By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times
From 2013 to 2018, Arizona Public Service and parent company Pinnacle West poured at least $130 million into political spending, charitable contributions, marketing and advertising, lobbying, and sponsorships.
None of that money came from customers, APS claimed, as it submitted spending records to the Arizona Corporation Commission on two successive Friday afternoons, most recently on April 5.
Related: Judge: APS rates aren’t too high, complaint should be dismissed
“When the company participates in the political process, all engagement occurs through Pinnacle West and is funded through Pinnacle West earnings, not through APS customer rates,” Barbara Lockwood, APS’ vice president of regulation, told the Commission in a March 29 letter. It was the utility’s first response to demands from Commissioners Sandra Kennedy, Bob Burns, and Boyd Dunn to provide records of its political participation and spending.
Experts say it’s impossible that the money didn’t originate from APS customers, and that such sourcing could have legal ramifications for the utility.