From the Phoenix Business Journal today:

The Goldwater Institute is again trying to overturn the state’s renewable energy standard.

The group is in Arizona Court of Appeals today arguing that the Arizona Corporation Commission overstepped its bounds setting a standard that requires utilities to have 15 percent of their power produced by renewable resources by 2025.

The case, Miller v. ACC, focuses on a surcharge to Arizona Public Service customers monthly bills and argues that the ACC breached its constitutional mandate in establishing the requirement.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge originally ruled the ACC acted within its authority in setting the standard. The Goldwater Institute says such policy should be set by the Legislature.

I have one thing to say to the Goldwater Institute:  Really?  Really, you want to stand in the way of Arizona’s solar future?  Really, you want to stand in the way of the green jobs that are being created thanks to the ACC’s mandate? Really, you want to slow down our progress towards clean, renewable energy?  Really, you want to be that organization?

The ACC’s mandates for renewable energy and energy efficiency are the best thing to happen in our State for creating green jobs and innovation.  Some say, me included, that the 15% requirement by 2025 is not nearly stringent enough.  It pales to California’s requirement that all its utilities have 33% of their sales be in renewable energy by 2020.

Here’s the deal Goldwater Institute, the market hasn’t been able to drive the shift from toxic, limited-resource energy production to renewable energy production in more than 120 years.  Without mandates like the ACC’s, Arizona will be left in the backwaters of renewable energy innovation even though we are a hot-bed for solar energy (pun intended). Plus, don’t forget about the jobs that are generated and supported in the solar thermal and solar photovoltaic industries here in Arizona due to this mandate.

Goldwater Insititute, kindly step out of the way of Arizona’s bright solar future.  None of us want to be stuck in a coal-fired energy quagmire for decades to come thanks to your efforts to overturn these initial efforts towards a renewable energy standard.

Photo Credit:  Coal-fired Generating Station near Joseph City, AZ.  Photo by Nikki Coulombe.

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6 Responses

  1. Will Novak says:

    Its funny that the Goldwater Institute often pursues policies that would make their namesake roll in his grave. While he was certainly “Mr Conservative,” Barry knew that Arizona could benefit from various Federal and State interventions. He was very much for the CAP and admired Sen. Carl Hayden for spearheading it and Barry himself brought home the pork time and time again, especially for military related projects.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Will, well put! I’m impressed with your AZ history background. I agree that Barry himself may not side with the Goldwater Institute in this instance. The ACC mandate is a relatively mild one, and it’s a shame Goldwater wants to overturn even that in their shortsighted discomfort with the resulting extra fees from the utilities.

  2. Bob Graham says:

    Unfortunately Taz, yes, they DO want to be that organization. The Goldwater name has been taken over by right-wing conservative ideologues who believe, with religious fervor, the the free market will solve all ills of the world.

    It’s not that they are against solar energy, it’s that regulation of private industry – ANY regulation – is inherently evil in their view. You can’t reason with people like that.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      You’re probably right Bob, it’s useless to reason with people like that. It’s just that solar energy really needs mandates and incentives to get off the ground and squashing those may mean another 60 years of stagnation in the field.

  3. Thomas says:

    I am curious what interest the Goldwater Institute has in our carbon/nuclear energy system. Usually there is a financial component to such an organization spending thousands on legal fights.

    What the carbon-free renewable (as opposed to renewables we burn) supporters fail to deliever are strong reasons for organizations, profit and non, to support the tranformation. I don’t believe that conservatives or the Right want their air polluted, water to be mercury ridden, and smog to asthmatize our youth; they just have too much invested in the current system, and don’t see enough reward in the 21st century and further solutions.

    I would also state that our energy system is nowhere near the free market that it is generaly considered, rather than the socialized network we currently have. If we removed subsidies, regulations, resrictions, and a few other components, we might get a free market to function. The fact is there’s too much money in the current system, both from tax payers and end users to shift without removing the financial supports we contribute to the system.

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