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Canary Media: Arizona Rejects Plan for 100% Carbon-Free Electricity

Posted by Emma Foehringer Merchant on May 6, 2021

Canary Media summarized the Arizona Corporation Commission’s vote rejecting 100% clean energy rules, quoting AEE’s Shelby Stults on the outcome. Read snippets below and the full story here.

Arizona’s years-long effort to shift its electricity generation to entirely carbon-free sources hit a significant roadblock on Wednesday when state regulators voted against rules requiring 100 percent clean energy by midcentury.

The Arizona Corporation Commission debated the proposed rules throughout the entirety of a full-day public meeting that stretched into the night, ultimately rejecting them after considering several amendments that weakened their requirements. Prior to Wednesday, the rules mandated 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 with interim carbon-emission reduction targets in 2032 and 2040.

“This is a disappointing end to a three-year-long process,” said Shelby Stults, Arizona state policy lead at clean-energy trade association Advanced Energy Economy, in a statement. “It is truly discouraging to see so much work toward broadly supported, bipartisan goals unravel in the last two hours of [the Arizona Corporation Commission’s] Open Meeting.”

The rules would have placed the state among the ranks of numerous others that have committed to 100 percent clean energy, although Arizona was set to be the first to do so via an effort led by regulators. That led to some controversy earlier this year, as the state’s legislature considered several bills that would curtail the Corporation Commission’s ability to enact certain energy policies.

Though that proposed legislation hasn’t passed, clean-energy advocates worried it still had its intended effect: chilling the process of approving the energy rules in their final stages… 

After the three Republican commissioners voted to change the mandates to “goals,” Olson joined the ACC's two Democrats to vote against the weaker rules.

That means Arizona’s renewable energy requirements remain at 15 percent of generation by 2025, a target set in 2006. Arizona reached 14 percent renewable generation in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Read the full story here.

Topics: Regulatory, AEE In The News, Arizona