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Letter to the Editor: Solar industry’s growth is worth recognizing

With the new year comes new opportunities, and Arizona certainly does not seem to be lacking in career opportunities, having made the top 20 list twice for best places to find jobs. The article that was recently shared by Cronkite News (Jan. 19 in the Arizona Capitol Times) talks about health care, finance and business as being among the fastest growing sectors, but I want to make the case for solar as well.

Solar in the U.S. added jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy in the past year, more than the jobs created by the oil and gas extraction and pipeline sectors combined. And with the amount of sunshine we get throughout the year, Arizona has quite a bit of potential for solar energy. In fact, we currently rank second in solar capacity per resident, and second in total solar capacity for the state.

Sandra Watson, CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, had said that, “Arizona is headed in the right direction because the business community and our elected officials have worked together to diversify our economy,” highlighting renewable energy as an example. We can keep heading in the right direction if the Arizona Corporation Commission protects solar for all in Arizona, so that we can bring more solar jobs to our communities and create a brighter, cleaner, and healthier state for everyone.

— Jenifer Wong is a campaign organizer for Environment Arizona.

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