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Jorge Luis Garcia: Keep Legislature away from Commission’s solar power authority

Jorge Luis Garcia says he’s a bit worried that he is a Tucson state senator who has little name recognition in the Phoenix area, where most of the state’s votes are found.

However, the Democratic candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission points out the results of the Aug. 24 primary gave him the victory over longtime former Commissioner Renz Jennings, who happens to be from the Valley.

“I beat a well-known person from Maricopa County,” says Garcia, 57, a social worker who has been in the state Senate since 2003, where he has served as his party’s leader and assistant leader.

Garcia has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Arizona and a master’s in social work from Arizona State University.

He says he is confident that by 2025 renewable energy resources will easily account for a mandated 15 percent of the total. He says he will push for the target year to be set earlier and the percentage to be higher, if elected.

Among his top priorities include “keeping the Legislature away from our jurisdiction (on solar power).”

He says the state should provide a combination of incentives to both solar energy consumers and manufacturers.

Garcia says his concern about pipeline safety in Arizona was heightened after a Sept. 9 natural gas explosion in San Bruno, Calif., took eight lives and destroyed dozens of homes.

He rejects assertions that the commission, which has a wide purview over areas ranging from electricity to railroads, has too broad a jurisdiction. He says he does not favor the panel giving up any of the entities it regulates to other state agencies.

“I think that the commission functions smoothly,” he says.

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