Arizona takes key –yet confusing– step toward 100% clean energy standard

Rose Law Group Reporter

At the conclusion of its workshop Wednesday on updating Arizona’s renewable energy standard and other key energy rules, the Arizona Corporation Commission took an important vote to endorse a 100% clean energy future.  After the last presentation of the two-day workshop wrapped up, Chairman Bob Burns moved that the commission direct its staff to prepare final rules requiring the state’s utilities get 100% of their electricity from clean (carbon free) sources by 2050.  Under the motion, those rules, once drafted, would then come back to the commission for a final approval or modification.  The motion passed by a vote of 3-1, with one abstention.

The motion itself appeared to catch staff, commissioners and some participants by surprise.  Commissioners Marquez Peterson and Boyd Dunn asked for more time to process the just-concluded workshop, yet Burns moved forward calling for the vote.  His motion ultimately passed with Burns, Dunn, and Sandra Kennedy supporting it.  Nevertheless, after a confusing deliberation, the commission was directed by its staff to act as if it had not taken the vote at all.  What is clear even after the confusion is that at least three commissioners expressed support for reaching a 100% clean energy standard in the state with more sunshine than any other.      

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