Voters may see Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative on next ballot

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The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative sets goals to have 50 percent of the energy used in the state be reusable energy by 2030 with 15 percent renewable energy by 2025.

Jim Mapstead is a supporter of this proposal, saying that he knows that the goals look unattainable but they are actually realistic. He points out that neighboring states have much more aggressive initiatives already in place.

“Every poll conducted shows Arizonans want more renewable energy in our portfolio,” Mapstead says. “This is a health issue as well. One of every nine kids in the state has asthma. 60 percent of our energy right now comes from the burning of fossil fuels. We’ll be able to clear the air up substantially.”

In addition to those advantages, Mapstead says that it will also lower consumer costs. He says in his own building, the electricity bills decreased by a noticeable amount after the addition of solar panels. Ultimately, it will be up to the Arizona Corporation Commission to come up with rules and regulations, he says. However, this is the time to make the change because the price of solar energy has decreased by 70 percent since the start of the decade.

“It’s also a job creation bill as well,” Mapstead says. “Solar energy installations is the fastest growing sector in America today. Solar jobs have increased 25 percent over the last year. This will continue to grow.”

The argument that the price of renewable energy will hurt fixed-income individuals the most is a scare tactic, Mapstead says. He stresses that the state should be concerned about lowering energy costs and creating more jobs and that can all be done through renewable energy.

In order for this measure to be added to the bill, the groups behind the bill – one of them being NextGen American, a political group focused on climate change – need to have 225,963 signatures by July 5.

Horizon will hear from the other side of the argument tomorrow night.

TED SIMONS: A GROUP CALLED "CLEAN ENERGY FOR A HEALTHY ARIZONA" IS BEHIND A BALLOT INITIATIVE TO REQUIRE 50% OF TOTAL ELECTRICITY GENERATED FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES BY 2030. SPEAKING NOW IN SUPPORT OF THE INITIATIVE IS LOCAL BUSINESSMAN JIM MAPSTEAD, OWNER OF ACCURATE SIGNS AND ENGRAVING. WE SHOULD NOTE THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SOMEONE AGAINST THIS TOMORROW, BUT THIS YOUR IDEA, YOUR IINITIATIVE HERE AT LEAST. THE ONE YOU’RE PROPOSING, THE ONE YOU’RE SUPPORTING, SO WE WANT TO GET YOU ON FIRST. WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

JIM MAPSTEAD: WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE ENERGY IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA BEING PROVIDED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY. 50% RENEWABLE ENERGY BY THE YEAR 2030. WHILE THAT MAY SOUND LIKE A LOT, NEIGHBORING STATES OF ARIZONA ACTUALLY HAVE MUCH MORE AGRESSIVE INITIATIVES ALREADY IN PLACE. NEVADA, UTAH, COLORADO AND NEW MEXICO ALL ARE MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN WE ARE RIGHT NOW.

TED SIMONS: WHY DO WE WANT 50% BY 2030? I THOUGHT IT WAS AT 15% NOW BY 2025?

JIM MAPSTEAD: THAT’S CORRECT

TED SIMONS: WHY DO WE WANT TO INCREASE IT TO 50% BY 2030? THAT'S QUITE A JUMP.

JIM MAPSTEAD: IT IS QUITE A JUMP, BUT IT’S NOT UNREALISTIC. TWO REASONS, TWO VERY BIG REASONS. ONE, EVERY POLL CONDUCTED SHOWS THAT ARIZONIANS WANT MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY IN OUR PORTFOLIO. NUMBER TWO, THIS IS A HEALTH ISSUE AS WELL. ONE OUT OF NINE KIDS IN ARIZONA HAS ASTHMA. 60% OF OUR ENERGY RIGHT NOW COMES FROM THE BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS. BY BEING ABLE TO DECREASE THAT, WE WILL CLEAN UP THE AIR SUBSTANTIALLY.

TED SIMONS: DO WE KNOW HOW THIS WOULD IMPACT CONSUMER COSTS?

JIM MAPSTEAD: WE DO. THIS IS ACTUALLY GOING TO LOWER CONSUMER COSTS, DESPITE WHAT YOU HEAR. THE LAZARD STUDY LAST YEAR-

TED SIMONS: WHAT IS THAT STUDY?

JIM MAPSTEAD: THAT WAS AN EXTENSIVE STUDY FEATURING ALL ENERGY SECTORS. IT SHOWS THAT WIND AND SOLAR ARE ACTUALLY LESS EXPENSIVE THAN BURNING COAL.

TED SIMONS: ARE THERE PROTECTIONS IN PLACE IN CASE IT DOES INCREASE COST? AND BILLS? AND WHAT CONSUMERS HAVE TO PAY EVERY MONTH?

JIM MAPSTEAD: IT’S GOING TO BE UP TO THE ARIZONA CORPORATION COMMISSION TO COME UP WITH THE RULES AND REGULATIONS ON HOW THIS IS GOING TO BE GUIDED, BUT WE ARE CERTAIN ENERGY, SOLAR ENERGY, HAS DECREASED BY 70% SINCE THE YEAR 2010.

TED SIMONS: THE PENALTIES FOR UTILITIES THAT DON'T HIT THE MARK THERE?

JIM MAPSTEAD: I’M NOT AWARE OF THAT. IT WOULD BE UP TO THE ARIZONA CORPORATION COMISSION TO COME UP WITH THOSE RULES.

TED SIMONS: SO THIS IS MOSTLY A GOAL AS OPPOSED TO SOME SORT OF LEGAL MANDATE, CORRECT?

