Arizona utility regulators want to hear from residents about power plant closures

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Arizona Corporation Commission will hold two in-person town hall meetings to hear from community members who have been impacted by past or future closures of coal-fired power plants in their region.

The meetings in Shiprock and Farmington are part of a series being held by the ACC as commissioners examine how to assist communities where power plants had been or are operating.

The ACC is visiting the area because it regulates the Arizona Public Service Company, which is the majority owner of the Four Corners Power Plant near Fruitland and runs it for other co-owners.

The commission is partnering with Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, who represents northwest New Mexico on the state's Public Regulation Commission, to host the meetings.

New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner Theresa Becenti-Aguilar is partnering with the Arizona Corporation Commission to hold town hall meetings to hear about the impacts of power plants on community members.

"My constituents, they're going to be impacted tremendously," Becenti-Aguilar said on June 15. "They were working at San Juan Generating Station and Four Corners Power Plant for a number of years and the continuity of job creation is very important to me."

She added that it is time for the ACC to listen to residents from this part of New Mexico.

"I think it's very important for my constituents to express their opinions because changes are occurring," Becenti-Aguilar said.

The first town hall meeting will be at 6 p.m. on June 16 at the Phil L. Thomas Performing Arts Center in Shiprock.

Because of the current COVID-19 public health emergency order on the Navajo Nation, wearing face masks in public is mandatory.

The second town hall meeting is 9 a.m. on June 17 at the lecture hall inside the Information Technology Building on the San Juan College campus, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington.

The ACC is working to livestream the Farmington town hall.

It is recommended to check the commission's Facebook or Twitter accounts for the livestream link on June 17 at facebook.com/corpcommaz or twitter.com/corpcommaz.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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