Quick Response Action: Register Your Opposition To The Unconstitutional Amendment To HCR 2017

Arizona State Appropriation Committe
Arizona State Appropriation Committee

The APS and their supporters at the Capitol are back with another proposal to subvert the initiative process and confuse voters. Late last week, HCR2017 was subject to a strike-everything amendment, offered by Senator John Kavanagh.

HCR2017 would now propose a constitutional amendment virtually identical to the “Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona” initiative, but with a loophole that would allow the Corporation Commission to not actually increase the renewable energy standards. Under HCR2017, the Corporation Commission would NOT be bound to enforce higher renewable energy standards.

Designed to confuse voters

The amendment is designed to confuse voters. Even its name is nearly identical to the original initiative. This underhanded trick is absolutely shameless and shows total contempt for the initiative process.

HCR2017 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee at 2 p.m. TODAY, Tuesday, March 27th.  My state senator Steve Farley (from district 9) is on that committee, so I e-mailed him this morning. (See below.). If you live in any of the members’ districts, please contact them to voice your opinion.

There is still time for you to write your senator and/or register your opposition on the Request to Speak system before the meeting.

Directions for Request to Speak here: https://desktopactivisttucson.blogspot.com/2018/03/request-to-speak-time.html

If you aren’t sure which district you live in, you can find out herehttps://www.azleg.gov/findmylegislator/

John Kavanagh (Chair) LD 23 R (602) 926-5170 jkavanagh@azleg.gov
Warren Peterson (Vice Chair) LD 17 R (602) 926-4136 wpetersen@azleg.gov
Karen Fann LD 1 R (602) 926-5874 kfann@azleg.gov
Sonny Borrelli LD 5 R (602) 926-5051 sborrelli@azleg.gov
Sylvia Allen LD 6 R (602) 926-5409 sallen@azleg.gov
Steve Smith LD 11 R (602) 926-5685 stsmith@azleg.gov
Olivia Cajero Bedford LD 3 D (602) 926-5835 ocajerobedford@azleg.gov
Steve Farley LD 9 D (602) 926-3022 sfarley@azleg.gov
Katie Hobbs LD 24 D (602) 926-5325 khobbs@azleg.gov
Martin Quezada LD 29 D (602) 926-5911 mquezada@azleg.gov

Use the legislature’s Request to Speak system to log in and voice your opinion on these bills. If you don’t have a Request to Speak account yet, sign up for one here

Feel free to use my e-mail as a starting point. But, please, rewrite it a bit leaving out that you met with him at Environmental Day if you didn’t.

Note: If you have a Republican senator, you might want to tell them that you value the initiative process guaranteed by the Arizona Constitution and urge them to oppose the amendment on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

My letter for inspiration: 

Dear Senator Farley,

When we met with you in your office during Environmental Day, I promised to put together a group of sustainability advocates who would support your actions in protecting our environment. I have since put together that group and I’m proud to say that it is growing every day.

Today I am writing to show our support of your opposition to HCR 2017. As you know, Senator John Kavanagh offered a strike-everything amendment to HCR 2017 that proposes a constitutional amendment nearly identical to the “Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona” initiative, but with a loophole that would allow the Corporation Commission to not actually increase the renewable energy standards. Under HCR 2017, the Corporation Commission would NOT be bound to enforce higher renewable energy standards and we find that unacceptable. In addition, that amendment is obviously designed to confuse voters. Even its name is nearly identical to the original initiative’s. This kind of underhanded trick shows total contempt for the initiative process detailed in our state constitution.

I wanted to let you know that your constituents are paying attention and we find this kind of trickery unacceptable and the amendment unconstitutional.

Thank you for your support of sound environmental policies and initiatives.

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Jana Segal
While tending my desert garden, I became a sort of citizen scientist observing the impact of rising temperatures and declining rainfall in Tucson. I’m convinced we need to do everything we can to lessen the impact of climate change now. I share my journey to living a more sustainable lifestyle on my blog Sustainable Living Tucson. That includes blogging about what I have learned about sustainable practices like water-harvesting and clean energy. I am currently writing a play about Tucson feeling the impact of climate change. As a member of Sustainable Tucson’s core team, I help to organize programs on sustainable practices and environmental issues. I was invited to attend the Pima Department of Environmental Quality's Green Infrastructure planning meetings as a citizen advocate – after speaking up at City Council and Board of Supervisors meetings. Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team recently fought the installation of 10 natural gas generators at the Irvington plant. I also rally my friends on social media to become active too by posting Calls to Action from my blog Desktop Activist Tucson.


