Arizona Corporation Commission Candidates Debate Renewable Energy

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 9:28am
Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 12:56pm

The candidates running for the Arizona Corporation Commission debated Wednesday night trying to differentiate themselves in a race for three open seats. 

Three Democrats and three Republicans are running to be state utility regulators. The Democrats are campaigning heavily on green energy issues. Anna Tovar claims making Arizona the “solar capital” of the nation would be good for the economy.

“So, for me, it'll be a win-win situation. It'll create a new economy with green jobs that will be paying our Arizonans and creating those thousands of jobs that we desperately need.” Tovar said.

But the Republican candidates have concerns. They point to California, a state that’s moved to renewable energy, and they claim that this summer’s rolling blackouts were the result of utilities being forced to move away from fossil fuels.

While the candidates spent most of their time arguing about fossil fuels vs solar, the arguments may be moot.  An Arizona Supreme Court ruling appears to have narrowed the legal role of the Commission strictly to setting rates. Which, in turn, could undermine the existing requirement that utilities generate 15% of their power from renewable sources by 2025.

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