Cochise County Tea Party

Free Markets, Fiscal Responsibility, Smaller Government, Secure Borders

Congressional Hearing on EPA, IRS in Mesa

More than 550 people showed up in Mesa on Thursday to attend the Congressional Field Hearing I held with fellow Arizona Congressmen Franks, Salmon and Schweikert concerning IRS abuse and EPA overreach. It is important, now more than ever, that we hold the federal government responsible for its invasive actions against its citizens, our state and our local governments.

Actions taken by activist bureaucrats are increasingly egregious. Arizonans across the state are furious about the abuse and overreach they see coming out of Washington. It’s time to rein the federal government back into its constitutional role. Click HERE to read my statement.

I was at the Congressional Hearing Thursday,August 22nd with Katie Miller.  It was an eye opener for the critters. When real people involved in the EPA issues, and IRS, gave them facts, data, stats, costs they would all just sit and shake their heads!!  There were times I thought Schweikert was going to come unglued at what he was hearing.  There wasn't a time in the 5 hours we were there that one of them didn't say "you mean to tell me........."  or "Where in the Constitution does it say they can do that?........." 

Gosar is chair over the Gov;' Oversight Committee so he knew a lot of what was being testified to and would sometimes lead the  questioning to get specific answers to the questiona he already knew the answers to (probably wouldn't get a way with that in court) but he wanted specific information in the record.  Gosar didn't know everything and he too was surprised by what AZ citizens are being subjected to by the Feds.  

Here is what everyone needs to know about the EPA's war on AZ coal plants:    

EPA decision for Arizona coal fired plants:

1)  the issue is not about pollution or health standards. The gov't fully admits that neither will be effected by the restrictions imposed on the 3 plants.  The Navajo Generating Station is the cleanest  coal fired plant in the nation because it only uses low sulphur coal which is mined in Kayenta.  It already EXCEEDS EPA standards for clean air.  This is about visibility and after spending over $1.1billion no one will be able to tell the difference.  Imperceptible changes except to very sophisticated equipment--which is also very expensive.

2) The prevailing winds in AZ go either west to northeast or southwest to northeast--in either case visibility in the Grand Canyon has nothing to do with the NGS.  ergo--not an issue.

3) the Mojave Generating Station across from Bullhead city was closed 7 years ago and was blamed for  alot of the "haze" and pollution going into the Grand Canyon.  700 people lost jobs and Billions and billions of dollars were lost to the river area in wages, economy and taxes.  It was a devistating blow to the regional economy that has NOT, nor will it ever be, restored.    The result of closing the plant on the Grand Canyon??  zip!!!! nothing ---turns out the real problem comes from the LA basin--what are they going to do about that??  nothing!

Costs to AZ and our citizens? $43.3 million in payroll, taxes, and payments to the tribes every year; the loss of 500 jobs and the trickle down jobs, multiply 500 by 8, and 1,580 MEGA watts of power annually enough to power 1.5 million households. The plant closed in 2006--that is what is lost every year by AZ for NO REASON what so ever.  It was all a lie.  Just like this "regional haze" is a lie!!

4) how did this come up??  "Binding Consent Decrees", or "sue and settle lawsuits",  that ONLY the EPA, the Environmentalist groups and some Federal Judge participate in. Here is how it works:  the Center for Biological Diversity files a lawsuit against the EPA in  Federal Court showing where they think the EPA has violated the Clear Air/Water Act by allowing company X to pollute in violation of the Act.  EPA replies the CBD might be right and asks for meetings to settle the suit.  They meet and come up with a "Consent Decree" agreeing with all the points of the lawsuit and then a plan for mitigation.  (result to us is decrease in the quality of life in one way or another)  They present that to the Federal Judge who then issues a "BINDING Consent Decree" of the findings and tell the EPA to "FIX IT!"    The kicker is that the CBD also asks for "attorneys fees" and gets it because they are the "winning" side. So the TAXPAYERS pay the enviro-attorneys to sue corporations, communities, etc.,--some times in collusion with the EPA who will ASK them to start the lawsuit--which just may be the case with "regional haze"

5) President Obama had warned that he would close coal mines and shut down coal fired electric plants before he was elected.  He has been accomplishing this through the EPA and setting higher and higher standards through policy actions.  In June he told an audience at Georgetown that he was going ahead with his global warming agenda and his war on coal.  In the last year over 290 coal plants have been closed and nearly every coal plant is having to jump through hoops for "regional haze"

The difference with the Navajo Generating Station is that it was created by Congressional legislation in a TREATY agreement with the Tribes and ONLY the Congress can make any changes or adjustments to the agreements.  This agreement was also part of an agreement with the Fed's AND the enviro's to develop the coal fired plant instead of  the tribes building hydro-generating stations on the Colorado.  ANY action by the Federal government or the President is in violation of the Treaty.  This is in direct violation of the Constitution and  an impeachable offense!!  OK, so there is a problem about getting that enforced or finding the Congress critters to initiate the action, but it does add more fuel to the fire! and, yes, the "impeachment" word was opening used during the hearing.

