We are disappointed in the decision by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to not pass the clean energy rules that would have provided an immediate boost to our economy, the technology sector and the protection of our environment. The Arizona Technology Council, our members and many organizations across the public and private sectors have been strong advocates of these new rules and their promise of expanding the clean energy economy and creating tens of thousands of new jobs.
In fact, more than 30 companies — Apple, Google, Mars, Microsoft, Nikola, PayPal, REI and Salesforce among them — wrote to the ACC calling for the rules to be passed.
In discussions on the proposed rules, one of the major points of contention was the projected costs for ratepayers. The Ascend Analytics report commissioned by the ACC highly overstated the projected costs for utilities to increase their clean electricity resources in coming years, presenting a flawed outlook at the effects of the state’s proposed clean energy rules.
This is why the Council partnered with sustainability nonprofit Ceres and national consultancy Energy Futures Group to commission a more accurate and transparent technical memo. The memo shows the original Ascend Analytics report released last August and the utility-provided modeling that guided its estimates were rife with inconsistencies and shortcomings, likely leading to inflated cost projections for the rules. Despite the additional analysis and multiple interactions with skeptical commissioners, we believe the damage from the Ascend Analytics report was already done.
The Council and our partners remain committed to advocating for deeper investment in clean energy. We want Arizona to benefit from the regulatory certainty, economic benefits and competitive edge of clean energy – which the energy rules would have solidified. We believe this is a critical moment for ACC Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson to act by repackaging some of the most important elements of the energy rules, which include integrated resource plan reform of competitive resource bidding, electric vehicle tax credits and battery storage provisions. We see this as an incredible opportunity for her to realize her vision of growing the state’s economy while protecting Arizona ratepayers.
It is the hope of the Council and many of our partners that this unfortunate vote will not determine the future of Arizona’s clean energy leadership.
Steve Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.
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