  1. I guess cost does not enter into your equation.

    And about Germany, whose electric costs are edging up to twice that of the US:

    University of Houston Energy Fellows
    Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.


    Paul Gregory, Professor, Department of Economics

    University of Houston Energy Fellows University of Houston Energy Fellows , Contributor

    Germany’s increasing reliance on renewables has imposed direct and indirect costs on its citizens and companies.

    Germany’s two major electricity companies, E.ON and RWE, have announced stunning losses.

    BRUECK, GERMANY – JUNE 08: Wind turbines spin on June 8, 2016 near Brueck, Germany. Germany is investing heavily in renewable energy sources, including wind farms and solar fields in an effort to cut climate warming emissions and replace nuclear power. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

    Germany has set the most ambitious agenda for renewable energy. According to Germany’s Enegiewende program, the share of renewables in electricity generation should reach 45 percent by 2030 and 100% by half century. Complicating matters is Germany’s Atomstop decision to close down its nuclear power plants under pressure from the powerful Green movement. The Atomstop agreement calls for substantial payments by electrical utilities into a special fund for storing nuclear waste.

    Germany’s mechanism for achieving its ambitious renewable-energy goals is not direct subsidies but the requirement that its utilities must take wind and solar energy first into the power grid.

    With wind and solar energy costing multiples more than conventional energy, their increasing share will continue to raise Germany’s wholesale electricity prices above those in other countries with less ambitious renewable energy policies. (See Figure for 2016 price comparisons).

    Read the full article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2017/03/31/100-renewables-by-2050-germany-pays-the-price-for-its-ambition/#26102e6d1e98

    • You really need to start thinking things through before you post them. For every article from a professor from an oil producing state, we can throw back ten showing the real story.

      “But the dirty little secret behind America’s energy policy is that the real price we pay for gas or electricity is far larger than what we see at the pump or on our utility bills. The less obvious costs of our energy choices affect our health, the environment and national security.”


      And we haven’t even mentioned Bush’s 3 trillion dollar wars. What were those for again? Oh, yeah, oil.

      Did Exxon or Shell pay for those wars? No, we did, and our grandkids will still be paying for them because your party can’t do math and likes killing brown people.

      Your little article was cute, though, nice try. We’re going to move on from 19th century technology, your corporate owners are going through what are known as “death throws”.

        • Pay attention, I’m saying your article is BS. And I’m saying that you are just spouting the BS that the Koch’s, ALEC, and Pinnacle West tell you to spout, because you’re a corporate puppet and do not represent the interests of Arizonans.

          We are moving away from fossil fuels and 19th century technology. Your corporate masters will fight, but they are already losing.

      • “…stop saying whatever ALEC or the Koch’s or Pinnacle West told you to say.” If the Good Senator were to do that he would have nothing to say. Which would improve the conversation.

  2. I see nothing wrong with giving the voters a choice when considering a very high and possibly not reasonably attainable 50% renewable energy mandate.
    A mandate that high could dramatically increase energy costs and hurt residential and commercial customers, especially the poor. The alternative voter choice offered in the referral is to aim for the 50% level but put a safety valve in place to protect the consumer and Arizona’s economy, not to mention the stability of the grid.

    The safety valve would only be triggered were economic or grid reliability issues to develop and would be enacted not by the legislature but by the elected Arizona Corporation Commission members.

    Finally, please explain how the referral is unconstitutional. What part of the Arizona constitution does it violate?

    • “possibly not reasonably attainable 50% renewable energy mandate.”

      You really should get out more. Germany has so much renewable energy they have to sell it off to their neighbors. Texas is about to become the nations number one solar state.

      Not Arizona, not “the Valley of the Sun”, Texas, deep red Texas.

      There’s only one reason Arizona isn’t already on 50% or more renewables and it’s green and a lot of it comes from your pals at Pinnacle West and those Koch brothers in Kansas.

      And here’s where you’re hurting Arizona’s economy, the sun shines down on my house every day 300+ days a year, for free, while every dollar I give to APS/SRP is a dollar I don’t spend on the local businesses.

      The rest of your comment is just recycled ALEC talking points.

      Stability of the grid. How do you say that with a straight face?

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