The Arizona PIRG Education Fund Offers Guide for Energy Policy as Arizonans Cast Votes for Arizona Corporation Commissioners

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Diane E. Brown

Arizona PIRG Education Fund

Today, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released Energy Policy Consideration for the Arizona Corporation Commission, a briefing book highlighting energy issues arising in this year’s Arizona Corporation Commission election.  The Arizona Corporation Commission (Commission) is charged with regulating public utilities, corporate filings and securities, and railroad and pipeline safety.

According to Ben Kitto, representative for the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, “Arizonans need to recognize that the next Commission will set state energy policy for the foreseeable future.  The next Commission will decide whether or not to facilitate a transition from an energy portfolio dominated by inefficient and non-renewable resources, such as coal, to one comprised of energy efficient and renewable resources, such as solar and wind.” 

The non-partisan energy document provides definitions and background, current policies in Arizona, policies under consideration and recommended next steps for the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The briefing book defines energy efficiency as reducing the amount of energy a task requires and highlights policies to increase its immediate, proven, and effective economic benefits.  According to the group, renewable energy sources offer stable costs and are not subject to uncertain and volatile upward-trending fuel prices.  The document describes how the new Commission can help Arizona reach its renewable energy potential by continuously and fully funding the current Renewable Energy Standard and raises the prospect of increasing the renewable energy requirement to keep competitive with surrounding states.  The group also discusses transmission, which it states is deeply intertwined in the transition from non-renewable to renewable energy production.