State Capitol News
Wed November 5, 2008
Face of AZ Corporation Commission changes
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – The election of at least two Democrats to the sate Corporation
Commission is likely to mean a bigger push for utilities to
generate more electricity from renewable sources. Arizona Public
Radio's Howard Fischer reports.
The current mandate is for utilities to generate 15 percent of
power from solar and similar sources by 2025. The three
Democrats, running as the -- quote -- solar team -- pushed for a
more aggressive stance. At this point, two have definitely been
elected to the five-member panel. One of those is Paul Newman who
thinks the state can do more.
(What is feasible is drive by the Corporation Commission. It's
driven by capitalization. And it's driven by letting people know
that we'll be the new home for solar energy in the Southwest.)
Even if Republicans retain control, an enhanced renewable
standard is likely. Holdover Kris Mayes noted she already has
proposed pushing the requirement up to 25 percent. But she said
the commission has to be careful in making changes.
(I certainly wouldn't want to run this train off the tracks. One
of the reasons Arizona has been successful with renewable energy
is that we have been deliberate and we haven't done anything that
would give ammunition to the opponents of renewable energy.)
The race for the third vacancy on the commission between Democrat
Sam George and Republican Bob Stump remains too close to call.
For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.