Arizona lawmakers have passed 275 bills. Only 1 relates to climate change

The GOP-led body has historically favored a limited approach to environmental regulations

Author: Joe Dana | 12 News

 It’s no surprise that climate-related legislation isn’t a priority at the Arizona State Legislature. The GOP-led body has historically favored a limited approach to environmental regulations and even went out of its way in 2015 to pass a law preventing cities from passing their own plastic bag bans.

Out of 275 bills passed during this legislative session, only one directly relates to climate change policy.

The bi-partisan bill was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey earlier this year and paves the way for new climate-friendlier refrigerants. It was sponsored by Republican Senator Gray and was endorsed by both environmental groups and the business community.

“Climate change legislation is just not the priority”

“We are in trouble,” said Democrat Senator Victoria Steele, who has tried unsuccessfully for several years to pass bills related to electric vehicles, land preservation and water aquifer restrictions. “Climate legislation is just not the priority for the majority powers.”

The Republican Party controls both the State House and Senate and typically rebuffs Democrat attempts to pass climate legislation. Although Republican Governor Doug Ducey has made water conservation a key talking point in recent months, he has not proposed specific legislation to address climate change.

“The legislature’s priorities are all messed up,” said Sandy Bahr, Director of the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter. “They continue to talk about what we need to do on water. They do nothing about climate change and in fact, propose things to make it worse.”

Two climate bills supported by environmental organizations that passed the Senate with bi-partisan support died in the House. 

One bill, sponsored by Sen. Steele, would have created a framework for how to spend $76 million of new federal infrastructure money earmarked for electric vehicle charging stations. 

However, the House did not give the bill a committee hearing. The Arizona Department of Transportation is taking over the project and hired AECOM Consultants to assist with the plan.

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