COMMENTARY: Stronger clean energy standards will mean a stronger Arizona economy

More companies are buying power from wind and solar projects. /GETTY

By Amanda Ormond | Arizona Mirror

Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Bob Burns is pushing to update the state’s inadequate and antiquated clean energy standards to reflect the state’s potential to build a cleaner, less expensive, just and homegrown energy mix. Commission staff has promised to have a proposal ready in July for consideration and a vote.

Updating and improving the state’s energy policy for the utilities the ACC regulates could address two looming issues: COVID-19 job losses and the pollution that leads to climate change in Arizona.

While it may seem incongruous that adoption of clean energy policy could impact such systemic and enormous issues, remember that having affordable and reliable electricity is the underpinning of our entire economy. 

This summer, our five elected commissioners could do something meaningful and historic. Burns, a Republican, has the support of Commissioner Sandra Kennedy, a Democrat, for a number of clean energy proposals.  With just one more vote, the state could adopt bipartisan, forward-looking guidance to secure the state’s electricity future. 

Clean energy proposals include reaching 100% carbon-free energy by mid-century, having 50% of our energy mix come from renewable energy resources and expanding requirements for energy efficiency to 35% by 2030, from today’s 22%.  


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July 2020