By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic
In November, the Arizona Corporation Commission passed rules that update the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff that was implemented by an all-Republican commission in 2006.
Republican lawmakers are trying to block Arizona’s clean-energy rules by prohibiting energy regulators from forcing electric companies to shift to 100% carbon-free energy.
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If the GOP proposals pass the Legislature and are signed into law they would not only block the requirement that utility regulators recently passed for electric companies to produce 100% of their energy with no carbon emissions by 2050, but also a host of other requirements such as how they plan for and build new power plants and other details included in the clean-energy rules.
The bills would leave that authority to the Legislature.
The measures, one of which passed the House Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee on Tuesday, prohibit any new rules passed since June 2020 from taking effect.
In November, with three Republicans in support, the Arizona Corporation Commission passed rules that update the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff that was implemented by an all-Republican commission in 2006.
Under the newest update to the rules, which is expected to get a final approval from the commission this year, electric companies will have to phase out coal- and natural-gas-burning power plants, and they will need to start soon. The plan has interim requirements that utilities cut carbon emissions in half by 2032, and 75% by 2040.
“This legislation is fraught with danger for Arizona. At the time when big job-producing businesses are demanding more and more clean energy, Arizona looks to be the only state in the country to be seriously considering going the other direction and opting for substantially less clean energy. Big businesses are not bringing their jobs of the future to states that are abandoning clean energy and Arizona should be careful.
Furthermore, now that renewable energy is universally hailed as the lowest cost resource, it is the precise wrong time to abandon it as to do so leaves the state not only with dirtier air but higher electricity costs. Beyond the obvious, this bill has numerous unintended consequences that will stifle everything from power line siting to whether or not you can charge you electric vehicle. It’s poor policy and it’s bad for business.”
Court Rich, Co-Founder, Senior Partner, and Director Renewable Energy and Regulatory Law Departments.