Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Apparently abusing the constitutional authority of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission was not enough for our authoritarian Tea-Publicans. Now they are abusing the constitutional authority of the Arizona Corporation Commission on behalf of the Goldwater Institute because it lost a frivolous lawsuit.
The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports Arizona GOP lawmakers want to take control of energy policy from Corp. Comm. - Arizona Capitol Times:
Republican lawmakers are moving to grab control of energy policy from state utility regulators in a political turf fight over the future of Arizona’s solar power industry.
A bill co-sponsored by 30 Republican lawmakers would make any new policy guidelines or rule changes by the Arizona Corporation Commission subject to approval by the Legislature and the governor.
In other words, exercising executive and legislative fiat over a constitutionally prescribed office.
The measure from majority Republicans is a response to court orders upholding commission rules requiring electric utilities to get a specific portion of their energy from renewable sources such as solar.
Arizona courts ruled that the commission’s state constitutional authority to establish rates for regulated utilities allowed it to approve renewable energy standards in 2006.
Lawyers for the commission and the Legislature’s own bill-writing office have issued opinions saying that the Republican proposal would be unconstitutional.
The bill has backing from the Goldwater Institute, a conservative advocacy organization that says it would protect ratepayers now paying surcharges imposed under the commission’s standards.
The institute had filed a suit challenging the commission rules that require utilities to gradually increase their use of renewable energy sources to 15 percent by 2025.
When they can't win a lawsuit, the lobbyists from Goldwater Institute get their water-carriers in the legislature to change the rules of the game in their favor. Rigging the game is an abuse of power.
The legislation was approved on a 31-27 House vote on Monday that sent it to the Senate.
Even some Republican representatives who voted for the bill Monday voiced reservations about its constitutionality, and the bill sponsor, Rep. Debbie Lesko, said during Monday's vote she intends to propose changes in the Senate to address those concerns. Ariz. GOP lawmakers want control of energy policy:
Lesko said the changes would remove the requirement for legislative review of new commission rules, and Sun City Republican Rep. Rick Gray said a new version could center on barring the commission from expanding the renewable energy rules.
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Lesko and other supporters said the legislation only affects new rules or changes to existing rules, not the current renewable energy standards.
Sorry. These Tea-Publicans are taking their marching orders from Goldwater Institute lobbyists, and they want the renewable energy rules gone. They're not fooling anybody.