Supporters of California-style renewable energy mandates often forget to mention what comes with them: sky high California-style electric bills.

The so-called “Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona” initiative would rewrite the state’s constitution and require Arizona’s regulated utilities to provide 50 percent of their power from renewables by 2030, just like California. If it’s approved, our electric bills would also look a lot like they do in California, where residential rates are among the highest in the nation at more than 15 cents per kilowatt hour — about 50 percent higher than here.

While supporters like to cite low wholesale prices for solar energy, they ignore the other costs of using it, including system reinforcements, backup generation and battery storage. Those costs would skyrocket under the initiative, driving rates to California-like levels and beyond.

If this ill-advised measure makes the ballot, voters should reject it and send this bad idea back to California where it belongs — not in Arizona’s constitution.

Vince Leach

State representative, LD11

Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.


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