Elect Pro-Solar Regulators to Arizona’s Utility Commission

Why isn’t Arizona the solar capital of the USA? It’s because the Republican members of the Arizona Corporation Commission actively oppose clean energy and promote fossil fuels.

Three seats on the 5-member commission are up for election in 2024, and four Democrats are vying for the 3 seats. It’s time for the voters to dump the anti-solar energy Republicans and elect common-sense Democratic candidates:

  1. Scientist Jonathan Hill. See www.votehillaz.com
  2. Water expert Ylenia Aguilar. See www.aguilarforarizona.com
  3. Leadership and public affairs consultant Joshua Polacheck. See www.JoshuaforArizona.com
  4. Kiana Sears, a Water & Wastewater Executive Consultant for the Arizona Corporation Commission. See www.facebook.com/searsforarizonacc

Joshua Polachek is the past Executive Director of the Pima County Democratic Party. For the previous 17 years, Polachek was a Public Diplomacy Officer with the US State Department.

Polachek said, “The MAGA faction has taken over the Corporation Commission. They have, bit by bit, demolished the plan to keep Arizona rates low, keep your bill from skyrocketing, and ensure that your power is reliable.”

“They are trying to force investments into fossil fuel generation by using their regulatory power to undermine investments in clean energy,” he said.

If he is elected, Polachek added, “We will have a grid that is not reliant on the commodity prices or whatever the oil barons in Texas decide to do with the oil.”

Put his name on the ballot at https://go.azsos.gov/x7yh

Ylenia Aguilar is a manager in Phoenix at Gybe, a water analytics company that uses satellites, sensors, and predictive modeling to optimize watershed health. The company develops precision freshwater intelligence to secure sustainable access to clean water.

She advocates for consumer rights. By championing consumer protection, Aguilar seeks to create a more equitable marketplace where the rights of individuals are upheld and respected.

Aguilar is also President of the Osborn School District Board. Put her name on the ballot at https://go.azsos.gov/x8kk

Jonathon Hill has worked for 15 years as an engineer and scientist at the ASU in Tempe. He operates ASU’s camera on NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft and scientifically supported the University of Arizona’s Osiris-Rex space mission.

“The AZ Corporation Commission’s most important duty is to ensure safe, reliable, and affordable utility services throughout Arizona. However, none of the current commissioners have science or engineering backgrounds, which is critical for understanding the challenges and opportunities facing Arizona’s public utilities,” Hill said.

Put his name on the ballot at https://go.azsos.gov/vqrf

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Dump the anti-solar Republicans.

It’s time for the voters to fire commissioners Jim O’Connor, who wants to infect the government with fundamental Christianity, and fossil fuel shill Lea Marquez Peterson. Both anti-solar commissioners are running for re-election this year.

In a campaign video, O’Connor said that promoting solar power is “a terrible, bad idea.”

He is a partner at the Pinnacle Forum in Phoenix, which secretly trains potential leaders to impose fundamental Christianity in state and federal offices and courts. It supports “the election of godly candidates.”

Voting against clean energy

O’Connor and Peterson shockingly voted on February 8, 2024, to repeal Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standards, first adopted in 2006, to require electric and gas utilities to generate more energy from renewable resources.

Utility-scale solar and wind are cheaper than coal- or gas-fired power generation, but the Republicans want to increase rates for Arizonans. The Republicans also want to cut benefits for rooftop solar users.

“This current Corporation Commission is very anti-climate change. They think it doesn’t exist,” said Clair Knipe, Arizona List’s Political Director. “If we do not have advocates who care about our climate and clean energy sources, we will go back to using largely oil and gas as our energy sources with no standards.”

Dirty coal, oil and gas cause global climate change, accounting for more than 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.

As of 2023, 29 states and the District of Columbia had renewable-energy portfolio standards. The solar movement is nationwide because it relies on a free, enduring source of power in the sky. To create a livable future with cheap and clean energy for Arizona, we must defeat the anti-solar Republicans in the November 5, 2024, general election.

3 thoughts on “Elect Pro-Solar Regulators to Arizona’s Utility Commission”

  1. here is my OpEd on the ACC which will appear in Monday’s Arizona Daily Star. feel free to republish.

