Tag Archives: Tucson Electric Power

2017 Legislative Wrap Up at T.E.P.

“RSVP Required! Please register at the link provided.

Come join us for a discussion about what happened during the 2017 legislative session and what the next steps are!

You won’t want to miss this informative event during such a crucial year for equality!”

Hosted by Equality Arizona.

https://www.facebook.com/events/277077192754190/

Rep. Barber Comes Out Swinging for Solar (Update: Barber Recommits to Coal at Apache Generating Station)

by Will Greene

Finally, a high profile political figure is paying attention
to Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce’s impending dagger-in-the-back
plan
to cripple our state’s burgeoning solar industry.

US Rep. Ron Barber has penned an excellent op-ed in the
Arizona Daily Star.  Read
it in full here
.

Some
highlights:  “Is there such a thing
as too much solar power? Are too many individuals and businesses putting solar
panels on their roofs? Is it time to call a halt to the burgeoning solar energy
industry, shut down all those profitable solar companies and find more ways of
generating electricity from coal and other nonrenewable forms of energy?  That's backward thinking. But that's
the future that the Arizona Corporation Commission envisions as it proposes to
take a giant step into the past and discourage Arizonans from installing solar
panels.”

“Both
TEP and APS have done a commendable job of expanding their renewable energy
portfolios – and this should be supported, not punished. Meanwhile, look what
neighboring states have done: Colorado has a 30 percent standard by 2020.
California has a 33 percent renewable standard by 2020 and says it will meet
that by a "comfortable margin." But the ACC move will send employment
plunging in the renewable energy field.”

A few months ago I asked, what
can environmentalists expect from Rep. Barber?
  The prognosis was worrisome as the Southern Arizona Rep had just
wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency
touting his hope that Apache
Generating Station, Southern Arizona’s largest single source of air and climate
pollution, “remain viable well into the future.”

Today, we need to thank Barber for heightening the
level of attention on Commissioner Pierce’s amendment to decrease Arizona’s
renewable energy targets. 
Tomorrow, we need to hold his feet to the fire about Apache Generating
Station, as well as the burning
of coal at Tucson Electric Power’s H. Wilson Sundt
Generating Station on
Irvington Road, only yards from a neighborhood and school.

His op-ed in
the Star is a fantastic sign that Barber is coming around on Arizona’s need
to transition from coal to solar. 
To display true solar leadership and concern for the global climate
crisis, Barber needs to promote a comprehensive plan to move TEP
aggressively away from coal, and support an end to the devastating air and
climate effects of Apache Generating Station.

(Update – 4:30 pm)

In a story posted by PennEnergy, Rep. Barber's District Director Jessica Floyd toured Apache Generating Station today with regional administrator for the EPA Jared Blumenfeld, and an ADEQ official.  In a letter sent to EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, Barber restated his hopes of keeping Southern Arizona's largest single source of air and climate pollution open indefinitely.

“I am writing to urge your continued cooperation with Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO).  I appreciate the consideration that your agency has showed thus far
in meeting with me and representatives of AEPCO to discuss potential
resolutions to ensure the Apache facility remains viable into the
future,” Barber added.

This throws some cold ice on hopes Barber was coming around with his energy vision.  While calling out the ACC in today's Star op-ed was an inspiring moment, the continued addiction to coal in Southern Arizona (TEP's portfolio is 80% coal-fired), and Barber's support of this status quo, should be enough to bring clean energy advocates back down to earth.