Arizona Corporation Commission Won’t Give Up on Its Green New Deal Dream

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Some ideas need to be put to sleep. Maybe someone should tell that to the Arizona Corporation Commission.

About a year ago, the commission quietly released its plan to impose California-style energy mandates in our state. While following in California’s footsteps for just about anything seems like a bad idea, that certainly rings true when it comes to energy.

After all, last August, not too long after the Arizona Corporation Commission released its plan, California instituted its first intentional rolling blackouts since 2001. And the state’s residents were also asked to conserve electricity during a significant heatwave last summer.

But this year, it may be even worse. While electricity prices explode across the state, more blackouts are almost guaranteed to happen again this summer. But California won’t be the only state affected.

California is exporting blackouts

To protect themselves, California is buying up power around the West, essentially exporting blackouts to other states. Apparently, they’re afraid to rely on all their “green” energy and solar power. What does that tell you?

But unfortunately, Arizona is a part of the Western Interconnection, making it one of the most likely states to be impacted by California’s failures. Now, despite seeking energy mandates just like California’s, the Arizona Corporation Commission and other utilities are worried. Earlier this month, they even issued a warning that California’s decisions could lead to outages here in Arizona this summer.

Can you imagine having intentional blackouts during a 110-degree day in Phoenix?

That doesn’t sound like fun, and our commissioners are right to be concerned. But then, why are they pushing the same California-style mandates right here in our state?

Arizona Corporation Commission continues to embrace the Green New Deal

You would think having a front row seat to California’s grid meltdown would be enough for our own commission to learn a lesson. But they just can’t help themselves. In November of last year, the commission voted 4-1 to initially approve a plan to ban fossil fuels and require most electricity companies to provide “clean” energy by 2050. The lone vote against this ridiculous plan belonged to conservative Republican Justin Olson.

Then, in early May, something changed. The Arizona Corporation Commission made an amendment to the original plan and rejected the 100% “clean” energy rules. Our state appeared to dodge a bullet. But at the end of May, the commission revived the so-called “clean energy” plan and is now looking to ban all fossil fuels by 2070.

Not only does this ignore the will of the voters, who largely rejected the statewide energy mandate sought by Proposition 127, but it will lead to less reliable energy, higher rates, and millions of corporate welfare dollars going to special interest groups. A final vote on the revised energy mandates is expected to take place sometime this December.

Our commissioners have seen the warning signs. They have watched California go all-in on the Green New Deal. They claim they are upset and worried about it. Now, they have to decide if they plan to take Arizona down the same exact path.

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This article was published on July 16, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

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