For Immediate Release | 9-22-20
Media Contact | Daniel Schwiebert
Direct | 602-542-3625
E-Mail | DPSchwiebert@azcc.gov
“Later this week, the Arizona Corporation Commission will hold a special meeting to consider the state’s clean and renewable energy standards.
“Although few policies will affect our future more as a state, remarkably no discussion or comment was allowed at the last meeting, outside of the chair’s own proposal. This is unacceptable.
“Arizona has made tremendous strides in the move to clean energy. We are home to some of the nation’s leading companies and technologies and our utilities have embarked on aggressive plans to exceed the standards for clean and renewable energy in our current policies.
“However, this summer’s record temperatures and the threat of blackouts has given us reason to question the reliability and affordability of the plans in place by our energy producers.
“The ACC staff has proposed an amendment to update our state’s portfolio standards. I believe it is a good start and merits the commission’s consideration, but I do not believe it goes far enough to secure Arizona’s energy future and hold our utilities accountable.
“Likewise, I cannot support the chair’s proposal, which essentially puts into place the Tom Steyer energy policies overwhelmingly rejected by voters in 2018. These plans call for energy sources that likely will need more subsidies, which translate to more costs for customers. We have no data to know for sure whether the plans are reliable or whether Arizonans can afford them.
“Our policies can’t work for only the largest utilities in the state. They must work for all utilities, statewide. Above all, our policies must work for Arizonans who are the end users and are paying the bills.
“Make no mistake, I believe it is time to update Arizona’s energy standard. Arizona must move to 100% clean energy and stamp out carbon no later than 2050. Plans must include hard data on the reliability of the resources and the costs to consumers, as well as contingency resource plans.
“As we transition to the use of more renewable energy, we must also consider sensible benchmarks. Rather than hard mandates on specific energy sources, I favor allowing solar and additional resources such as nuclear, natural gas, wind and forest biomass to be used in transitioning and meeting our clean energy goals and in measuring the progress based on the reduction in carbon emissions. Arizona will continue to lead the nation in solar energy as solar becomes more affordable and the industry expands with opportunities for solar development. We must also address the critical issues around storage so that the energy supplies are there when we need them.
“I believe each of these elements is essential in determining a successful plan for Arizona and will be necessary to secure my vote.
"I remain hopeful that the chair will allow a full discussion on Thursday so that these ideas may be heard and considered. Regardless, I will continue to introduce policies that will enhance the reliability and affordability of our energy supplies as Arizona moves toward clean energy and hold our utilities accountable along the way."
“I encourage all Arizonans to tune into Thursday’s meeting as we discuss the future of energy in our state and ensure we build a plan that works for every Arizonan.”
Information regarding how to join the meeting and provide input can be found here: LINK.
About Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson, MBA, IOM:
Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson was appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission by Governor Doug Ducey in May of 2019. She is the first Latina to serve in a statewide seat in the state of Arizona.
Lea has been an entrepreneur in our community for many years and served as the President/ CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber from 2009 until November of 2018. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber serves the business community in the bilingual, bi-cultural region of the Arizona-Sonora border and was recognized as the Hispanic Chamber of the Year in 2013 by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Lea is proud to have won a four-way primary race for Congress in Arizona Congressional District 2 in 2018. Prior to her leadership at the Chamber, she previously served as the Executive Director for Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) from 2005 to 2009 and owned and operated a Business Brokerage Firm from 2005 to 2009 and a chain of six gasoline stations / convenience stores with 50 employees from 1998 to 2005 in the Tucson region.
Lea has been appointed to serve on the Arizona Judicial Council which advises the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Finance Authority, the state’s bonding authority. She chairs the Board of Directors of Carondelet’s St Mary’s and St Joseph’s Hospitals in Tucson and is the former Chair of the Pima Association of Governments’ Economic Vitality Committee. She serves on the Boards of the University of Arizona Foundation and the Pima County Workforce Investment Board and is the President of the National Association of Women Business Owners in Tucson. She also serves on the national Small Business Development Council advisory board for the U.S Small Business Administration.
She received her undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona, and her Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. She resides in Tucson and is married with two children.
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government. 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