Arizona Corporation Commission Tables Deregulation Issue

September 13, 2013

So, let’s step into the way-back machine heading to last week. Remember that story you heard about how the Arizona Corporation Commission was going to hold hearings this fall into whether or not it should move the state towards retail competition in the electricity market? Well an update now, and it could basically be summed up by saying, not so much.

This week the commission voted to table the issue, because of legal advice it got that said retail competition, deregulation, consumer choice, whatever you want to call it, is unconstitutional in Arizona. That is based on a 2004 court ruling known as the Phelps Dodge case, but the panel did decide to keep looking at related issues.

Commissioner Bob Burns thinks that is the right way to go.

"In spite of the advice that the Phelps Dodge creates an impediment that requires a constitution and/or statutory changes, that should not be a shut down in my mind of this issue. I think we need to continue to look at this," Burns said.

Specifically, Burns wants commissioners to look at the current model and any potential improvements to it that could include some elements of competition.

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