The State Corporation Commission voted last week to reject clean energy rules that the Commission had “agreed” to last November. So what changed? And what does it mean for the future of clean energy in Arizona.
We asked Kris Mayes, a “former” Commissioner who guided the State’s last renewable energy mandate back in 2006, a mandate that’s still in place, Kris Mayes is now at ASU’S College of Global Futures.
“The Corporation Commission last week, had an opportunity to approve a 100% clean energy standard for the state of Arizona, by 2050… 50% by 2032. They had initially approved that back in November. And then they they just did an about face, especially the republicans on the commission, led by Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson, basically killed those rules, spite those rules, sort of like a basketball team that was driving for a layup and just dropped the ball,” Mayes said.
Mayes says she doesn’t understand why the Arizona Corporation Commission would go against this plan because it provided a lot of opportunity.
“All of these companies wanted to see Arizona move forward with this, because they want to be able to locate in a state that is supportive of clean energy. And there all sorts of other reasons for the commission to have supported these 100% clean energy rules, including the fact that it would have saved our ratepayers $2 billion over the lifetime of the rules, it would have saved tens of billions of gallons of water for our state which desperately needs to conserve that water. And they would have created tens of thousands of jobs,” Mayes said.
And now what’s next for Arizona?
“Unfortunately I think what this means is the utilities won’t be doing it as quickly as they should. And they won’t be doing it in a way that saves Arizona ratepayers as much money as we could, again, if we do more energy efficient,” Mayes said.