BREAKING NEWS: Maricopa County Superior Court upholds Arizona Corporation Commission’s decision to reject SRP’s proposed Coolidge gas plant; Court Rich, Rose Law Group co-founder, weighs in

By Rose Law Group Reporter

The big story: This morning, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner affirmed a 2022 decision of the Arizona Corporation Commission that denied Salt River Project a permit needed to build a large new 16-turbine gas-fired power plant next to the historically Black community of Randolph, Arizona. Background: The ACC initially reviewed SRP’s application and found the negative environmental impacts of the proposed Coolidge Generating Station outweighed the need for the project. SRP disagreed with the decision and appealed it to the Superior Court. In its appeal, SRP argued the ACC overstepped its bounds and illegally rejected the utility’s application. In rejecting SRP’s arguments, Judge Warner wrote, “[t]here is no real dispute that expanding the Coolidge Generating Station from 12 gas turbines to 28 would result in more noise, light, and air pollution, or that the project’s construction would cause noise and dust. SRP does not argue that the project will have no environmental impacts, but rather that the impacts will not be significant. Although the Commission would have been within its discretion to agree, substantial evidence supports the contrary conclusion it reached.” • Additional remarks: “I am just so happy for the residents of Randolph who never should have been put in this situation in the first place. SRP’s rushed proposal was too expensive and too polluting when compared to other cleaner and more reliable alternatives utilizing battery energy storage and clean solar energy,” said Court Rich, co-founder of Rose Law Group and counsel for intervenor, Sierra Club, in the matter. “SRP has now lost twice at the ACC and once in court; hopefully they will now finally give the people of Randolph a break and be done pushing this ill-planned project and instead focus on clean and reliable alternatives,” said Rich.

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January 2023