> Chapter Home
 
> Political Action page
 

Energy:
corporation commission rules; legislative approval

Our Position: oppose
Bill Number: HB2789
Sponsor: Lesko, Harper, Kavanagh, et al.
Legislative Session: 2012 Legislative Session

 solar panelsHB2789 corporation commission rules; legislative approval has a strike everything amendment in the Senate that says a public service corporation, meaning utilities such as APS and TEP, cannot be required to meet a renewable energy standard that is greater than the standards required in any rules in effect on January 1, 2012. It is blatantly unconstitutional and clearly an attempt to hold back renewable energy.

Status

05/07/2012 - It never went to the floor of the Senate, so is dead for the session.

Action Needed

To find contact information for both senators and representatives, click on Member Roster.

 

More information

To see how your representatives voted, just click on HB2789 House Vote.

Contact

Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org

Background

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is a constitutional body and the commissioners are elected officials. A great deal of the ACC’s authority comes from the Arizona Constitution and as noted above, the ACC has exclusive authority over ratemaking.  It also has authority over issues that are relevant to effective ratemaking. The Courts agree and just ruled on this very issue last year, saying that the Renewable Energy Standard was within the ACC's constitutional ratemaking authority. 

This bill is all about creating another court case for Goldwater Institute, which would like another bite at the apple, when it just lost this case last year. Pushing the bill just so they can have a lawsuit is an abuse of the legislative process and the courts.

The bill sponsor says that if they let the court case stand then the Arizona Legislature cannot make energy policy.  That is false.  The legislature can make energy policy, provided it does not infringe on the ratemaking authority of the ACC.  For example, it could put in place a statewide energy efficiency code for buildings.

Why would Arizona cap our REST at 15% when already our neighbors are exceeding that requirement, including California, which has a 33% standard and Colorado, which has a 30% standard? This will just help send more of the solar industry and the associated jobs to our neighbor to the west.

In addition to its constitutional issues, the bill is an attempt to undermine renewable energy programs in Arizona, which have made significant progress due in part to the REST. There is strong public support for renewable energy, especially distributed solar, why would the legislature want to stand in the way of advancing them?

Renewable energy programs are good for air and water and good for the economy, creating jobs and keeping more of our energy dollars here in Arizona. 

This measure introduces more uncertainty into the solar market, which is clearly bad for business and why the solar energy companies, large and small, are opposing this bill.

     
     

© copyright Sierra Club 1892-2014