By Alison Jones
Dear Pima Voters:
Today I’d like to tell you about the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), one of the state’s most powerful regulatory bodies. The ACC, which Article XV of the Arizona Constitution created, exists essentially as state government’s fourth branch. Arizona is one of few states that elects its Corporation Commission. The ACC’s powers include buying and selling securities in the state, railroad and pipeline safety, and certifying businesses that want to incorporate in Arizona.
One of the ACC’s greatest powers, however, is regulating utilities. It determines the rates that these monopolies can charge, which services they can deliver, and, very importantly, what direction energy policy will take now and in the future.
Commission members answer only to the voters. The five ACC members are elected in partisan elections and serve staggered, four-year terms. The utilities’ influences in helping to elect utility-friendly commissioners has been problematic, to say the least. In the past decade, anonymous donors have spent enormous amounts of “dark money” supporting candidates aligned with interests of the state’s largest utility companies.
Four Republicans and one Democrat serve on the current ACC. Three seats are up for election in November 2020. Three Democrats of integrity are running: Bill Mundell, Shea Stanfield, and Anna Tovar. These three candidates are united in their efforts to make Arizona the country’s leader in solar and other clean-energy methods. They all consider this election to be THE race for climate change, and Pima County Democratic Party agrees.
Their team website is https://www.solarteam2020.com/. From that site, you can enter each of the candidates’ individual campaign websites. I encourage you to take a look.
It is up to you, the voters, to decide who determines Arizona’s future energy policy: you, the citizen rate-payers, or utility companies that answer only to their shareholders. We encourage you to vote for ALL THREE Democrats running for ACC: Bill Mundell, Shea Stanfield, and Anna Tovar.