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Renewable-energy plan OK'd  

After all the years of lip service about the potential for alternative-energy production in Arizona, especially solar, it’s now down to brass tacks.

Arizona Corporation Commission members Bill Mundell, Barry Wong, Kris Mayes and Jeff Hatch-Miller voted Tuesday for a measure, and Mike Gleason against, to require that 15 percent of the state’s total energy production be from renewable-energy sources by 2025.

A significant amount of that 15 percent – about one-third – by 2011 will come from tanding commissioner at seven years and a strong advocate from the outset, when Arizona became the first state to adopt a renewable-energy program. “This will lead to environmental benefits, higher-paying jobs and less dependence on fossil fuels from volatile foreign governments.”

Mayes called the renewables effort “the most extensive vetted rule-making in the history of Arizona. It would be insane to continue our reliance on natural gas and these rules break that cycle of insanity.”

Hatch-Miller said the annual filings of utility companies will show “where the rubber meets the road.”

“This is dedicated to the children in the future. It’s a slow and cautious pace and we need to be vigilant and may need to change direction every once in a while,” Hatch-Miller said.

But Gleason, who angrily denounced his fellow commissioners for what he said was not wanting to protect the public during discussions leading up to the vote, said the commission opted for “expediency over perfection” in passing the new rules on renewables.

“These rules degrade the reliability of our Western (power) grid,” Gleason said, adding that the poor will suffer most for increased costs for energy in the future.

“This is a pig in the poke and opens the pocketbook for whatever people (energy producers) want.”

By Mark Shaffer
The Arizona Republic


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