Biden “Inflation Reduction Act” raises electricity prices in Pinal


President Joe Biden touted his so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” which was a thinly disguised attack on the use of fossil fuels. This bill was ostensibly passed to save us from a future climate disaster As it happens, a portion of Pinal County has a federally funded\subsidized Irrigation District which also provides electricity to an area in the Cactus Forest area of Pinal. The area is mostly south of Florence along HWY 79.

Originally, the purpose of the San Carlos Irrigation Project (SCIP) was to provide water for farming and electricity for the pumps to move the water. Later, SCIP started providing electricity to homeowners in the area too.

This year, the people who get their electricity from the San Carlos Irrigation Project have seen their monthly electrical bills double in amount from  a year ago. Predictably, this has caused an uproar in that the customers who are generally living frugally off Social Security. However, local political figures are not in a position to make changes because the SCIP is part of the US Bureau of Indian Affairs, all they can do is try to get the attention of Congressman Eli Crane. The Depart of Indian Affairs published the following notice:

“Effective Sept. 1, all customers except Irrigation Project Pumps will be charged $0.056 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) billed in addition to our existing electric power rates published in the Federal Register (87 FR 77628, Dec. 19, 2022). This will replace the April 1 PCA of $0.0249 per kWh.

County Supervisor Jeff McClure who represents that area of the county, said SCIP apparently hadn’t had a rate increase in 16 years, nor has it maintained its infrastructure adequately, “which is a problem; they should have been doing this all along.”

Wednesday the 20th, a community meeting was held in Florence at the Library with about 200 frustrated people who are being affected by this rate hike.

Brad Miller, an attorney who is running for Pinal County attorney, spoke to the crowd and passed on that he was in dialog with Attorney General for the San Carlos Apache Tribe and SCIP. His message was that SCIP had to purchase power on the open market and engage in short term contracts which are higher than the market-SCID is precluded from signing long term power supply contracts by Federal Law.

For more information on this click this link. 

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