Wednesday afternoon, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) amended a new package of Clean Energy Rules which outlines carbon reduction standards for utilities. Although the original Clean Energy Rules were not approved in prior meetings, the amended measures were passed in a Bipartisan 3-2 vote, setting Arizona back on track toward a sustainable carbon-free future.
“Our ‘State of the Air’ report shows that Arizona is experiencing a rising trend in number of unhealthy ozone days” said Melissa Ramos, clean air advocacy manager for the American Lung Association. “Cutting carbon emissions in half by 2032 supports cleaner air and protects Arizonans from the negative health impacts associated with breathing pollution.”
The amended Clean Energy Rules require utilities to cut carbon emissions by 50% in 2032 and set a carbon-free electricity standard by 2070, much later than earlier proposals. With this action, the ACC set forth a plan that protects ratepayers, utilizes renewable energy, and expands energy efficiency. This Clean Energy Rules package includes a new timeline for carbon reduction standards – 50% by 2032, 65% by 2040, 80% by 2050, 95% by 2060, and 100% by 2070.
“The amended Clean Energy Rules show good faith from our Commissioners to improve our air and protect our health, especially children, seniors, people of color and others facing greater risks due to unhealthy air” said JoAnna Strother, senior advocacy director for the American Lung Association. “Arizona voters want to transition away from fossil-fueled electricity, and these Rules are a step in the right direction.”
An American Lung Association poll released in December 2020 revealed 70% of voters support the Commission’s plan for utilities to cut carbon emissions in half by 2032. There was also overwhelming support for renewable energy sources such as wind (60%) and solar (79%). The poll showed 76% of voters believe clean energy will have a positive impact on Arizona’s air quality.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.