    Rick Rappaport
    rick@rickrappaport.com
    Oro Valley 85737
    member: Arizonans 4 Community Choice (Energy); Citizens Climate Lobby; Greater Tucson Climate Coalition

    “ACC Headed Wrong Way Down One Way Street”

    “”Constitutionally enacted in 1912 to:…”grow Arizona’s economy as we help local entrepreneurs achieve their dream of starting a business…,” the current Arizona Corporation Commission serially violates its constitutional oath by instead pursuing policies that destroy the dreams of emerging renewable energy businesses —the animal kingdom equivalent of eating its young.

    In a state with the 2nd highest sun peak hours in America, at the most climate critical time in world history—life as we know it hanging in the balance–the ACC is Hellbent on destroying Arizona solar and renewable energy businesses—critical for mitigating global warming. More than 260,000 Arizonans have rooftop solar and over 8,000 are employed in the solar industry with both numbers increasing as the climate crisis escalates.

    On a 4-1 party line vote February 9th the ACC instructed its staff to draft rules repealing the Renewable Energy Standard adopted in 2006 which among other things required Arizona utilities to generate 15% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. And if that wasn’t enough the same 4 moved closer to repealing the energy efficiency standards adopted 15 years ago requiring electric and gas utilities to show 22% energy savings by 2020 (long passed and not met– can’t meet the mandated goals, no problem we’ll just repeal the law.

    Trumpeting the logical fallacy of saving taxpayers money, the 4 are incapable of acting upon the true cost to Arizonans’ health and well being caused by the continued burning of fossil fuels for energy. A logical fallacy because it’s a virtual certainty that while there might be savings from getting rid of those pesky environmental rules, the unpredictable and mercurial nature of fossil fuel pricing will skyrocket future rates much higher than the relative pittance saved today.

    Starting in 2020 solar generated electricity became cheaper than fossil fuels generated electricity. Even conservative M.I.T. and National Institute of Health studies support this conclusion adding that one cannot assess costs of energy without considering the true cost, the so called “externalities” of burning fossil fuels, including acid rain, smog, land degradation, asthma, cancer, sea level rise and species extinction. At every point in the production cycle we’re met with air and water pollution, toxic releases and waste products hazardous to the public health.

    The utilities do not want the solar industry. In a stunning public admission under oath– saying what most observers assumed despite utility PR spin to the contrary– the utilities industry own expert witness testified “that utilities oppose rooftop solar because it is a threat to their profits.”

    The current ACC 4–Kevin Thompson, Nick Myers, Jim O’Connor and Lea Marquez-Peterson likely really do care about health and safety but they’re caught up in the politicization of global warming, unable to clearly view the tsunami of climate woe that is now and will continue to beset Arizona, and unable to make objective unfiltered judgments. Current ACC actions are more or less in lockstep with the chronology of the increasingly chaotic and vitriolic political divide. Rules and regulations the 4 currently target for repeal were passed 10-18 or so years ago when the then ACC majority was paying more attention to climate change and the health and safety of Arizonans than to offending perceived political communities.

    3 of the 5 ACC seats will be contested in November’s election, and once again will be at the bottom of the ballot. Do your voting from the bottom of the ballot up. Unlikely any vote you cast on that ballot will personally impact you as much as the ACC contested seats. If you care about the environment, love living in Arizona and seeing the flora and fauna, the big sky and experiencing the outdoor lifestyle, vote in people who will change the current ACC direction away from shortsighted savings.

    Their savings are killing us.”

    • Her information is now set forth in the article.

      Kiana Sears has been the Program Director of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships at Arizona State University for five years, and she has also declared she is running.

      The New Orleans native relocated to the Grand Canyon State in 1995. After graduating from Arizona State University, Sears threw herself into public policy work, where she’s served for more than two decades. Sears is the co-author of the state’s Safe Baby Haven Law, and while serving as a Water & Wastewater Executive Consultant for the Arizona Corporation Commission, she was inspired to do more.

      A public administration professional, Sears has competencies in public policy, relationship-building, nation-building, and contract negotiations. She has a diverse background in research, complex problem resolution, and creativity, utilizing a broad knowledge base applied in highly regulated industries, higher education, and community environments. Sears has a track record of building individual and corporate partnerships to create sustainable funding, advocacy and community support.

      For more info, visit http://www.facebook.com/searsforarizonacc. Put her name on the ballot at https://apps.azsos.gov/apps/election/eps/op/Home/View/953bb324-fa83-4870-8959-2bb21c5cf1b8

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