Category Archives: Energy

Democrats need to start laying the Progressive Foundation for 2020 now.

As other pundits in the national and local media have pointed out, It will be tempting these next several months to focus on the Popular Vote Loser’s (Presidents) tweets, outrageous comments and behavior, and potentially criminal acts that will be adjudicated in the courts.

Now that they will be in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats do have a responsibility to provide oversight of the Executive Branches actions that the Trump (Republican) Party failed to undertake. That is only right and proper.

Democrats and Progressives, in the federal government and in the state government offices they triumphed in, should also take this as an opportunity to advance progressive policies (both incremental and ambitious) that will further attract supporters in the rural, urban, and suburban parts of the country.  They should attempt to create bipartisan consensus with the Trump Party but be prepared to fight for and campaign on what the Trumpists obstruct in the Senate and the Oval Office.

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The Arizona Republic: No on Prop. 127 (vote yes)

The Arizona Republic recommends a “no” vote on the Clean Energy For A Healthy Arizona initiative, Prop. 127. Prop. 127, Arizona’s renewable energy initiative, comes down to just 4 words:

One day Arizona will be powered by the sun.

We enjoy such abundant natural light that we seem destined to throw a harness around the sun and use it to pull the greater share of our state economy.

But that day is not here. Not yet.

For now we are moving in the direction of the sun with new knowledge and new technology.

Crusaders for clean power have put on this year’s ballot a proposal to massively accelerate Arizona’s ascension to virtually 100-percent clean energy. But there are reasons to doubt it.

Because there is an entrenched carbon monopoly and special interest “dark money” from APS, its parent company Pinnacle West, and the “Kochtopus” organizations which have bought GOP candidates and captured the Arizona Corporation Commission.

What would Proposition 127 do?

Utilities are now under Arizona Corporation Commission mandate to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Proposition 127 would bump up those requirements to 50 percent by 2030, an increase the utilities say would greatly increase costs that would then be passed on to ratepayers.

Note: California law already requires at least 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from noncarbon-producing sources by 2030. California took a giant step this past May, by becoming the first state to require all new homes to be fitted for solar power. California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes. The Clean Energy For A Healthy Arizona initiative is not nearly as ambitious.

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LD 11 Democratic Senate Candidate Ralph Atchue Fights back against the Lies being spread on TV by Vince Leach

LD 11 Democratic State Nominee Ralph Atchue

Vince Leach, a person regarded as a reactionary anti-democratic zealot in most state Democratic party circles, has been conveying blatantly false information about his opponent in the race for the LD 11 Senate seat, Ralph Atchue, lying about his positions on border security and taxes on television commercials on CNN and Fox.

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Voting for the Planet

I probably don’t have to remind you how important it is to vote this year. But it is especially vital to safeguarding our remaining environmental protections. This year Rep. McSally completely disregarded our requests to protect our waterways. In fact, she used her clout with the President to urge him to sign a bill allowing mines to dump their toxic tailings into our streams.  See her letter to the President here.

Since President Trump has taken office, there have been so many assaults on our national parks, national monuments, wildlife refuges, endangered animals, the ocean, our water, and even the air we breathe. Our so-called representatives worked to repeal or dismantle hard fought for environmental protections: Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, Methane Waste Prevention Rule, Clean Air Act, Emissions Standards, Endangered Species Act, to name a few.

League of Conservation Voters Scorecard

Here is a list of some environmental assaults that I’ve compiled since Pres. Trump took office, aptly named “Crimes Against Humanity.” (I haven’t had time to completely update it.  It’s hard keeping up with them all!)

Putting a hold on the Clean Power Plan made Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team’s fight against TEP’s 10 gas-fired engines so much more difficult (if not impossible). Read my blog about our struggle here.

If you would like to help our efforts in encouraging TEP to transition quicker to clean energy, there are two things you can do. 1) Vote “yes” on prop. 127, the citizens initiative that requires them to transition to 50% clean energy by 2030. Read: Renewable Energy and Prop 127, in a nutshell by Paul Hirt.  2) Vote for members of the Arizona Corporation Commission who haven’t been bought by the utility companies.

The Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter endorses Sandra Kennedy and Kianna Sears for the ACC.

Sandra Kennedy previously served in the Arizona Legislature and as a Corporation Commissioner. She is a strong advocate for solar energy and energy savings through efficiency and conservation, and she supports Proposition 127. Sandra has repeatedly opposed efforts to weaken Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard, including by voting against trash burning as a renewable energy resource. Sierra Club gives Sandra Kennedy a strong endorsement.

Kiana Sears wants to help put the Arizona Corporation Commission back on track to do its job to hold utilities accountable. She supports Proposition 127 and significantly increasing our state’s commitment to clean renewable energy such as solar and wind. She also wants to see the Commission do more to watchdog private water companies. Sierra Club is pleased to endorse Kiana Sears for the Arizona Corporation Commission.

You can read the Sierra Club’s voter guide here.

The Sierra Club didn’t mention Mine Inspector Candidate Pill Pierce. But Blog for Arizona writer David Gordon wrote:

Democrat AZ Mine Inspector Candidate Bill Pierce Will Protect Us from Soil and Water Contamination

It is also important to vote for Arizona legislators who aren’t trying to dismantle our environmental protections.

In the past year, Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team submitted Requests to Speak in response to several bills that would weaken the Arizona Water Law that requires proof that there is 100 years worth of water before applications for new developments are approved. Realtor Gail Griffin, the chair of the Natural Resources, Energy and Water committee, fought tooth and nail to weaken these laws so they can push through a new development that would drain the one river in Arizona that still flows year round: the San Pedro.

The Republican majority of our state legislator made it a priority to dismantle regulations. They even made it illegal for towns to ban plastic bags. (How’s that for the party of “Freedom” and eliminating government overreach?)

The newest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). states that Climate Change is worse than first thought, but… humans can still prevent the worst effects.  This election is an opportunity to make a real difference by voting for the planet.

Looking forward to seeing lots of “I VOTED” stickers – or better yet – “I voted for the planet!”

What Kind of Arizona and America do you want to live in?

David Brooks

David Brooks asks, “Are the behavior and actions of the President and the Republicans what you want to see in your public servants?”

During the Shields and Brooks segment of the PBS Newshour on October 19, 2018, David Brooks, the center-right commentator from the New York Times rightly suggested that a closing argument for the Democrats should be “Are the behavior and actions of the President and the Republicans what you want to see in your public servants? Is their belief in what America should be your beliefs in what America should be?”

In the end, it does come down to that. Mr. Brooks is right and this can be applied to Arizona and our state leaders over the last two years as well as America and its leaders over that same period. People need to consider if they want to live in a state or a country where the trajectory over the last two years is taking us backward as opposed to forwards. Please consider:

Do we want to live in an Arizona and America where the leaders behave like demagogues, self-serving oligarchs, and, in the case of the current occupant of the White House, petty dictators, dividing us with the “big lies” and pitting us against each other?

Do we want to live in an Arizona and America where the wealthy are catered to and the poor and unfortunate shunned?

Do we want to live in an Arizona and America where corrupt oligarchs and plutocrats pay equally corrupt public servants behind the scenes with dark money to achieve their ends?

Do we want to live in an Arizona and America where our women are potentially denied the right to choose when needed?

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