Phoenix, Arizona (May 26, 2021) – Western Resource Advocates today commented on the Arizona Corporation Commission’s (ACC’s) approval of an Energy Rules update that would require the state’s electric utilities to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2032 and 100% by 2070:

“This ACC commitment to have Arizona’s utilities achieve a 50% carbon-dioxide emissions reduction by 2032 is a positive step toward helping our state address climate change while also embracing the economic opportunities of clean energy. However, the 2070 date for reaching carbon-free electricity falls far short of meeting the timeframe that scientists tell us is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said Adam Stafford, Western Resource Advocates’ senior staff attorney in Phoenix. “A more urgent timeline of no later than 2050 for eliminating the harmful fossil fuel emissions that cause climate change is of critical importance. This is supported by the state’s major utilities and business community. WRA will continue to pursue stronger policies to better protect a livable future for Arizona.”

The commission voted 3-2 today to support the Energy Rules update that sets the 2032 and 2070 emission standards. Because of the change from the prior version of the Energy Rules update that the ACC voted on last November, the new update will now need to go through a supplemental rulemaking process in the coming months.

From more frequent wildfires and intense drought to prolonged heat waves, Arizonans are already facing the severe consequences of climate change. The warming trend due to climate change has been steady and persistent for Arizona and the rest of the Southwest, according to the National Weather Service, raising serious issues for the future that include availability of water, wildfire conditions, and utilities’ forecasts of energy use.