Last month, 125 elected and community leaders signed a letter to Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Doug Little encouraging him and his fellow commissioners to ignore the political fracas and decide the many cases before them on the evidence, merits and what is best for Arizona.
The letter takes no position on any other specific issue. It is filed to two separate electric dockets currently before the ACC to make sure that the point is clear, transparent and available to the public.
“The Commission has always been above the fray providing serious consideration to critical matters facing our State. Unfortunately, rhetoric – not facts – has begun to cloud this complicated and important conversation,” the letter reads in part.
Proving the point, some are now trying to turn the letter itself into another distraction from the real issues.
Reporters from several media outlets are calling the signatories to this letter to ask if they were misled into somehow appearing to support the APS rate case (purportedly because it is filed to the APS rate case docket), even though the letter clearly takes no position on any particular issue. The reaction of certain signers of the letters to phone calls from the press now becomes the story; behind the scenes, someone is clearly being paid to preserve the status quo.
It is all just too convenient. For three years, every attempt to get serious about the problem has been met with attacks – on APS, certain commissioners, interested legislators who attempt to move the ball forward and so on. Now comes another attempt to embarrass elected leaders, this time simply for voicing the opinion that if Arizona wants a sustainable energy policy for all its residents, the system needs to change and the changes need to result from a serious, policy-oriented look at all of the facts. The best venue for this is the ACC.
In short, these are the kinds of shenanigans the letter is encouraging commissioners to ignore, and instead focus on developing the best energy policy to benefit all Arizonans. We have asked for support from statewide leadership in calling for the commission to make its decisions based on the evidence, instead of political theatrics, which continue today.
Someone is trying very hard not only to distract from the serious discussion that needs to take place, but to prevent that discussion from ever happening. We trust our leaders will take special note of what the letter is asking and then act appropriately.
Jessica Pacheco is Vice President, State and Local Affairs, for Arizona Public Service.