JIM MAPSTEAD: IT'S NOT AN UNREALISTIC GOAL TO COME UP WITH THIS. THE PRICE OF SOLAR HAS COME DOWN SUBSTANTIALLY AS AN EXAMPLE, AND THE AMOUNT OF WIND IS INCREASING THROUGHOUT NOT ONLY THE NATION BUT THE WORLD AS WELL. AS A BUSINESS MAN, I HAVE BEEN A BENEFICIARY. I HAVE SOLAR ON MY BUILDING AND MY ENERGY COSTS HAVE DROPPED SUBSTANTIALLY. PLUS THIS IS A JOB CREATION BILL AS WELL.

TED SIMONS: IN THE SENSE OF HOW?

JIM MAPSTEAD: SOLAR ENERGY INSTALLATIONS IS THE FASTEST GROWING SECTOR IN AMERICA TODAY. SOLAR JOBS HAVE INCREASED 25% OVER LAST YEAR. THIS IS SUBSTANTIAL, AND THIS WILL CONTINUE TO GROW.

TED SIMONS: WHO IS BEHIND THIS EFFORT TO GET THIS ON THE BALLOT?

JIM MAPSTEAD: THERE IS A BROAD BASED GROUP OF COMMUNITY GROUPS. MI FAMILIA VOTA. ARIZONA PHYSICIANS ASSOCIATION. AND AFTER THIS IS FILED WE HAVE NEW GROUPS COMING ON ALL THE TIME.

TED SIMONS: WHAT IS NEXT GEN, AND WHY ARE THEY BEHIND THIS?

JIM MAPSTEAD: NEXT GEN THINKS THAT THIS IS A GREAT IDEA, AND I AGREE WITH THEM.

TED SIMONS: AND WHAT ARE THEY? WHAT IS NEXT GEN?

JIM MAPSTEAD: NEXT GEN IS A COALITION BACKED BY A CALIFORNIA BUSINESSMAN.

TED SIMONS: YEAH TOM STEYER, A BILLIONARE OVER THERE IN CALIFORNIA. YOUR OPPONENTS HAVE ALREADY COME OUT, AND THEY ARE GOING TO REPEATEDLY REMIND VOTERS THAT THIS IS A CALIFORNIA GUY INTERESTED IN ARIZONA ENERGY. SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT?

JIM MAPSTEAD: I THINK WHAT WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT IS LOWERING OUR ENERGY COSTS, WHICH THIS INITIATIVE WILL DO, AS WELL AS CREATING MORE JOBS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA.

TED SIMONS: BUT AGAIN, DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THERE IS CONCERN? I THINK THERE ARE SIMILAR INITIATIVES IN TWO OTHER STATES, NEVADA AND MICHIGAN. IT SOUNDS AS IF SOMETHING IS HAPPENING AWAY FROM ARIZONA THAT WILL IMPACT ARIZONA. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

I RESPOND BY SAYING IF SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA IS INTERESTED IN DECREASING MY ENERGY COSTS, AND LOOKING AT CREATING GREATER EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE, I’M ALL FOR IT.

TED SIMONS: CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SAYS IT WOULD HURT ARIZONA'S ECONOMY.

JIM MAPSTEAD: NOT TRUE. WE ARE GOING TO LOWER ENERGY COSTS. AS A BUSINESSMAN, I LOOK FORWARD TO PAYING LESS IN EXPENSES.

TED SIMONS: CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ALSO SAYS IT WILL HIT FIXED INCOME FOLKS THE HARDEST.

JIM MAPSTEAD: THESE ARE SCARE TACTICS BEING USED BY REGULATED MONOPOLY UTILITY COMPANIES.

TED SIMONS: YOU THINK THE OPPOSITION IS BASICALLY UTILITITY COMPANIES.

JIM MAPSTEAD: ABSOLUTELY.

TED SIMONS: WITH THEM THERE, HOW DO YOU PLAN ON FIGHTING THEM? HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING 200,000 SOME ODD SIGNATURES ON THERE BY THE SUMMER?

JIM MAPSTEAD: BY GOING TO THE VOTERS AND SHOWING THEM. IT WOULD SURPRISE ARIZONA VOTERS THAT ARIZONA IS ACTUALLY BEHIND NORTH CAROLINA IN SOLAR ENERGY. WE HAVE MORE SUN HERE, ARGUABLY, THAN ANY OTHER STATE IN THE UNION. THIS JUST MAKES COMMON SENSE THAT EVERY VOTER IN ARIZONA WANTS RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THEIR PORTFOLIO.

TED SIMONS: YOU SAY LOWER COSTS, CLEANER SKIES –

JIM MAPSTEAD: MORE JOBS

TED SIMONS: MORE JOBS

JIM MAPSTEAD: THIS JUST MAKES SENSE.

TED SIMONS: AND WHEN I ASK THE FOLKS TOMORROW ABOUT THIS, AND THEY SAY, NO, NO, AND NO. IS THIS A GENUINE DISAGREEMENT? WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT HERE?
JIM MAPSTEAD: I'LL SHOW YOU NUMEROUS STUDIES THAT SHOW THAT THE COST OF WIND AND SOLAR AND RENEAWBLE ENERGY IS LESS THAN COAL.

TED SIMONS: ALL RIGHT, WE'LL STOP RIGHT THERE.THANKS FOR JOINING US, WE APPRECIATE IT. THAT’S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Jim Mapstead: Supports Clean Energy Initiative

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