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2014 ACC Candidates Respond to Questions
*** 2014 ACC Candidates Respond to Questions***
Updated to Inlcude Only the Questionnaire Reponses From Candidates Left in the General Election

AIC recently asked the seven candidates running for the ACC to tell us about their views on several issues facing regulation of energy, water and telecommunications utilities in Arizona.  In our request to the candidates, we told them we would post their written responses (un-edited) to the six questions on the AIC website.  The responses below are only those of the candidates remaining in the general election.

Here are the questions and their responses:

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APS Maintains High Reliability During One of the Toughest Monsoon Seasons in Arizona History
APS Maintains High Reliability During One of the Toughest Monsoon Seasons in Arizona History
Preparation and successful resource planning key to keeping the lights on
PHOENIX – This summer, Arizona was pounded with record rainfall and powerful winds, during one of the toughest monsoon seasons in history. The preparation and hard work of APS crews minimized impacts to APS customers across the state, as more than 300 poles were replaced due to damage caused by the storms.
 
No effort better summarizes successful storm restoration than the hurricane-fueled deluge Mother Nature brought to the Valley at the end of September – late for monsoon season but still flooding streets and knocking out power to as many as 50,000 customers. Working around the clock, APS crews replaced 80 poles and reinstalled nearly 20,000 feet of wire that was damaged.
 
Overall, there were 96 sites that required APS personnel for extended repairs, along with hundreds of other areas where our first-responding troublemen were able to fix the problem. Crews were able to restore power for the majority of customers within the first day, with full restoration by day three.
 
“We prepare all year for the summer season, anticipating storms and monitoring the weather to ensure we have the personnel ready to safely and efficiently get the lights back on,” said Pat Dinkel, APS Vice President of Transmission and Distribution Operations. “This summer was no exception. We had a challenging litany of storms all summer, each with their own impacts to the system. We found ourselves in a cycle of restoring power as we monitored another storm heading our way. In the end, our reliability numbers compare favorably with the best performers in the electric utility industry, which is a real credit to our hardworking and dedicated crews and to the planned maintenance we perform to ensure our system can deliver the high reliability our customers have come to expect.”
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Why Arizona Will Pay More to Save the Planet
Why Arizona will Pay More to Save the Planet
Our View: How fair is this? The EPA wants Arizona to make bigger sacrifices to cut carbon emissions than states that pollute more.

Editorial board, The Republic | azcentral.com 10:15 p.m. MST October 25, 2014 EPA Rules

This nation needs to roll back the amount of carbon dioxide it pumps into the atmosphere.
 
It should do so in a thoughtful, rational way that spreads the pain as fairly as possible.
 
Unfortunately, that's not the Environmental Protection Agency's approach, especially in Arizona. The EPA's ham-handed dictates demand greater sacrifices from the Grand Canyon State than from states that use more coal and emit more carbon dioxide.
 
The state's utilities are pushing back. They should be heard.
 
This summer, the EPA proposed that Arizona cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030. But it would have to achieve 90 percent of that reduction in just six years, the most stringent goal of any state in the nation, by utility estimates.
 
Considering the staggering amount of energy-producing resources at issue — literally billions of dollars in assets — that timetable is a virtual blink of an eye. Unsurprisingly, the state's energy producers argue the EPA timetable is unreasonable. "Impossible," they say.
 
Effectively, the EPA is re-ordering the state's power generation. Compliance would necessitate new gas-fired power plants and hundreds of miles of new transmission lines and gas pipelines. It will impact every energy user in the state.
 
Coal provides 40 percent of Arizona's consumer electricity, exceeding nuclear and gas-fired energy. Halving carbon emissions at coal-fired facilities would require technology that does not yet exist, at a cost likely to make such an overhaul prohibitively expensive.
 
Even if the costs were manageable, Arizona power producers would be fighting an uphill battle. The EPA rules assume coal-fired power generation in Arizona should cease by 2020.
 
As a result, Salt River Project's new Springerville Generating Station would be shut down. So would the Coronado Generating Station, where SRP ratepayers spent $500 million in 2009 to add cleaner-burning upgrades. Recent pollution-fighting upgrades at Arizona Public Service's Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City would go for naught. Hundreds of millions of dollars in ratepayer investments would go fallow.
 
Arizona's target of a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions is far higher than the EPA's national target of 30 percent for a remarkably in-egalitarian reason: In the view of the EPA, Arizona can reduce emissions that much. Other states can't.
 
Arizona produces energy through a broad variety of sources, including a fast-growing renewable-energy sector and comparatively new natural-gas plants. States like West Virginia, Kentucky, North Dakota and others highly reliant on coal-produced energy have far lower emissions thresholds to meet.
 
Arizona's energy ratepayers are about to be punished financially for their foresight. This becomes a powerful incentive to other states not to venture into renewable or lower-carbon energy.
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Arizona Ranks 15th in Energy Efficiency
Arizona Ranks 15th in Energy Efficiency

9 hours ago  •  By David Wichner/AZ Daily Star/tucson.com -- Arizona ranked 15th in the nation and near the top in the Southwest for its energy-efficiency efforts, though it slipped from last year in a ranking issued by a group pushing for energy savings.

In the annual report by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Massachusetts edged out California as the most energy-efficient state in the nation for the fourth year in a row. Following those states in the top 10 were: Rhode Island, Oregon, Vermont; Connecticut, New York, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota.

The states were ranked on a point system for categories including utility policy, transportation, building energy codes and state government initiatives.

Colorado ranked the highest overall among five Southwest states, at No. 13 nationally, followed by Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada.

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Mayor, City Council Approve New Fund to Protect City Water Supplies Against Drought
Mayor, City Council Approve New Fund to Protect City Water Supplies Against Drought
City of Phoenix Seal
CONTACT:
Offie of the Mayor 
Tina May, Press Secretary
602-534-9505 o
602 396-9220 m
 
NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 21, 2014 -- PHOENIX – By unanimous vote, Mayor Greg Stanton and the Phoenix City Council today (Tuesday, Oct. 21) approved an innovative plan to protect Phoenix against future shortages on the Colorado River and help ensure that the city remains a leader in the sustainable management of its water supplies.
 
“We have to prepare as if the drought is going to continue,” Stanton said. “While a lot of people are just talking about water issues, the City of Phoenix is acting.”
 
The vote formally established a Colorado River Resiliency Fund of an average of about $5.5 million a year. The resources will allow the city to, among other things, take part in sharing wells with local water utility partners and to store the city’s unused Colorado River water in underground recharge facilities. 
 
The city also could use the fund for shortage-year lease options with users who hold higher-priority waters rights on the Colorado River, as well as for future expansion of the Colorado River System Conservation Program.
 
The new resiliency fund will act as a kind of insurance policy against shortages. The bulk of it will come from refinancing some outstanding Water Services Department debt at a lower interest rate and be part of department’s capital improvement fund. Water rates this year would not be affected. 
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SRP: Impossible to Meet EPA Coal Edict on Time
SRP: Impossible to Meet EPA Coal Edict on Time
Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 11:46 p.m. MST October 17, 2014 --  Salt River Project officials say it will be impossible to meet the EPA's proposed carbon rules for power plants in the time frame the regulators suggest, and that the plan will require significant new infrastructure.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency last summer issued the first proposed rules for regulating emissions from existing power plants that contribute to global warming.
 
They aim to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 30 percent by 2030, although individual state targets vary widely. Arizona has the second-highest target among all the states, with the EPA expectation that the state could reduce the carbon intensity of its power generation 52 percent by 2030.
 
The state also faces an interim target in 2020.
Read more...
 

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