Arizona GOP lawmakers aim to take control of energy policy away from Corporations Commission
Published: March 5, 2012 at 11:37 am in AZ Capitol Times
by The Associated Press
Republican lawmakers are moving to grab control of energy policy from state utility regulators in a political turf fight over the future of Arizona’s solar power industry.
A bill co-sponsored by 30 Republican lawmakers would make any new policy guidelines or rule changes by the Arizona Corporation Commission subject to approval by the Legislature and the governor.
Supporters of the proposal say it would help protect consumers from unnecessary surcharges. But critics say the plan threatens the growth of the state’s solar industry.
The legislation, scheduled for a formal House vote Monday, reflects debate over whether government should direct energy development.
Also, the bill echoes lawmakers’ concerns over whether the five-member utility commission should have final decision-making authority rather than the 90-member Legislature.
“The Legislature is the one that is supposed to be setting policy,” said Glendale Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko, the bill’s chief sponsor.
The measure from majority Republicans is a response to court orders upholding commission rules requiring electric utilities to get a specific portion of their energy from renewable sources such as solar.
AZGreen Magazine encourages clean energy policy, and we would like to see Ariozna policy makers with a clean energy agenda stay in office. With Corporation Commission elections around the corner, Arizonans have an opportunity to help keep sustainable energy policy a top priority at the CC. Commissioner Paul Newman is running for re-election this year to the Arizona Corporation Commission. Newman supports more clean solar power in our great state, wise use of our precious water resources, and greater transparency in utilities regulation. Newman voted for:
- An energy efficiency standard that will save $2-3 dollars for every $1 invested; saving ratepayers $9 billion over 20 years; and
- A Renewable Energy Standard that has resulted in $2 billion in economic activity and 16,000 jobs.
Arizona has a ‘clean elections’ system, which helps keep corporate money out of politics. Newman requests your help in making AZ the Solar State by contributing up to $150 in ‘seed money’: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/websitepaulnewman
If you can’t donate, you can give a $5 contribution to Paul Newman to keep clean elections and clean energy in AZ! http://www.azsos.gov/equal/