Voters may see Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative on next ballot
Feb. 28, 2018
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.