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AZ Capital Times: Senate to Vote on Taking Power from Regulators

Posted by Howard Fischer on Mar 31, 2021

AZ Capitol Times quoted concerns from AEE’s Shelby Stults around a bill that would restrict the Arizona Corporation Commission’s ability to set energy policy for utilities. The story was also covered by AZ Central. Read excerpts below and the full story here.

Rejecting arguments about economic development, clean air and even constitutional issues, a Senate panel voted along party lines March 31 to strip the Arizona Corporation Commission of its power to set energy policy for utilities.

The 6-4 vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee followed arguments by Rep. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, that it was wrong of the independently elected utility regulators to propose that half of the state’s energy be generated by carbon-free sources by 2035 and have power be totally carbon free by 2050. She said the commissioners failed to consider the cost implications for consumers of having to give up on coal- and gas-fired power plants…

And Sen. Lisa Otondo, D-Yuma, said she has an opinion from legislative lawyers who say that this particular bill – pre-empting carbon-emission standards enacted by the commission – would be unconstitutional...

Shelby Stults with Advanced Energy Economy, a trade group representing those involved in new technology, said scrapping the new standards will put more than 41,000 jobs at risk.

Griffin’s measure leaves in place the original standards adopted by the commission more than a decade ago. They require utilities to have 15% of the energy from renewable resources by 2026…

Read the full story here.

Topics: AEE In The News