of oil and gas, and every state can consider the possibility of nuclear energy…We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama’s plan will result in the latter.”- Governor Sarah Palin”


  1. We need to make sure Sen. McCain sticks to his current stand against Cap and Trade. In the past he has co-sponsored Cap and Trade legislation.

  2. I don’t dispute CAP’s current reliance on coal. On the other hand, the canal runs through some of the best land in the world for solar energy. What if the right-of-way along the canal was lined with solar panels (with battery storage for night-time pumping)? I bet they could actually reduce energy usage under such a plan.

  3. Rightwoman Gayle says

    Solar is such a great idea, yet in practice, becomes overwhelming on a large scale. If it was efficient, we’d see more of it in AZ. Capitalists would love to have independent energy, yet we do not see buildings, offices using much of it at all.

    The Internet became such a daily used tool because of its cost-profit value. Solar is not there yet.

  4. Gayle has misread what the CAP report states. The CAP report is not saying there will be a 400% increase in water costs, it is just lays out an example of what the multiplier effect of an arbitrarily determined carbon emissions control charge. The report states it has no idea what the cost of emissions control charge will actually be.

  5. There currently is a 15-20% price differential between electricity generated thru carbon and solar. That differential is shrinking as solar becomes more efficient and carbon gets more expensive. The point is that if (when) the cost of carbon-generated power increases by 20 percent, then solar will be cheaper, and if it is smart CAP would start using it. Thus (making Todd’s point) projecting a 400 percent increase in the price of water is ridiculous






  7. Donutwarrior says

    Based on my conversations with people who do know what it will cost, the CAP assumes $100 per ton for carbon, which may be high. May be (initially) closer to $50 per ton which results in a 200% increase, doubling the cost of water. Solar is great, but not as a base load, since it would only allow CAP to pump during the day. Water supply is not something I would like to be at the mercy of the weather. This is the problem with solar in general: it CANNOT serve as the base load supply, but is otherwise good for shaving daytime peaks. As long as we fail to acknowledge this limitation, we will never become energy independent. Solar will NEVER completely replace other forms of energy generation, no matter how much we wish it to be so.

  8. Veritas Vincit says

    re: #1 … JMac had better remain totally committed in opposition to Cap & Trade.

    re: #2 … interesting concept, should be considered.

    re: #3 … solar will never be cost effective as long as the sun is missing for 12 hours per day (not counting cloudy days). Also, what are the toxic components of solar panels that have to be considered?

    re: #4 … as usual Todd, just like a good liberal you ignore the fact that the report is considering the potential consequences of the actions. Something you completely ignore in your attempt to divert attention to the literal text.

    re: #5 … Where in the hell do you get a 15 to 20% differential? Smoking something you wish to share? You obviously are not including availability of the resource in your calculations. Someone get Bill a Tin-Foil Hat.

    re: #6 … simple and accurate for those bothering to research the issue without patchouli coated glasses.

    Donutwarrier … Veritas is impressed. Someone who understands the energy equation. Amen brother.

    Now to the key question posed in the blog:
    “Is the state of Arizona ready for the federal designs on energy?”

    Hell No. The Fed has NO place in energy policy or design. That is a state issue. Anyone knowing the history of the FERC knows why it was created and when and for what purpose. As for the USDOEs EIA? Should be abolished because it serves no useful purpose.

    America’s energy infrastructure was developed and build before major federal regulation. During the 30s, the fed aided in energy development through hydroelectric in the western states on public lands.

    The REA was an excellent boost to energy development in the U.S.

    However, the fed was a welcome partner NOT an adversary foe.

    CAPnTRADE will induce a recession to become a major global depression before 2014.

  9. Donutwarrior-

    RU secretly T Boone? SO smart there!

    VV- Thx for the validation. As you noted, all the points were referenced and it takes one click to see the original text. Whether the libs like it or not, Solar and Wind are not feasible.

  10. VV,
    The report is not an estimate that water rates will increase 400% but rather this discussion is explaining how CO2 allowances costs could impact water rates. Again, the report states the authors have no idea what allowance costs will be. I have no idea what you are taking issue with in my statement since you just sling an insult.

    The White Paper also fails to note the significant incentives industry will be getting to deploy carbon capture and sequestration which will lower carbon emissions counted against coal burning plants.

  11. It’s stunningly stupid and irresponsible that we are still not advocating and utilizing the natural decay of atomic particles to generate power. This source of power can go for years of reliability and have a minimal impact on the environment.

  12. Susan Bitter Smith says

    THe real fear for CAP is not really CAP and TRADE legislation but current rules being promulagated by the EPA on coal fired plants. Those rules are moving on a fast track and create huge problems for the continued operation of the Navajo Generating Station. CAP’s leadership has been diligently keeping property taxes low, but water rates themselves could be impacted by this federal action. Calls are needed to all members of Congress to stop EPA’s current proposal.

  13. CAP is the largest provider of renewable water supplies in AZ.Unfortunately the supplies are pumped with carbon based coal fired power plants in Northern AZ. The EPA is out of control again in the Obama administration just like it was in the Clinton administration.

    We are going to rebalance the relationship between compliance with EPA unfunded mandates on AZ water users and the CAP mission to provide sustainable water suppler to 80% of the states population.

    We will probably have to sue the Obama administration like we did to the Clinton administration. We won the fight against Clinton team, and we will win the fight against the Obama team.

    A giant waste of time and money that enriches lawyers not the people or the environment.

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