[COLUMN] As utility works to dominate Arizona politics, credibility erodes

Stacey Champion of Phoenix, got angry enough to take advantage of a state law that has been little used before, if at all. She collected more than 400 signatures (the law only requires 25) and filed a formal complaint over the rate increase./Downtown Devil

Tim Steller | Arizona Daily Star

(Editor’s note:Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)

Arizona Public Service Co. argues the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station would have to close prematurely if voters pass the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative.

Should we believe them? I don’t know.

APS’s unabashed efforts at dominating Arizona politics in the years since the 2010 Citizens United decision have had a paradoxical effect. By getting more involved in political campaigns, uniquely among utilities, the state’s biggest utility has eroded its credibility.

By wantonly spending and brazenly picking sides in Arizona politics, the company may be making it harder to persuade the electorate to vote its way.

This all goes back, of course, to the 2014 campaign, when somebody (wink wink) spent $3.2 million in dark money trying to get Doug Little and Tom Forese elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission rather than candidates who were supported by the rooftop solar industry.

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