Arizona Regulators Want Renewables, Not More Natural Gas

Arizona regulators gave the state’s largest utility the cold shoulder last week, essentially rejecting Arizona Public Service Co.’s plans to double its natural gas fleet over the next 15 years.

 Credit: Tom Witham, USDA, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Credit: Tom Witham, USDA, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Instead, they imposed a temporary freeze on most new natural gas projects and asked the power company to draw up plans for acquiring more renewable energy.

The decision sent tremors across the Southwest. Observers said they could not recall a time when Arizona’s utility commission, where Republicans control all five seats, had rebuffed a long-term plan from one of the state’s utilities. Greens heralded the move, saying it would speed the transition to renewables in one of America’s fastest-growing states.

“I don’t want to overstate national implications, but I do think it’s recognition that continued investment in natural gas is risky,” said Stacy Tellinghuisen, a senior climate policy analyst at Western Resource Advocates. “Commissioners are seeing clean energy is cheaper. They’re seeing that’s what the public wants. So I think this decision reflects all... Read the rest of the story on scientificamerican.com HERE