After months of opposition from the Randolph community, Pinal County residents, and climate activists, the Arizona Corporation Commissioners voted 4-1 to deny the Salt River Project's request to expand its Coolidge Gas Plant. Rural Arizona Action would like to thank everyone who took action by joining rallies and press conferences, giving public testimony, and talking to the media.
Commissioners Sandra Kennedy, Anna Tovar, Lea Marquez Peterson, and Jim O'Connor voted to reject the plant and Commission Justin Olson voted in favor. This decision comes at a time when Pinal County is already experiencing the effects of climate change with increased extreme heat and strain on our water resources. By denying this expansion, the ACC has listened to the concerns of Randolph residents and taken a positive step toward changing the cycle of environmental injustice.
While the ACC made the right decision, it is imperative that this level of environmental injustice is not allowed to be repeated or continued. Randolph residents deserve meaningful concessions from SRP to contend with the impacts already caused by this power plant and from the lack of community inclusion in the decision-making process prior to the announcement of the project. Ultimately, the community should have been more included in this decision-making process. We won’t stop advocating for policymakers to listen to the input of rural Arizonans and meaningfully address our concerns on the issues that impact our lives.
Read the Arizona Central article about the decision here.