Citing Arizona’s potential to be a leader in renewable energy, former Arizona Corporation Commission policy adviser Nancy LaPlaca announced today she is considering running for a position on the ACC in 2014.
“Clean energy will grow our economy and bring us good-paying jobs we can be proud of,” LaPlaca said in a statement released today.
“Instead of leading the U.S. in the $100B global solar energy industry,” she continued, “our current commission is satisfied that only 2% of in-state electricity comes from solar while we send $2+ billion in ratepayer money every year to Texas, Colorado and New Mexico to buy coal and natural gas. Those dollars should stay in Arizona…”
The five-member ACC sets utility rates and implements programs to nurture renewable energy — or to ignore it. After being a national leader in RE for many years, the ACC has, say its critics, abandoned that role, following November’s election in which the commission’s only Democrats were voted off and replaced by Republicans.
In January, the new ACC sent shock waves throughout the solar industry when it announced without warning that some of the most important solar incentives would be eliminated.
“The Arizona solar industry has dramatically reduced its dependence on incentives,” said one solar spokesperson at the time, “but this is too much, too soon.”
LaPlaca cited her four years experience as a policy adviser to ACC member, Democrat Paul Newman. During most of that time, the ACC was led by Kristin Mayes, a Republican who made Arizona one of the most renewable-friendly states in the country.
In addition to renewable energy, LaPlaca stressed the ACC’s role in solving other critical resource issues.