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Thanks To ALEC, Arizona To Roll Back Efficiency Standards

The winners will be a handful of very wealthy individuals getting even wealthier on coal and electricity sales.
Thanks To ALEC, Arizona To Roll Back Efficiency Standards
Image from: 350.org

The Koch brothers strike again! Model legislation written by ALEC is calling a halt to the remarkable progress in energy efficiency made by the state of Arizona and replacing it with "free market principles" -- i.e. Kochs buying legislators in order to increase their personal fortunes. Via Triple Pundit:

Last year the state of Arizona was ranked fourth in the nation by theAmerican Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy on their list of states whose utility customers saw the most savings on electricity. This was due to the comprehensive energy efficiency standard that was passed unanimously in 2010 by the bipartisan Corporation Commission. Despite the fact that the standard has been enormously successful by any measure, saving consumers and businesses in the state $540 million, last week the commission quietly passed a resolution to essentially repeal it — gutting it to the point where it has no targets and no directives.

[...] What could have happened to trigger such a radical change in philosophy?Well, there were some changes in personnel. Kris Mayes, who served as chairwoman of the commission when the rule passed, is no longer on the panel. She now serves as director of the Arizona State University Utility of the Future Center. When local publication AZCentral asked for comment, she said: “This is just crazy. Nothing in the record suggests the standard is not working. This is just offensive.”

[...] If this all sounds disturbingly familiar, you’re probably thinking about Ohio, which took a similar Grinch-like action last May, hastily passing a measure in the middle of the night that effectively ‘froze’ that state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy standards at current levels. That bill, SB310, passed the state legislature by a near 2-1 margin.

Like Arizona’s standard, the original Ohio bill, SB221, passed in 2008 by an overwhelming majority (32-0 in the Senate and 93-1 in the House). Like in Arizona, the Ohio bill was also tremendously successful, with utilities exceeding their targets by 50 percent each year — at an average cost under 2 cents per kWh. This saved ratepayers more than $1 billion. Under the new law, no new savings are required over the next two years.


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If there is still any question in your mind as to who was behind this, let me cite some language:

“It is also the intent of the General Assembly to get a better understanding of how energy mandates impact jobs and the economy in Ohio and to minimize government mandates. Because the energy mandates in current law may be unrealistic and unattainable, it is the intent of the General Assembly to review all energy resources as part of its efforts to address energy pricing issues. Therefore, it is the intent of the General Assembly to enact legislation in the future, after taking into account the recommendations of the Energy Mandates Study Committee, that will reduce the mandates in sections 4928.64 and 4928.66 of the Revised Code …” [emphasis added]

If you don’t recognize the language and the “you can’t tell me what to do” tone, then you haven’t been paying attention. Indeed, it was that pack of legislators who call themselves ALEC that penned a “model bill” calledElectricity Freedom Act in 2012 that they are now peddling door to door, state to state.

Their rationale? Renewable standards interfere with free market forces.

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