The impact to the tribes would be devastating on the economy and the tribe itself. Unemployment on the reservation is nearly 50%.  The plant and mine closures would push that up to 70% plus the payments that the NGS pays to the tribes directly.  In discussions about solutions, in a perfect world, the Tribe and he State of AZ could sue the EPA directly to the Supreme Court for breaking the treaties.  There are options  the tribes have to get the EPA off their backs that we don't have because we don't have a treaty that created our coal fired plant.

The Second issue dealt with the over reach of the IRS on non-profit groups in AZ, most of which are liberty/patriot groups.  There were several folks who testified about the treatment they have received from the IRS and the outrageous volumes of information the IRS has required over the last 3 years while NOT making a decision one way or the other.  If the IRS declined the  groups they could appeal through the court system but by delaying the decision they are all still in limbo.

The hang up in all this is that IF the IRS determines that the groups do not meet the IRS rules the IRS then denies their 501(c)3 status and anyone who has given a contribution to the group and took it off their income taxes as a "charitable donation"  will have to file an amendment to their taxes removing that deduction.   It also has hampered the groups from participating in the election process in 2012 and making the difference that we did in 2010. 

One thing to understand is the IRS demanded that these groups FILE for their 501(c)3 and (c)4 which allowed the IRS to scrutinize the records of the groups and the people who stuck their necks out as Directors.  Now, all the groups have started PAC's (Political Action Committees) so they can do all the political stuff.  There is no "approval process" for a PAC, just information sent to the IRS to let them know its a done deal.

In addition to the start up patriot groups the IRS is also going back to existing right leaning 501(c)3's that have been in existence for more than 15 years and are requesting some of the same information in witch hunts of trying to find "something" to justify pulling their non-profit status.  The IRS is starting with the very big influential groups to make an impact.  This is tyranny!!

What we Tea Party people heard as testimony was what we have known for 3 years but the Congressmen had no idea of how personal the IRS has gotten with their snooping.   We were all surprised when Nick Drainians, from the Goldwater Institute, got up and brought the latest letter they had received from, NOT the IRS, but from SENATOR DICK DURBIN written as the  "Assistant Majority Leader in the Senate". This letter has been sent to 300 national organizations wanting to know "What is your association with the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC".  The definition of "association" had a long list of what information Durbin wants and he wants it by September 1st. The groups that received this letter had 3 weeks to respond.

ALEC is a 35 year old non-partisan group that goes around the US doing trainings with State Legislators with sample legislation that focuses on Federalism--in other words, legislation under the 9th and 10th Amendments. (their core values are "Limited Government, Free markets, Federalism-- sound familiar??) So they are now targeted by the SENATE!!  This IS in violation of the Constitution-- for which these senators can be impeached by their colleagues-- and just blatant TYRANNY!  Totally out side of the parameters of the Constitution...... not that it matters or that anything will actually get done about it. Our Senators are more worried about giving legal status to 25 million illegals than the tyrannical actions of the Progressives and their OAdmin henchmen.

Bottom line-- elections have consequences.  For all those Repubs/Independents who decided to sit out an election and not vote for Mitt Romney for whatever reason, and to all the Democrats who have always voted Democrat voting Obama and his Czars back into office (and are now sorry they did) this is what you have wrought on the country.  What is going on in DC now is nothing compared to what will happen when the IRS gets the reins of Obamacare and has ALL your records that will be linked to the health care you receive--or don't get because you are following the wrong party line.   Also understand that what we are hearing is only the tip of the iceberg.  The reality in DC is much, much worse because it is infecting ALL departments across the board.

At the close of the testimonies by the people who were speaking against the IRS the Congressmen stated that the only way to stop the abuse if for every voter to be vocal with their opinions by calling and writing letters--- not email-- and talking to their legislators one on one whenever they are home from DC. 

Make an appointment to talk to them. 5 mins is all you will get so be succinct

Provide data and facts not opinion and provide graphs, pictures whenever possible

Talk to your State Legislators about your concerns and tell them to go talk to your Congressional Rep regardless of party..... they will usually get more than 5 mins.  For example all 3 of our LD legislators should be sitting down with Ron Barber at least 6 times a year to open dialogue because they do represent the same people.  (They would all agree on Securing the Border first and not allowing any legalization until the border is secure.  Can you not see a very powerful coalition between those 4 ).  This is outside the party box thinking which is what MUST be done to retain/restore the Republic!

The final suggestion from the Congressmen was:  If you don't like what is going on then you have to DO something. If you want to save the Constitution and our Republican form of government you have to let your elected officials know from the City Council, County Supervisors, State Legislators, and Congressmen.  
They only know what they hear or by the tally sheets on issues that they receive from their interns.  This is true regardless of their party affiliations (more so the opposition should hear what their constitutes have to say)   

Only you can make a difference.

"Not to speak is to speak"

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