More than 30 large organizations, including major businesses and energy consumers in Arizona, called on the state’s utility regulators to finalize and implement new Clean Energy Rules that will require Arizona Public Service Company and Tucson Electric Power to generate 100% carbon-free electricity and expand programs to eliminate energy waste.
It’s disappointing that Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Lea Márquez Peterson has reversed her position, voting down a bipartisan set of clean-energy rules twice in one month. We are especially pleased to see the strong energy-efficiency standard and a 100% carbon-free electricity standard included in the package. While we would have liked to see a more aggressive timeline for Arizona to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity, the compromise of a strong interim target to achieve 50% clean energy by 2032 will go a long way to growing a thriving clean-energy industry.
The new rules update the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff that an all-Republican commission passed in 2006 and requires utilities to get 15% of their power from renewables by 2025, as well as the 2010 energy-efficiency requirements for them to use efficiency measures to meet 22% of their energy demand by this year.
Arizona is at a crossroads and has an opportunity to lead the nation in a clean energy proposal that differs from the Green New Deal. Arizona Corporation Commissioners have an opportunity to shape our state’s energy future while protecting our ratepayers and assuring reliability.
Commissioner Márquez Peterson’s energy–smart leadership has the Arizona Corporation Commission going in the right direction, making sure that Arizonans realize the full benefits of current energy market trends. Beyond being good for our wallets, it represents the most prudent, market-oriented, and conservative path forward for Arizona.
In this op-ed published by the Arizona Republic, Arizona Technology Council CEO Steven G. Zylstra and Doran Miller, state director of The Western Way, discuss why columnist Robert Robb misses the mark completely that the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) lacks the authority to update the energy standards at all. Additionally, he fails to recognize the many ways in which modernizing our clean-energy rules will benefit Arizona ratepayers, communities, the economy and environment.
We are well-positioned for a strong recovery, in part because of the strength of Arizona’s clean energy, technology and innovation sectors. With that in mind, last fall The Western Way partnered with the Arizona Technology Council to convene a group of stakeholders working at the forefront of technology and innovation here. Together, the group identified key policy priorities that, if implemented, can supercharge Arizona’s economic recovery and cement our state as a national leader in clean and renewable energy technology and innovation.
A controversial bill to prohibit Arizona’s utility regulators from setting state energy policy appears dead after a Republican senator decided he cannot support it. Sen. Paul Boyer, R-Glendale, told the Arizona Capitol Times that he still has too many outstanding questions about SB1175, which would allow only the Legislature to set energy policy. The House and Senate just don’t have the same expertise as the Arizona Corporation Commission, Boyer said.
The Arizona Technology Council, Ceres and The Western Way applaud Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Márquez Peterson’s commitment to move the pending energy rules forward. Every step of the way, she has demonstrated strong leadership while championing this initiative. She has stood by her commitment to this goal while also steering clear of the turbulent political headwinds created by legislation that would undermine Arizona’s clean energy business sector.
The Arizona Corporation Commission is an independent elected body, constitutionally charged with setting energy policy and regulating utilities. The Arizona Legislature is not in charge of the Corporation Commission and lacks the legal standing to pass Senate Bill 1175. This bill targets and threatens the bipartisan clean energy rules now being considered—rules that will save ratepayers money, clean up our air and boost our economy.