Arizona House of Reps. Approves Potentially Unconstitutional Energy Bill

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[author: Bingham, Matt]

The Arizona House of Representatives voted today to pass Rep. Lesko's HB 2789.  This is the bill that would require the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to get legislative approval of "all rules or amendments to existing rules ... concerning public service corporations that are policy decisions, including rules mandating the use of specific sources of energy or imposing or increasing energy efficiency standards or renewable energy standards."  Both the ACC's legal counsel and the Legislative Council have concluded that the bill is unconstitutional (see our prior blogs here and here).

The solar industry strongly opposes HB 2789 and I suspect that most regulated public service corporations (i.e., utilities) doing business in the state are skeptical of a bill which essentially creates an entirely new -- not to mention extremely complicated -- level of regulation over their industries.  It passed by a smaller than expected margin of 31-27, meaning that a fair number of Republicans voted against it (go here to see how each representative voted).  The bill will now go to the Senate where most observers think it will have a difficult time getting passed.

Read more here and here.