Ruling

PHOENIX — A judge on Monday rejected attempts by Arizona Public Service to keep a renewable energy measure it opposes off the November ballot.

In an extensive ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley rejected the contentions of an APS-funded group that the Clean Energy for Healthy Arizona initiative is misleading because the proposal to require utilities generate 50 percent of their power from renewable source by 2030 excludes nuclear power. He pointed out that the summary of the initiative specifically says renewal excludes both fossil fuel and nuclear.

"No reasonable person reading the measure's title, text or 100-word summary would be left confused about whether nuclear power is excluded as a potential energy source,” Kiley wrote.

And he specifically rebuffed the effort by APS to rule that nuclear is "clean energy.”

More significant, the judge sniffed at the contention by the utility's lawyers that the conclusion that initiative organizers that 47.3 percent of their signatures were valid should be used as evidence to show that they really did not submit sufficient valid signatures.

He said that estimate was a "worst-case scenario” after initiative workers could not immediately verify addresses. Kiley pointed out that a random sample check of signatures by county recorders turned up far more — more than enough to qualify.

And the judge said even after disqualifying many signatures, including those that appear to have been forgeries, there were still at least the 225,963 valid signatures needed to put the issue to voters in November.

There was no immediate word from APS and parent company Pinnacle West Capital Corp. whether they will appeal.