So, as I sit and watch television I am confused by the numerous political ads both for and against Prop 127. So I decided to review the information on both groups funding those ads.
What is Prop 127?
The Prop 127 initiative would require that the State of Arizona provide 50% of its electricity to the citizens from solar, wind, geothermal or other alternative sources. Hundreds of thousands of signatures were needed to get this proposal on the ballot.
Here`s what I have found.
Arizonans for Affordable Electricity
This PAC is a response to the initial proposal and is against Prop 127. The funding source for this PAC, Pinnacle West, the parent company to Arizona Public Service actually spent over 10 million dollars to lobby against 127 and entered into a lawsuit to disallow the proposition from ever making it on to the ballot. Their argument was that many of the petition signatures were fraudulent. Unfortunately for them the signatures were found to be valid just last month and the proposition will be allowed on the ballot this November.
Their argument – Electricity costs will go up 50%. Logically this would not happen right away. One would assume new infrastructure would be needed and it would take time to implement. Its theoretical that a 50% increase would occur. The new infrastructure would cost large amounts of money, and of course those costs are typically passed on to the consumer. As of now, rate increases have already been approved by the corporation commission, along with a complicated new fee schedule. Your rates can be the lowest if you use electricity at the lower consumption time periods.
This groups name is inherently deceptive. Everyone wants Affordable Electricity. The only way I have been able to get it was by going solar. In my opinion, in this case they are lobbying against solar because the infrastructure will cost APS to comply with the terms and cut into the ultimate profitability of APS. Costs will undoubtedly be passed onto the consumer.
Clean energy for a Healthy Arizona
This PAC is promoting clean energy over coal or gas powered power plants. Arizona is one of the lowest solar producing states in the country when it should with its abundance of sun should be one of the greatest. It is thought that this alternative energy proposition will bring thousands of new jobs to Arizona as well as help clean up some of the worst air pollution in the large urban area of Phoenix.
Tom Steyer – The promoter of this proposition is a billionaire hedge fund administrator from California. He is a known environmentalist and philanthropist who, along with his wife has pledged to give half their wealth to charity during their lifetime. He promotes many liberal causes.
Their argument – Electricity will be cheaper for Arizonans. Thousands of jobs will be created. And, The cost to produce energy from solar/alternative energy is equal to that of coal or gas and will provide a healthier future for all citizens.
Whats a Voter to do?
So, both sides have their points, however there is very little back up numbers that prove either side is right. As a matter of fact, The Arizonans for Affordable Energy ads quoted the Seidman Institute as providing the number that it would cost $1,000 extra per year for most Arizonans, but when reviewed, they provided no numbers to their study that had data provided by and was paid for by APS.
The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona group does not provide much from a statistical standpoint as well, how will electricity be cheaper?, when will thousands of jobs be created? and how much healthier will we be?
I personally have cut my bills with APS nearly in half by placing solar panels on my roof. My system was installed in 2011 and has paid for itself. Now I am actually making money. Perhaps this is disturbing to APS. My panels were placed when APS was actually encouraging residential solar by providing a healthy rebate. Once they met their quota however these rebates went away. They have met the mandated 15% and now see no reason to encourage solar. More residential solar equals less profit?
APS if they were smart would encourage producing as much alternative source energy as possible to sell to the public. The demand will only increase and through newer ways to store and transmit can only secure their position as an innovative and profitable energy provider.
What the Arizona Republic says about the ads against Prop 127
The local Phoenix paper has been following this controversial proposition. They believe that the language used by APS and the State of Arizona Attorney Generals Office has been slanted to help defeat the proposition. Why, one must ask, is this happening? Why would the state support the most powerful Electric company in the west in defeating a proposition that only makes sense to do in a state that has over 350 sunny days a year?
So How Does Arizona Rank for Solar in the United States?
Its a C !
You must read about what these two differing sides are promoting and decide yourself. In my case, I am sold on Solar!