Name: Barry Wong.
Office seeking: Arizona Corporation Commission.
Occupation/employer: Lawyer, Barry Wong Law Office.
Education: University of Arizona, law degree (J.D.); Arizona State University, B.S. Accounting; Thunderbird School of Global Management, Global Leadership Certificate.
Offices held/run for: 2006, commissioner, Arizona Corporation Commission (filled vacancy), 1993-2000, legislator, Arizona House of Representatives.
Civic activities/organizations: UA-President's Advisory Council; UA Alumni Association-National Board of Directors (past member-6 yrs); YMCA, Chris-town Branch-Board of Management (past member); Fiesta Bowl Committee-life member; American Red Cross, Grand Canyon Chapter-Board of Directors (past member).
● Why are you running? As an experienced former commissioner, provide leadership in addressing energy, water and other infrastructure demands of a fast-growing state.
● The biggest issue facing my constituents (or potential constituents) is: Rising cost of electricity.
● Do you have a personal motto or words you live by? Do the right thing and everything will work out at the end.
● Favorite local hangout: Any Eegee's (must stop by during each visit to Tucson/Pima County; must be old law school habit!)
● NPR or FOX? NPR on car radio in morning; Fox News on internet throughout day.
● How long have you lived in Arizona? Life-long; born and raised in Arizona.
● What kind of vehicle do you drive? What kind of mileage does it get? Volvo sedan ('92), Mileage: Hwy appx 28 mpg, Street appx 22 mpg (reliable and economical car).
● If I could have dinner with any living person, I would choose: Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
● If I had my own reality show, it would be titled: "Public Servant-Desert Survival (Season 1)."
● First job: (unpaid) Working in family grocery business (high school summer breaks); (paid) accounting assistant (college summer break).
● What do you think are the biggest issues facing the commission?
Ensuring adequate and reliable energy, including solar and other renewables, and water in a fast growing state.
● What are your top three goals for the commission to accomplish?
1. Ensuring electricity is adequate and reliable through diverse energy production including from solar and other renewable energy sources.
2. Ensuring quality and reliable water.
3. Protecting Arizonans from investment fraud.
● In your opinion, what is the commission's role when it comes to renewable energy?
The commission has a clear though limited role to provide leadership and act as a catalyst to advance the generation and deployment of renewable energy.
● How do you feel about the renewable-energy rules that are currently in place?
In 2006, as a commissioner, I was a key vote in the passage of the 15% renewable-energy standard; it was the right decision at the time as it is now. If returned to the Corporation Commission I will work to maintain these standards as passed.
● What is your view of Gov. Napolitano's "Cap and Trade" plan to track and trade carbon dioxide credits?
If a cap-and-trade system is established it should be on a national rather than regional basis; however, any such system which would have a great impact on Arizona energy prices must include the Corporation Commission in the discussions, planning and implementation.
● What's the greatest infrastructure issue among the industries the commission regulates?
Electric: More power plants, including solar and renewable facilities, and transmission lines to keep up with growth and demand;
Natural gas: Storage capacity needed;
Telephone (local service): More competition needed;
Water/sewer (private companies): Clean and reliable water and upgrade of aging pipes and delivery systems.
● How would you balance the need for more power transmission lines and federal mandates for local power corridors with local concerns over their location and environmental impact?
I presently serve on a Corporation Commission committee called "Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee." All proposed new power plants and high voltage transmission lines must first seek the approval of this Line Siting Committee. The Line Siting Committee must determine if the new power plant or transmission line is compatible with the environment, if yes, then it issues a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility. Local concerns over location and environmental impact should take precedent over federal mandates of any "power corridors."