Arizona Anti-Solar Bill HB2701 is History (for now)

Late this afternoon, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s office issued a brief statement saying that House Bill 2701 — widely condemned by opponents who called it “the death knell of the solar industry” in Arizona — had been withdrawn by its primary sponsor, Representative Debbie Lesko (R-9).

The full statement reads:

“Representative Lesko’s wise and thoughtful actions today to withdraw HB 2701 should be lauded. This sends a clear and united message to employers around the world – Arizona remains the premier destination for solar industries.”

Rep. Lesko’s office is referring calls to the House Republican media office, which, in turn, is referring calls to the Governor’s message.

Statement by Speakers Office

Earlier, Speaker of the House, Representative Kirk Adams (R-Mesa) issued the following press release:

“Recent news stories have depicted the Arizona House of Representatives as being anti-solar energy, and unconcerned about the development of emerging renewably [sic] energy technologies. As the elected leader of the House I wish to set the record straight.

For years the Arizona House, in partnership with the Arizona Senate and Governor, have planned and set policy to attract renewable energy industries to provide for our own energy needs, improve the environment, and create jobs.

For example, Arizona has renewable energy property tax incentives, solar installation tax credits and investment income tax credits for new and expanded operations with lowered property tax classification.

The passage last year of SB1403 further propelled Arizona to the forefront internationally as an attractive location for renewable energy companies. Even so, we have not rested on our past accomplishments and continue to move forward with legislation like HB2060. This legislation will provide additional incentives for renewable energy and send a clear message to global industries: we want you in Arizona.

As a high-growth state, Arizona must have an energy plan to match our energy demand, now and in the future. Renewable energy, and solar in particular, must play a vital role. Moreover, renewable manufacturing, research and development, generation, and installation will be a key source of new jobs and help pull our state out of the recession.

When it comes to renewable energy policy, Arizona takes a back seat to no one, not Texas, not Oregon. We fully intend to keep it that way.”

SB1403 was seen as a major victory for solar manufacturing in the state. Adams’ reason for referencing HB2060 is a bit more obscure. That bill deals with land conservation and makes no mention of energy issues.

HB2060 can be downloaded here (pdf)

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