By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic
The billionaire California activist who went head to head with Arizona Public Service Co. last year over a clean-energy ballot measure has joined the fight to overturn a $95 million rate hike by the utility.
Tom Steyer is advocating for Arizona regulators to reverse the 2017 rate hike that has drawn complaints from thousands of customers and led to surging stock price for its parent company, Pinnacle West Capital Corp.
Steyer said recent disclosures from APS and Pinnacle West detailing efforts to help elect state regulators on the Arizona Corporation Commission who set the rates paid by 1.2 million customers, drew him into the debate.
“If that is not a conflict of interest and corporate corruption, I don’t know what is,” said Steyer,who bankrolled the Proposition 127 clean-energy ballot measure that was defeated in the November election.
He is now paying for digital advertising that encourages people to sign a petition to overturn the APS rate hike. The Arizona Corporation Commission is scheduled to vote on the matter next week.