APS claims customer rates don’t fund its political spending; Rose Law Group Co-Founder, Senior Partner, and Director of Renewable Energy, Court Rich tells New Times, ‘We all know where that money comes from.’

By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times

From 2013 to 2018, Arizona Public Service and parent company Pinnacle West poured at least $130 million into political spending, charitable contributions, marketing and advertising, lobbying, and sponsorships.

None of that money came from customers, APS claimed, as it submitted spending records to the Arizona Corporation Commission on two successive Friday afternoons, most recently on April 5. 

“When the company participates in the political process, all engagement occurs through Pinnacle West and is funded through Pinnacle West earnings, not through APS customer rates,” Barbara Lockwood, APS’ vice president of regulation, told the Commission in a March 29 letter. It was the utility’s first response to demands from Commissioners Sandra Kennedy, Bob Burns, and Boyd Dunn to provide records of its political participation and spending.