Lack of Consumer Protections on the Front End, Lack of Commitment to Clean Energy on the Back End
REMOTELY FROM TUCSON - Arizona Corporation Commission Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson filed a letter of dissent on Wednesday, June 16th, explaining why she voted “NO” on a proposal to mandate that utilities in Arizona achieve a 50 percent carbon dioxide reduction by 2032 and 100 percent carbon dioxide reduction by 2071.
The Commission passed the mandates in a 3-2 vote on May 26th, with Chairwoman Márquez Peterson and Commissioner Justin Olson voting “NO.”
“The energy rules that the Commission adopted on May 26th do not protect Arizona families and small businesses,” said Márquez Peterson.
“I support clean energy rules that move our state forward and help provide business certainty but only when they make sense for Arizona’s ratepayers and are supported by clear cost data that demonstrates the financial benefits and savings for consumers.”
“The vote on May 26th put Arizona’s ratepayers and economy at risk because the Commission received no cost data that would demonstrate the financial benefits to ratepayers.”
“As regulators, we should be setting one clear, achievable, and overarching long-term vision for our state: 100 percent clean energy by 2050. But we should be letting the free market and technological innovation guide us there.”
“The energy rules adopted on May 26th also delayed our state’s commitment to achieving 100 percent clean energy from the year 2050 to the year 2071, which does not align with my values as a Commissioner or the economic realities of our state. I’m concerned with the message it will send to the nation, which will hurt our ability to attract new businesses to Arizona.”
“The cost analysis, which the Commission failed to request at the beginning of the discussion, is currently underway and should be completed for the public to see in July. Once that report is filed and made publicly available, I will review it with a fresh pair of eyes, give it the consideration that it deserves, and let it guide my decision on future action related to the energy rules.”
“Until then, I cannot in good conscience support mandates especially when they are not supported by cost data or push our state’s commitment to achieving clean energy beyond the date supported by industry and science.”A copy of Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson’s full letter of dissent can be found here.