January 26, 2022
Western Resource Advocates today commented on the Arizona Corporation Commission’s (ACC’s) vote to not adopt proposed Energy Rules that would have required the state’s electric utilities to reduce their carbon emissions to combat climate change:
“We hope the Arizona Corporation Commission’s rejection of these rules is not the final word on reducing Arizona electric utilities’ greenhouse gas emissions and moving Arizona to a clean energy future,” said Adam Stafford, Western Resource Advocates’ senior staff attorney in Phoenix. “The commission must regroup and develop a new path forward that allows Arizona to address the current climate crisis. The power sector provides some of the most cost-effective opportunities to reduce climate pollution. Arizona’s largest utilities have all said they want the regulatory certainty of a firm emissions reduction standard, and the business community has voiced support for that, as well. Our state needs strong standards for reducing the emissions that cause climate change and realizing the economic benefits of clean energy.”
The ACC’s 3-to-2 vote today came after months of a supplemental rulemaking process. The rulemaking followed the commission’s approval last May of the update that would have set emission standards for Arizona utilities.
Arizonans already face severe consequences of climate change, including prolonged drought, more intense wildfires, and increasing demands on utilities to provide electricity, particularly during summer months as the state every year continues to face record heat.
Scientists say that to limit warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need to decrease greenhouse gas pollution from all sectors of the economy at least 50% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, and fossil-fuel emissions from electricity generation need to decrease at least 80% by 2030. Emissions from the electric power sector are a leading source of climate pollution in Arizona and the rest of the nation.