The Arizona Corporation Commission voted down the clean energy rules last week. Those rules, had they been adopted by the Commission would have required state-regulated utilities to get 100% of their power from carbon-free sources by 2050.
Back in April, the Administrative Law Judge presiding over the formal rulemaking issued her recommended opinion and order which recommended approving the rules.
At the May 5 meeting, Commissioner Olson proposed amendments that would have changed the Rule’s requirements for carbon-free electricity, energy efficiency, peak demand reduction, and distributed storage into voluntary goals. The amendment was supported by Chairwoman Marquez Peterson and Commissioner Jim O’Connor.
Once that amendment passed, Commissioners Sandra Kennedy and Commissioners Anna Tovar voted with Olson against the full Rules package (which had become meaningless really) and the entire package failed by a vote of 3-2.
AzPHA, environmental organizations, utilities, industry, and consumer advocates had all aligned in support of the Rules as originally drafted and we all expressed their disappointment with the Commission outcome on social media.
This very disappointing outcome came after years of work, multiple public meetings and workshops, dozens of supportive studies, and thousands of public comments all in support of the Rules as originally drafted.
Before the Commission’s vote took place,~30 diverse public commenters including large businesses, faith leaders, and more urged the Commission to move forward with the Rules expeditiously and without amendment.
This isn’t the end. The good work that all the stakeholders did to get this going still exists. The question becomes what strategy to use next.