News Release: From the Office of Commissioner Tobin

  For Immediate Release | 4-12-19      
  Media Contact | Nick Debus      
  Direct | 602-542-0728      
  E-Mail | ndebus@azcc.gov      
         
 

Commissioner Tobin Thanks Flagstaff for Supporting Biomass Solutions

 
 
Commissioner Andy Tobin today appreciates the City of Flagstaff and its Mayor, Coral Evans, for supporting pending biomass solutions at the Commission that could reduce Arizona wildfires.

The City of Flagstaff submitted a letter to the Corporation Commission's 'biomass' docket to ask the Corporation Commission to "take immediate positive action to change the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) rule to mandate the generation and procurement of 60 mega-watt (MW) of bioelectricity and to allow Utilities to adapt their tariff to rate-payers to reflect the additional cost of biomass electricity."

"As we head into another potentially devastating fire season, we must act now to clear our forests and reduce the fuel for these catastrophic wildfires," said Commissioner Tobin. "My Energy Modernization Plan calls for 60 megawatts of bioenergy capacity to clear one million acres of high-risk forest every 20 years. I proposed this plan over a year ago and have failed to get a vote from my fellow Commissioners to take action before we miss another fire season."

The letter explains the City of Flagstaff has experienced several large wildfires first-hand over the past 21 years. As a result, the City details its efforts to curtail the spread of wildfires. Commissioner Tobin said, "I hear the city's plight. Flagstaff is one of many Arizona municipalities that have suffered from no action and that could benefit from energy-spurred forest restoration."

"I am grateful to Mayor Evans for her commitment to forest restoration and wildfire mitigation," said Commissioner Tobin. "I encourage more cities, towns and rural areas to support the biomass process I proposed to save our rural residents from the effects of devastating wildfires."

Commissioner Tobin is calling for another vote on his biomass proposal at the Commission's next Open Meeting, April 23 and 24, 2019.

Link to the City of Flagstaff's letter: https://docket.images.azcc.gov/0000197226.pdf.

Read Commissioner Andy Tobin's proposed Energy Modernization Plan at https://azcc.gov/energyplan.

To view all documents relates to forest bioenergy, visit https://edocket.azcc.gov and view docket E-00000Q-17-0138.
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About Commissioner Andy Tobin:

Commissioner Andy Tobin was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2006 and served as Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2014. His leadership within the State of Arizona includes his time as former Director of the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures, Director of the Arizona Department of Insurance, and Acting Director for the Arizona Department of Financial Services. Mr. Tobin also served as National President of the U.S. Jaycees Foundation. He was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to fill a vacant seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2015 and elected to serve a full term in 2016. During his time at the Commission, Commissioner Tobin has focused on getting broadband (internet) connections into rural Arizona schools, been instrumental in establishing the Water Emergency Team to proactively protect Arizona's water supply, and introduced the Arizona Energy Modernization Plan, which calls for 80 percent of the state's electricity generation to come from clean energy by 2050 and advocates for an end to devastating wildfires through the adoption of biomass related energy.

The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state's constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit https://www.azcc.gov.